How Marjorie Solved the Puzzle
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Brussel's Flower Carpet
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Quiz #320 Results
Answer to Quiz #320
August 28, 2011
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1.  The exhibition of the Brussels Flower Carpet, Brussels, Belgium
2.  2010, the Grote Markt (Main Market), Brussels, Belgium
3.  St. Michael, patron saint of Belgium, slaying the dragon

1.  What event does this depict?
2. What year and where was the picture taken?
3.  What does the symbol in the lower right of the pattern represent?
This quiz was suggested by Quizmaster Karen Petrus, my best friend from third grade.
Comments from Our Readers
The puzzle was not too difficult, but satisfying. Glad I had time to sit and ponder it out
this morning.                                                                                      
Mary Osmar

These carpets must be quite something to see in person.  I can't imagine the work
involved in putting together this type of temporary display.  I love the spirit that would
even consider doing it.                                                                       
Carol Farrant

What a beautiful quiz to wake up to.  I had to go back in time and look at the other
versions of the carpet.  Lovely.  Can you imagine what it would be like if begonias were
Shirley Hamblin

It took me awhile on this one cause I was determined it was in Prague, oh well, Europe
at least. Ha.                                                                                       
Robin Spence

I thought the display looked like flowers, and I noticed your picture's filename is carpet.
jpg, so I google-imaged the phrase 'carpet of flowers'. Many images of the Brussels
event came up, and it didn't take long to see the one that matched.  This photo was
taken on 14 Aug 2010  (according to the photo and caption I found at
flickr.com/photos/gbatistini/4890317486/in/photostream/.                      Collier Smith

Those flower carpets are awesome. I went to the Rose Parade in Jan 2010 for the first
and last time. It was amazing, but much too crowded for me :(                
Gary Sterne

N.B.  I went to the Rose Parade in the late 1980s.  After being to Mardi Gras exactly
17 times (I grew up in New Orleans), I couldn't stand the Rose Parade.  It was too
clean and nice. It's like people stand around in white gloves clapping all the time. It
got kind of exciting when they couldn't stop one of the floats and it almost ran into
the crowd. But I missed the down and dirty little old ladies at Mardi Gras who step on
your hand if you try to get the beads before they do. - Q. Gen.

Having been there (a once-in-a-lifetime trip across Europe), I immediately recognized
La Grand Place in Brussels. Somehow, in the back of my brain, I remembered
something about a flower carpet, so I looked up 'Brussels Belgium Flower Carpet' and
immediately came up with the same picture that you've displayed.  From there it was
Cindy Tarsi

I think I got this one - no secret twin brother to throw me off the track.       
Teresa Yu

The carpets are beautiful, I would love to see one.                                  
Donna Jolley

Beautiful! And I can almost smell all those flowers!                        
Debbie Sterbinsky

For me, the starting point for solving this was the Belgium flag on the extreme right
side of the picture.                                                                            
Stephen Jolley

Great quiz, I have never heard of this before, what an amazing piece of artwork !!!.
The most amazing part of this quiz, however, is that you still have a best friend from
third grade! In today's world with Facebook ("friending" and "unfriending" are
apparently---actually verbs, BFFs ["Best Friends Forever!!!"], etc. which changes with
my kids almost...hourly!!!), I tell my kids that if you get to be my age (50), and you
have enough "best" friends to fill all of your fingers on ONE hand, you should consider
yourself blessed! Have a great week!                                  
Robert W. Steinmann Jr.

I googled 'world's biggest carpet' turkey on images. The 46th result led to carpet.
blogspot.com to contest image photo match on episode 9 - Brussels Flower Carpet.
This led to a Wikipedia posting and to reference link:

Comment: I first it was a big Turkish rug with the anchor representing Turkish naval
history. I also thought of Saint Michael, the Archangel and of Dalton, Georgia being the
carpet capital of the world.                                                                   
Mike Dalton

While researching the quiz, I found this site with a beautiful sunset photo of the carpet
(scroll down to the bottom and mute the ad player that comes on): http://www.
amusingplanet.com/2010/08/brussels-flower-carpet.html.  Stunning!  It really does look
like a magic carpet too.                                                                         
Nicole Blank

What gorgeous flowers! What a display! This flower carpet makes me think of the
Rose Parade and all the creativity and hard work that goes into each float.
Grace Hertz
Thanks again for starting my Sunday morning on a nice note.                     
Jim Kiser

They leave the begonia carpet up for only a weekend.  Last year I pruned my mom’s
begonias and absentmindedly set a cutting on the table on the patio.  It lasted for a
couple of weeks without water or care.  We kept staring at it waiting for it to wilt.  
Mom couldn’t stand it any longer and gave it water                               
Carol Farrant

I imagine the flowers are lucky to make the whole weekend that they're on display.  
Maybe they're treated to last longer?  These quizzes make me really appreciate other
cultures; I never would have heard of most of these wonders like the Magic Carpet had
it not been for the mini lessons from the quizzes.  I'll be sure to vote this week. :)
Nicole Blank
I think I read that it gets pitched relatively soon after the festivities. Crazy.
Joe Ruffner
This was fun!-- What a beautiful place.                                                
Barbara Mroz
Congratulations to Our Winners

Mary Osmar                Christine Gregg
Gary Sterne                Joe Ruffner
Carol Farrant                Melva Robbins
Shirley Hamblin                Robin Spence
Laurel Fletchner                Stan Read
Collier Smith                Marilyn Hamill
Margaret Paxton                Cindy Tarsi
Betty Chambers                Jim Baker
Alex Sissoev                Arthur Hartwell
Teresa Yu                Donna Jolley
Dennis Brann                Debbie Sterbinsky
Don Draper                Stephen Jolley
Stacy Luna                Richard Wakeham
Robert W. Steinmann Jr.                Mike Dalton
Angel Esparza                Nicole Blank
Grace Hertz                Daniel Jolley
Jim Kiser                Joyce Veness
Peter Norton                Barbara Mroz
Patterson Poulson                Milene Rawlinson
Diane Burkett                Cathy Warburton
Every two years, the Grand Plaza of
Brussels is covered with a carpet of
flowers, begonias, to be exact.

The History of the Flower Carpet

Officially, the first Flower Carpet of the
present form was created in 1971 in the
Grand Plaza. It was the work of the
landscape architect E. Stautenmans, and
inspired by other carpets created in many
cities in Flanders. One thing that makes
the Brussels Flower Carpet unique is that
it is rolled out on the town's Grand Plaza.

The Creation of the Carpet

The carpet is 77m x 24 m and is planned a
year in advance. It is constructed in
several stages according to a specific
theme such as the commemoration of
great events, or the arms and shield of a
town, and sometimes themes proposed by
local horticultural associations.

Once scale models are created, the
number of flower combinations of colors
determined, and the outline of the pattern
drawn on the ground, the work starts.

To reproduce the carpet's motifs, the
drawing is transferred to a transparent
plastic sheet that has micro perforations.
The carpet is created by about 120
volunteers who install about a million
begonias, in less than four hours.

The day before the construction of the
carpet, the spaces between the floral
patterns are filled with rolled turf. The
flowers are packed together one by one,
300 to every square meter of the ground,
(+/- 750.000 flowers!) so tightly that they
won't be blown away by the first puff of
No soil is used at all. In heat waves,
the turf has to be watered to prevent it
from shrinking, but if the weather is too
wet, the grass can grow 4-5 centimeters
in 3 days? The wonders of nature!

The Carpet for a Weekend

The Flower Carpet is only displayed for a
single weekend (the Weekend of the
Assumption).  The access to the Grand
Plaza is open and free of charge.  It is also
possible to have a panoramic view from
the City Hall for three euros.


E. Stautemans was born in Zottegem,
and graduated from the Ghent
Horticultural College. He had been
experimenting since the early 50's with
making simple small carpets, more like
rugs, consisting mainly of begonias. He
created them in Knokke, Oudenaarde, Sint-
Niklaas, Lille and other cities of Flanders.
He very quickly realised that floral carpets
would be an excellent vehicle for the
promotion of his beloved begonias which
he had always worked with, both
technically, economically and aesthetically.

After years of attempts and calculations,
this architect, who was inventive and
imaginative, and knew how to make the
most of the numerous resources of
begonias, became an expert in the creation
of superb floral carpets with sophisticated
colors and complicated designs.
His fame spread and he was asked to
make carpets not only in Belgium (Ghent,
Bruges, Antwerp, Ypres, Courtrai,
Hasselt, Tongres, Mons, Durbuy, …) but
worldwide (Cologne, Hamburg,
Luxemburg, Paris, London, Breda,
Amsterdam, The Hague, Vienna, Valencia,
and as far afield as Buenos Aires and
Colombus, Ohio).

Some of these carpets were bigger than
the ones created in Brussels (77 x 24 m),
like the 1973 masterpiece at Sint-
Pietersplein, Ghent that reached a gigantic
164 x 42 m.

However, as E. Stautemas himself says,
"Nowhere is the carpet more beautiful and
distinguished than in the unique, ancient
surroundings of the Grand-Place in
I googled "floral carpet" and got a ton of carpet websites, but no
flowers (though I admit I did miss a photo image link to a floral
carpet!). So I entered the word gardeners in "all these words," and
left "floral carpet" in "exact phrase." THAT worked. Two of the
many links were what I wanted.

The top link "Gardening in Alaska," is subtitled "floral carpet in
Belgium." Bingo-- the buildings do look European. It's not the right
carpet, but the right setting: the Grand Palace in Belgium
http://community.adn.com/node/129037 Good info: it's done every
two years. That one was in 2008.

Next promising link was the 7th one down (after 5 unrelated links):

Photos of more years, and good information. Scan the posts and
there's a link to the official website. Look even further down and
there is our carpet!

Marjorie Wilser
Pdf of 2010 Carpet Design
2010 Brussels Flower Carpet
From Friday 13 to Sunday 15 August 2010 at the Grand-Place in Brussels.

Every 2 years the Grand-Place in Brussels is covered with a flower carpet of begonias.
The carpet of 77 m x 24 m is composed by about 120 volunteers, with nearly one
million begonias.

The Flower Carpet is only installed for 1 weekend in August. The theme of 2010 is the
Belgian presidency of the European Union from 1 July to 31 December 2010. Nearly
700,000 flowers were used to make this year’s carpet.

The design can be seen in the
attachment. The logo of the EU will be visible in the
centre of the carpet. It was made by the Belgian designer Antoine Durieux. In the
corners, 2 images will be visible: Saint-Michael, the saint of the City of Brussels, and
the iris, as a symbol of the Region.

The construction and the result can be seen via the
webcam on the Grand-Place.

Schedule 2010:

Thursday 12 August (construction)

1 pm: one hundred florists bring the first begonias
10 pm: musical show and fireworks for everyone

Friday 13, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August 2010
9 am to 11 pm: City Hall is open to provide a panoramic view of the carpet from the
balcony. You can also see an exhibition of flower carpets from previous years


Where : Grand-Place

Address : Grand-Place - 1000 Brussels

Price and reduction: View from the City Hall: 3 euro. Children under 12 years can
enter for free. Access Grand-Place: free.

Attachment : Flower Carpet 2010.pdf (PDF, 1,41MB)

Telephone for information: 02 513 89 40      
Website for more information: http://www.brussel.be/4310
Official Flower Carpet website: http://www.flowercarpet.be
Organized by: Bloementapijt van Brussel vzw/Tapis de Fleurs de Bruxelles asbl
A digital camera on the Brussels Grand-Place allows each Internet
surfer to discover, day and night, the different aspects of the most
beautiful square in the world.

Situated on top of the House of the Dukes of Brabant, this webcam
enables everyone to take a look at the Grand-Place [plan] and the
events that take place there.

The Internet surfers can control the webcam for 30 seconds. They
can also steer it or perform a zoom.

Important: due to the massive interest in this webcam, it is possible
that at crowded moments the image may fail to display or that you
will have to wait before manoeuvring the camera.

here to use Webcam.
Year of the Landscapes,
Parks and Gardens
Brussels Millenium
Unity is Strength
Coats of Arms of the City of Brussels
The Chinese Carpet
Year of Mozart
The First Few Brussels Flower Carpets
Pictures of the 2010 Flower Carpet