Belgium, Blossoming Stamps for The Gent Floralies.

The world s biggest five-yearly indoor plant event returns this year.

Over the past 200 years, thè Ghent Floralies have grown into one of the cultura! high points of the year, attracting visitors from through-out the globe.

This year, between 17 and 25 April, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the work of around 300 exhibitors and 24 world-class fiorai artists.

It has become a traditori for De Post-La Poste to issue special postage stamps to celebrate this event.

This year the Lychnis atrosanguinea (Mullein Pink) and the Nicotiana alata (winged tobacco) are depicted on the special issue.

As special touch, a Mullein Pink seed is attached to each stamp sheetlet. Simply sow thè seed in moist soli and let nature do thè resti For this special issue and more, visit thè Stamps & Philately booth at thè Floralies.

It's highly probable that we'll bump into retired postman and proud owner of an almost complete Ghent Floralies collection Pierre De Braekeleir on thè event's opening day. 'I started my Ghent Floralies collection in 1970 when my landlord gave me free passes to that year's exhibition.

Since then, l've tried to get my hands on every postai product relating to the Floralies. I have ali the stamps since thè first series in 1955 and a large number of postmarks, including a cancellation from 1933.

My favourite item is something I made myself and no one else has,' he reveals. 'I stuck a postage stamp to my VIP invitations from thè 2005 event and had it postmarked at the post office.

A unique creation of my own that I am very proud of! Wfiat I would like to have in my col­lection is a badge like thè staff used to wear.' Pierre is a big nature-lover. 'I always take my camera when I go for a walk and when I see a flower I don't know yet, I take a photo. I am a nature-lover/ he smiles. His big passion are orchids.

They are the main reason I visit the Floralies, but I also enjoy thè new trends in flower arrangement and thè presentation of the plants. Especìally if there are water gardens. I love that!'

The Ghent postage stamp club "Het Volk" is responsible for first-day cancellation of the Floralies postage stamps at thè city's botanical gardens. Pierre will be exhibiting his collection on that day.
It's a first for him and the club. I'm working hard to get my stuff together and make a presentation on six or seven panels.

It's a lot of effort, especially if you want to show a bit of everything,1 says Pierre. 'But it is definitively not my intention to enter it into competitions. My other hobby - here at home they cali it an obsession (smilìng) - takes up too much of my time for that. ' Pierre is secretary of thè "Koninklijke Kynologische Maatschappij der Vlaanderen", an association of dog-lovers that organises one of thè biggest dog shows in Flanders.

The biennial Flanders Dog, which was scheduled for thè end of February this year.

The "Maatschappij voor Landbouw en Kruidkunde" was founded in Ghent on 10 October 1808. Ite first show took piace in thè "Au Jardin de Frascati "hostel.
The first major five-yearly show, later calieri thè Floralies, was held in 1839. The Ghent Floralies have been held at Flanders Expo since 1990.
• 4.5 ha indoor garden, thè world's biggest
• 2 km trail
• 300,000 visitors
• 500 competitions
• 305 exhibitors
• 24 fiorai artists
• 22,000 cu m earth
• 440 sq m water surface
• Foreign participants from Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kenya, the Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden and the United States.
• 700 staff


Issue Date: 15/03/2010
Theme: a new edition of the Ghent Floralies.
Sheet with real flower seed: Zalychnis Cor. Agrostemma.
a) Nicotiana alata
b) Lychnis coronaria
Creation: Jean Libert& Guillaume Broux
Denomination: O
Price of thè sheetlet: € 5,90
Stamp size: 27,66 mm x 40,20 mm
Sheetlet size: 160 mm x 155 mm
Presentation: 2x5 postage stamps
Paper: GPWphosphorescent
Printing method: combined rotogravure and steel engraving
Perforation: 11 '/?
Engraving (cylinders): De Schutter 'Neroc sa
Printing: Stamps Production Belgium

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