The Easter celebration in St Peter's Square in Rome forms the backdrop for flowers and plants from Dutch growers and dealers. This year the orchid variety cymbidium is the ‘eyecatcher’. The main arranger, Paul Deckers, is creating the designs and choosing the colours in consultation with the Vatican.
Paul Deckers, main arranger, explained, "This year I chose cymbidium as the novelty in the project. This powerful, sturdy and pure flower will soon decorate and delight St Peter's Square. I am using green Cymbidium for the Pope's platform. Green is the colour of hope, strength, rest and peace. Of course, yellow must be present as it is the Easter and spring colour representing light and joy, which is why the lovely, huge yellow cymbidiums will be included in arrangements that rise up several metres. Cymbidium also stands for friendship and love. That is why the symbolism of this flower perfectly suits the Easter festival".
It is almost Easter
"As soon as the inhabitants of Rome see the Dutch arriving with truckloads of flowers, they say to each other: It is almost Easter again," laughs Paul. For two days over 25 arrangers and florists will work on the arrangements. Gardens will be created on the steps to St Peter's Square. Numerous arrangements will be placed there and on the Pope's balcony. Tall trees will be used, along with thousands of Avalanche roses, delphiniums, rose lilies and over 40,000 bulb flowers.
In this form of Holland promotion, the entire Dutch horticultural sector including Royal FloraHolland is involved. "Dutch flowers and plants will be clearly positioned in the international view," confirmed Deckers. This year the proud cymbidium growers are honoured that their 'power' Cymbidium will be the focus during the Easter festival on St Peter's Square. The preparations have already begun for the Easter celebration on Sunday, April 1. After pronouncing the Urbi et Orbi, Pope Francis will express his traditional thanks for the flowers from the Netherlands.