Before you take your first frolic through the flowers this weekend at Floriade in Commonwealth Park, we take a look back at some of the memories - good and bad - from over the years.
It was a grand scheme announced for a year of grand displays of national sentiment. A gift from the ACT Administration to the city in celebration of Canberra's 75th birthday and 200 years since white settlement in 1988.
The plan was to plant 120,000 tulips, 32,500 scillas and 500,000 grape hyacinths - among thousands more flowers - and have them bloom all at the same time in Commonwealth Park.
It would be a floriade - before it had a capital F. A gift that would keep on giving.
And the origin of the title for this newfangled floral celebration? Latin, The Canberra Times reported when the first festival was announced in 1987. The word was said to mean "to decorate with floral designs".
Well, not quite.
Elizabeth Minchin, a professor of classics at the Australian National University, said "floriade" derived very appropriately from a Latin word.
The Latin verb form "floreat", derived from "floreo" which means to be decked or covered with flowers", means "let it bloom".
"And that works really well," Professor Minchin said.
What did not work so well was the introduction in 1998 of an entry fee to the flower festival, already a much loved favourite on the Canberra calendar.
Sixty-six letters were sent to the editor of The Canberra Times on the very topic and 39 were published. Luckily some had a healthy vein of humour to accompany the outrage.
But there's been far more bloom than doom and gloom at Floriade over the years.
Thousands of Canberrans have painted garden gnomes for the much-loved competition over the years, raising money for local charities.
The 2005 gnome competition hopefuls, bedecked in their best rock'n'roll garb in honour of the festival's theme that year, had to brave the mud in heavy rain.
(Another Floriade fact: the gnome that won the first competition is safely stored by the Canberra Museum and Gallery. Stanley Patches, as he's known, won in 2000, when 5000 gnomes were mass produced and sold for $5 each to raise money for Koomari.)
From the superb to the sublime: in 2008, Sarah the duck took to the Floriade catwalk in a bespoke daffodil-patterned dress and hat to Love Is In The Air.
Brian Harrington, whose Pied Piper Duck Show brought Sarah to town, said, "I go to a lot of trouble to get the right duck. They're like us: they've either got it or they haven't."
Sarah, though, was the best. "It's just the way she walks and the way she poses. It's the same as the [models] on the catwalk: they have to strut their stuff and be upstanding, and that's what she's like," Mr Harrington told The Canberra Times.
The festival has also had its share of stoushes, over everything from a travelling concert organ to the very location the festival and where should be held.
But it's still a firm favourite, with the festival seeing a 10 per cent boost in attendance last year. More than 480,000 people pushed through the turnstiles to see the flower displays.
And finally spare a thought for Andrew Forster. Floriade's head gardner, who has been in the role for 23 years, must get a serious sense of deja vu each year when press photographers ask him to kneel down beside a flower bed.
This week, he posed again the same way for us as he did way back in 1999.
- Floriade runs from September 14 to October 13 and is open from 9.30am to 5.30pm, weather permitting. Entry is free.
- NightFest runs from October 3 to October 6, 6.30pm to 10.30pm. Tickets cost $32 for adults, $84 for a family of four, and $16.50 for concession and children.