It made sense for a scaled-down Floriade to be launched at the scaled-down world that is Cockington Green Gardens, because it is proof that something small can also pack a big punch.
Canberra's celebration of spring kicks off this weekend, but COVID-19 restrictions mean this year Floriade will be different. The 1 million bulbs and annuals are not in Commonwealth Park, but have instead been planted across the city - from local shops to hospitals to churches to schools.
Chief Minister and Tourism Minister Andrew Barr earlier this year announced that Floriade in its traditional form would be cancelled for the first time in its 32-year history, as there was no way he could allow 500,000 people in Commonwealth Park in September.
That has meant a lot of reorganising and "reimagining" .
Floriade: Reimagined will run from this Saturday to October 11, with workshops, entertainment and a marketplace online, but also a number of live events. Many of these will be at Cockington Green Gardens, where 14,000 bulbs from the Floriade collection are wending their way around its whimsical displays of miniature scenes and structures.
Floriade: Reimagined executive producer Vickii Cotter said all the flowering sites were detailed on an interactive map - found at floriadeaustralia.com - which families, visitors and others could tick off as they made their way around the Tulip Trail.
"We have a whole lot in store with Floriade: Reimagined this year. It is completely different, obviously, not being in its home in Commonwealth Park," Ms Cotter said.
"[One] of the key things we have done to bring Floriade to life is actually create over 130 different sites and we've been able to do that by working with a huge number of community groups."
The Floriade gnomes have also left their traditional home in Commonwealth Park and are out hiding on the Tulip Trail. Clues to find them are also on the Floriade website.
At Thursday's launch, Floriade head gardener Andrew Forster was feeling invigorated by the need to think outside the square this year for what is his 23rd Floriade.
"Canberra's going to be wonderful over the next month with the Tulip Trail," he said.
"Wherever, you go there are going to be flowers to enjoy."
Cockington Green Gardens general manager Mark Sarah was also upbeat, with 80 linear metres of new gardens built at the Canberra tourism icon to accommodate the Floriade plantings.
"Normally we don't plant so many tulips in our gardens , but this year, we've really gone to town with them because we had the opportunity," Mr Sarah said.
COVID-19 had forced the tourism industry to think differently, he believed.
"It was great working with VisitCanberra and EventsACT, it's really brought us closer together."
Photography workshops would also be held at both Cockington Green and Lanyon Homestead.
"So there's going to be 20 photographers a week loose in our displays before opening so they get the whole place to themselves and taking photos of our beautiful gardens, which is another fantastic thing to happen," Mr Sarah said.
Dogs Day Out, a popular Floriade event, is now Dogs Day In, and it would be held at Cockington Greens on the final Sunday.
"For the first time ever, Canberrans are going to be allowed into Cockington Greens with their pooches and that will be happening after hours," Mr Sarah said.
"We're going to be limited with numbers, of course, and we'll be working with the RSPCA on that afternoon."
NightFest also becomes a one-night event - on Friday, October 2 - with restaurants and eateries offering special springtime menus. And there will also be a chance to order a Floriade foodie pack, curated Spotify playlist and kit to make one of the festival's signature lanterns.
- All the details are floriadeaustralia.com.