Can’t-Miss Programming at The Bohinj International Wild Flower Festival
Today kicks off the Bohinj International Wild Flower Festival, the conclusion to springtime celebrations in Slovenia. The two-week long nature series, now in its tenth year, boasts a plethora of workshops, lectures, walks, and exhibits interpreting the three themes at the heart of the festival: “Flowers in Art,” “Flowers in Everyday Life,” and “Flowers in Science”. This year’s topic, “Wild Orchids in Bohinj,” celebrates Bohinj as a botanical hotspot with an incredible array of uncommon orchids– some of which were discovered only last year.
The festival is just one facet of Slovenia’s increased commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness. Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital city, was recently awarded European Green Capital, having impressed the jury with its efforts to preserve green spaces (which comprise almost three-fourths of Ljubljana) and its urban efforts to reduce pollution. This year also marks Slovenia’s twenty-fifth anniversary of independence, making it an especially exciting time to visit the country.
Running from May 21st to June 5th, guests are sure to find something that interests them among the many events happening. Below we’ve put together the coolest events you shouldn’t miss.
“Orchids in Bohinj” (Photography Exhibit)
Orchids are typically thought of in the context of greenhouses, diligently maintained and far from their native tropical element. Photographer Peter Strgar’s work challenges this concept by drawing attention to the elusive beauty of wild orchids, which bloom during spring in unexpected places like mountain sides and dark forests. The exhibit is the culmination of thirteen years of work and documents forty distinct species of orchid.
“The Harmony of Water, Forests and Screes” (Guided Botanical Excursion)
Departing from St. John’s Church, this guided walk takes guests through the Fužinsko polje field, continues along the edge of the lake with views of the Julian Alps, passes the Govic waterfall, and enters into the forest screes. The tour then meanders through meadows, hedging the border of a swamp where the Savica river flows into the lake, and at last ending by crossing over the Savica river and taking a boat back to Ribčev Laz village. Visitors can look forward to spotting wild orchids, Hop Hornbeam, Twiggy Broom, Sternberg’s Pink, Knapweed, and many more exquisite plants.
“Slovenian Wild Orchids” (Lecture)
Contrary to the popular impression of orchids as fragile, temperamental, and confined to the glass walls of a greenhouse, orchids grow in a number of environments, including dry meadows, forests, and marshes. Stara Fužina leads a lecture on these beautiful, endangered plants.
“Edible Wild Flowers — Collecting and Preparing” (Workshop)
Guests venture out on a short walk to collect edible wild flowers with the help of a knowledgable instructor. Returning back to Ranch Mrcina, visitors will prepare fresh drinks and dishes before digging in.
“Let’s Walk Together to the Iris of Bohinj” (Guided Botanical Excursion)
Guests should pack a sturdy pair of shoes as they leave from Savica Village and head out along the left shore of the Sava Bohinjka River. Adventurers will wind though wide meadows where wild herbs and flowers grow. Advancing into a forest, the walk passes an overgrown rocky outcropping and opens out onto a meadow. The tour concludes with an interlude through a birch forest, and culminates in a scenic viewpoint of the lower Bohinj Valley. Hikers can look forward to Bohinj Iris, Carniola Lily, Bloody Crane’s Bill, and others along the way.
“In the Kingdom of Bees: Beekeeping Educational Trail” (Guided Botanical Excursion)
This two part educational trail begins with a history of beekeeping from Mišo Serajnik in the village of Bitnje. From there, guests are invited to a presentation of beekeeping in the village of Brod, complete with an observation colony. A delicious tasting of assorted honey products wraps up the session.
“Advancing into a forest, the walk passes an overgrown rocky outcropping and opens out onto a meadow. The tour concludes with an interlude through a birch forest, and culminates in a scenic viewpoint of the lower Bohinj Valley. Hikers can look forward to Bohinj Iris, Carniola Lily, Bloody Crane’s Bill, and others along the way…”
“Embroideries With Flower Motifs” (Workshop)
This workshop offers an incredible glimpse into the world of Slovenian folk needlework– a skill known today to only a few Bohinj housewives. The workshop is complemented by an exhibit of the women’s exquisite embroidery, knitting, and crochet work.
“Juliana Alpine Botanical Garden in the Trenta Valley” (Guided Botanical Excursion)
Located along the slopes of Kukla, guests arrive at the Juliana Alpine Botanical Garden by crossing the highest mountain pass in Slovenia (Vršič to Trenta). As the oldest botanical garden in Slovenia (now in its 90th year), guests will be treated to a rich history and extensive collection. From there, the tour moves to the Triglav National Park Trenta Lodge Information Centre for a brief presentation on the rich cultural landscape (both literal and metaphoric) of the area.
“Day-Flying Moths in Slovenia” (Photography Exhibit)
Stanislav Čičerov’s photographs seek to spotlight butterflies seen in the wild by capturing their fragile, mysterious beauty. The collection exhibits ninety types of day-moths, each of which are identified and described in an accompanying text. The corresponding lecture discusses the lives of these endangered species in Bohinj.
Check out the complete schedule to see what else is happening! Those attending should use #BIWFF and #IfeelsLOVEnia to hashtag their experiences. See you in the wild!