Tulip Time

20130514_100543Every spring here in Ottawa we celebrate the beginning of the season with the blossoming of the tulip at the Canadian Tulip Festival. Of course, you have to understand that I’m not talking about a small grouping of tulips like you would find in a home garden. I’m talking about the largest tulip festival in the world! At Dow’s Lake (Commissioners Park) where I was today, there are 30 huge beds filled with 300,000 tulips of 60 different varieties. Citywide, there are nearly a million tulips in full bloom. I’m sure you can imagine how extraordinarily colourful and beautiful it is here at this time of year (despite the cold).

The tulips are a special gift from Holland to Canada. During the second world war, Canadian troops helped to liberate the Dutch people and to give safe harbour to the royal family during the German occupation creating a close bond of friendship between the two countries. The tulip is a symbol of this friendship and every year since 1953, this symbol has been celebrated at the festival. The National Capital Commission (NCC) is responsible for planting and maintaining the tulip beds. The displays are no less than stunning. Their gardeners effectively preserve the heritage of the festival by attracting and impressing hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

If you would like to read more about the history between Canada and Holland, please click here to go to the official Canadian Tulip Festival website.

Once again, I had only my lowly Samsung phone with me, but I managed to capture several nice shots of the beauty that surrounded me today. I thought I would share them with you. Enjoy.

Pink and White Beauties
Pink and White Beauties
The beds seem to stretch on forever.
The beds seem to stretch on forever.
Yellow and Red with Pink Apple blossoms
Yellow and Red with Pink Apple blossoms
The Grape Hyacinth
The Grape Hyacinth
Let the Sun Shine In
Let the Sun Shine In
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9 thoughts on “Tulip Time

  1. This is not the first time I read about the gratittude Dutch people have for Canadians due to their help during WWII. It’s good to see that something good came out from something so awful as a war.
    Back to the topic of your post… beautiful tulips!

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    1. I agree, Gabriela. They are beautiful. 🙂 It’s nice to remember and retell stories of human kindness and brave action that went on in time of strife.

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  2. “But I have always thought that these tulips must have had names. They were red, and orange and red, and red and orange and yellow, like the ember in a nursery fire of a winter’s evening. I remember them.”
    ~Neil Gaiman
    Thank you for yet another beautiful round of your Ottawa!!!

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    1. Thanks, Hebe. I was lucky actually. Because of the cold weather, the tulips were barely out of the ground by the time the festival began. Two weeks later I wasn’t sure what I would find but they are as you see them here. Glorious!

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