The breathtaking beauty of these ribbons of tulips grown in the Netherlands is courtesy of a drone image. How I would love to see this in person!
Recently I was sitting next to a neighbour (at one of our weekly Wine Wednesday get-togethers) who is from Holland. He started our conversation by asking if I was excited about getting back into my garden. After some grumblings about the weather and the late Spring, the conversation got around to the tulip fields in Holland. I told him how much I’d love to be in Holland in the Spring to see how beautiful this must be. His comeback was, “why don’t you go to Ottawa to see the Tulip Festival there?” I’m embarrassed to say I had no idea it even existed! He then enlightened me… he is a university professor, and I felt like I was attending a fascinating history lecture.
During the German occupation (WW11), the Dutch Royal family fled the Netherlands. In 1940, Crown Princess Juliana, and her two young daughters, found a safe haven in Ottawa. Another daughter, Princess Margriet, was born in Canada in 1943 at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. For the newborn princess to inherit her Dutch citizenship, the hospital was temporarily declared an international territory. As a sign of gratitude, the Dutch royal family gifted Canada 100,000 tulips and to this day, Holland sends over 20,000 tulips to Ottawa every year.
The photos below are of the Tulip Festival in Ottawa, held every year in May.
The spring-flowering tulip is part of the lily family. Although tulips are the symbol of the Netherlands, they originated from the mountain ranges in Asia. All of Europe became fascinated by tulips’ exotic and rare beauty. Tulips found their way to Holland by the end of the 16th century, and a century later the tulip craze was known as Tulip Mania. The price of tulips soared and at one point, was used as currency with a monetary value higher than land.
This week I visited the Muttart Conservatory to see the tulip (and daffodils and hyacinth) display in the Feature Pyramid…I was not disappointed. Upon entering the glass pyramid, the beauty is breathtaking and the scent intoxicating. If you want a reminder of what Spring is, I encourage you to visit this heavenly conservatory in our river valley.
Below are photos I took during my visit.