select - Tulip Festivals
Written by Brian Johnston
An Ottoman vizier called them ‘the chosen of the chosen’ and lauded their curved form and beauty. We’ve been admiring tulips ever since: here are five fine places to celebrate them.
For spectacular displays of tulips, Keukenhof park near the town of Lisse is unbeatable. The renowned gardens are planted with six million bulbs, many of which are tulips and daffodils, clumped together in colourful masses that bloom from early April until May 17 this year. Inside the pavilions, you can also inspect rare and new tulip varieties. The park also runs flower photography and arrangement workshops. In the surrounding fields, you’ll see tulips planted in neat rows, adding a palette of pinks and yellows to the landscape. keukenhof.nl
Distance: 4,916 km
Flight Time: 6 hours, 35 minutes
New York, USA
No one outside the Netherlands has embraced tulip culture more than the Americans, thanks in part to their immigrant population. The New York Botanical Garden has one of the country’s most accessible and impressive tulip displays in early May, with over 45,000 bulbs. Meanwhile, from May 9–10 this year, the Albany Tulip Festival gets going in upper New York State, with thousands of tulips displayed in Washington Park and an Albany Tulip Queen crowned as the festival highlight.
nybg.org / albanyevents.org
New York, USA
Distance: 10,792 km
Flight Time: 14 hours, 10 minutes
The glorious Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa – which runs from May 8–18 this year – is now the largest in the world. It began half a century ago when the Dutch royal family presented 100,000 tulip bulbs to the city in recognition of Canada’s role in liberating the Dutch during the Second World War. A 15km Tulip Route links museums, attractions, and tulip displays, and the festival culminates in a Water Parade of spectacularly decorated boats along Rideau Canal. The most fantastic displays of tulips are around Dow’s Lake. tulipfestival.ca
Distance: 10,414 km
Flight Time: 13 hours, 40 mins
Frequency: 3 flights a week
The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden bursts with over a million blooms and 70 types of flowers. Its annual tulip festival features cultural events, handicrafts, and traditional Kashmiri food stalls; Bollywood celebrities also make an appearance. The garden has a lovely location overlooking Dal Lake, Kashmir’s most famous scenic attraction, with the snow-capped Zabarwan Range in the background.
Distance: 2,385 km
Flight Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes
Historic Pashley Manor has one of the finest gardens in England, and its Tulip Festival (April 22 to May 4) is a highlight. Displaying over 25,000 tulips of some 100 varieties planted in impressive massed flowerbeds, there are pinks and whites in the terrace garden; whites, yellows, and apricots in the Elizabethan garden; and stunning reds and oranges in the herbaceous borders. Some 2,000 cut tulips are also put on display.
Distance: 5,219 km
Flight Time: 7 hours, 35 minutes
Frequency: 6 flights a day