A few days ago, with the temperature soaring in the high twenties, I stopped by the Canadian Tulip Festival at Dow’s Lake for a few hours with a good friend.
I’ve lived in and around Ottawa (Canada’s capital city) for more than 30 years and I’ve always eagerly awaited this vibrant festival and the wide swaths of colour that adorn the city for weeks while the 1 million tulips are in bloom.
2017 is the 65th anniversary of the festival — one of the largest events of its kind in the world — and this year it coincides with Canada’s 150th birthday. The festival celebrates Ottawa’s official flower as a symbol of international friendship and peace.
As well as tulip displays, the festival also includes music performances, speakers and exhibits of international cuisine as well as fireworks.
In 1945, the Dutch royal family sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa to thank Canadians having sheltered Princess Juliana and her daughters for three years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, in the Second World War. The festival started as a way to showcase this wonderful gift.
The tulips — over 300,000 of them planted by the lake alone — were incredibly diverse in colour and appearance, so much so that some did not even look like tulips. A special feature this year is the Canada 150 tulip bred to look like the Canadian flag.
The people out enjoying the tulip displays were enthusiastic, light-hearted and equally diverse. As well as Ottawans, more than a half a million visitors are drawn to the festival every year. Almost everyone was snapping pictures of the tulips and having their pictures taken among the tulips. It was a joy to behold.
19 thoughts on “Tulips, tulips, tulips…”
Glorious, Sherry! What a celebration of nature and color. Love your black and whites, too!
Thank YOU Cheryl for dropping by and such kind words. It was a superb day and the display certainly reminds one of Holland. Lucky you to have been the tulip festival there!
Thank you Lisa, for such a sweet message.
This looks like such a great day. Even the weather co-operated. I went to Holland to their tulip festival and this looks just as lovely. The slide show is delightful and I can’t pick a favorite, although the abstract is high on my list. You did a lovely job of capturing the bright flowers and also the black and white shots fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing.
What an interesting story of the tulip bulbs, Sherry!
I just love each of these photographs.
So nicely done.
Have a wonderful week, my friend.
Gorgeous shots of the tulip festval. Loving your slide show!
I hope so too, but no promises – am ridiculously busy, trying to catch up on garden work after our long, cold, wet spring and a boat trip! Almost the end of May and I don’t even have all my greens planted yet!
Thanks, Elena. I thought you would like that one!
Many thanks, Joe!
I was so happy to see them! It feels like we waited so long…I have peonies coming up now but they will still be a while. I wish I had columbines and poppies. Hope you post pics of some of yours, Laurie!
Thanks, Peg. Glad you enjoyed the history as well…
If it hadn’t been so hot that day I would have explored even more! There were so many possibilities. I was taken with the young girl too…
Lee, you’re a fortunate one to have enjoyed the flora of two very different climates! Thanks for dropping in and leaving your sweet comment. I love hearing which image people respond to most.
So beautiful! Being from the American Southwest, I seldom saw tulips or other flowering spring bulbs because the climate doesn’t support them. They are one of the things I enjoy most about spring now that I live in New England. My favorite photo from your collection here is the one of that single orange tulip against the blue background. The blue so compliments and enhances the lovely soft orange.
Hi Sherry — you’ve captured the lush diversity of the humble flower! I love “A Different View”, and also the black and white shot of the young girl. Thanks! xo Mary Lou
Very beautiful. Also thank you for the history.
I love the abstract hyacinth bed! (though the tulips are lovely too, especially “tulip jumble”. Glad to hear that spring has fully arrived! My tulips are well and truly finished (a week or two ago) – we’re on to columbines, peonies and almost to the poppies here. It all flows by so quickly!
Gorgeous images Sherry 🙂
I love them all, but the abstract is truly incredible!