Friday, May 14, 2010

Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa

After talking about it for several years, we decided to head to Ottawa to see the Tulip Festival. In 1945 the Dutch Royal family sent 100,000 bulbs to Canada in gratitude for having sheltered Princess Juliana and her two daughters during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. In 1943, Princess Juliana gave birth to a third daughter in the Ottawa Civic Hospital. A portion of the maternity ward was declared part of Holland, so that the baby would be born on Dutch soil. (I guess anything can be done when you want it!)

After the war, Princess Juliana sent another 20,000 bulbs requesting that a display be set up at the hospital and promised to send an additional 10,000 bulbs each year.

Ottawa began to be known for its tulip displays and the first Tulip Festival was held in 1953. Millions of tulips bloom in Ottawa every spring, with more than 300,000 at Dow's Lake.

We're approaching Dow's Lake here, on a beautiful sunny day...

There are some gorgeous houses...many of them could possibly be embassies, as there are more than 100 of them in Ottawa.

Lots of bikers and joggers...it looks quite serene here.

One of the first large beds we came upon...

Many different varieties...which is a good thing because some of them were already finished blooming...

Like these...

The festival is supposed to go on until the Victoria Day weekend...

Ahhhhh....it doesn't get any better than this! Tulips and lilacs at the same time...heaven!


Jim's favourite...he loves Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman"...


These look so delicate...

Jim thought that they started as one colour (white) and then turned red, or vice versa. Have you ever heard of this?

They had a nice area set up with a series of displays explaining how the festival began...

A tremendous amount of work goes into the beds each year...

Gorgeous!

How cute is this? We heard tons of children yelling "Cheeeeese" as they posed for their parents.

Here is a bed that is finished blooming...I wonder if the wonderful weather we had at Easter had the tulips blooming early? I wouldn't want to be waiting for the long weekend to come and see them.

How the Tulip Festival began...

What an awesome name!

Pink, white and black all together...what a beautiful collection!

A sea of tulips!

I love the colour of these ones...

And these!! I love them all!

These are monsters!

And look at these with the ragged edges...

It's a good thing tulips don't have a strong fragrance...we would have been overcome!

Perfect bloom...

A beautiful park...

We were filled with tulips...at least enough to last us until we see the ones on Parliament Hill.

It's supposed to rain tomorrow so we may head to the Museum of Civilization and save the Peace Tower and Parliament Hill for the weekend...

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