Dutch bulb-growers celebrated their eleventh annual Tulip Day recently by filling a town square in Amsterdam with 200,000 tulips in full bloom and inviting the public to pick a bouquet for free. Although it’s much too early for tulips to be blooming outdoors in the Netherlands (these tulips were grown in greenhouses), Tulip Day marks the beginning of the season for tulips as cut flowers and in pots, and by the end of April this year over a billion tulip bulbs will be sold worldwide.
It’s still quite cold in Amsterdam, but people dressed warmly and had a great time. Each person was given a bag that would hold up to 20 tulips of whichever types they liked best. The tulips were grown in greenhouses and trucked to the site in shallow crates filled with a planting mix so light that people pulled the tulips up roots and all and then trimmed them for the vase when they got home. For photos - and the countdown calendar for Tulip Day 2024! - take a look at their website. And to plan a tulip-cutting garden of your own, you’ll find this year’s offerings and a handy chart for comparing bloom times at our website.