Friday, October 29, 2010

Inspiration From the Holland (MI) Tulip Festival

There's a reason for my bulb-buying bonanza this fall. I'm not going to blame it all on this, but it certainly was a huge influence. Earlier this year on the first weekend of May, Mom and I traveled to Holland, Michigan, for the Tulip Festival.  She's been there before, but it was my first time and something I'd wanted to do for a long time.

We picked a good year to go. According to a high school friend who lives in Holland, some years the festival is a "stemfest." Most of the tulips are past bloom and visitors to the festival don't get the full experience of seeing what Mom and I saw when we were there.

Lake Michigan near Saugatuck

Holland is a remarkable and unique city on the west side of lower Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan. It's a clean and beautiful place, most especially when it's Tulip Time. We spent three days there, including an afternoon in nearby Saugatuck. I'll let these photos speak of our experiences.

Just outside the greenhouse at Windmill Island

Inside the greenhouse at Windmill Island

Kids doing Dutch dancing in Centennial Park

Windmill Island

Parrot tulips

You don't see signs like this on a hotel door just anywhere!

Mom takes note of those tulips she might want to order.

Rhododendrons and tulips go beautifully together.

Countless streets are all dressed up for Tulip Time.

Peony tulip 'Angelique'

Lily-flowering tulips

A tulip field at Windmill Island

Lily-flowering tulips

Downtown Holland
More lily-flowering tulips

Holland, MI is home to the largest working windmill outside The Netherlands.

Unveiled in 2009, 'America's Holland' tulip was developed in the North
Holland province of The Netherlands over the previous five years to honor
the 80th anniversary of the Holland (MI) tulip festival.

This house was fairy-tale like. We LOVED it!

Fritillaria 'Crown Imperial'

The sun sets over Kollen Park on the final night of the Tulip Time Festival.

And now you might be able to understand why I bought so many tulips to plant this fall.

EDIT: Robin, of Life in Robin's Nest (Central Ohio), visited Holland, MI, this fall and posted photos of her visit. I found it interesting to see the places we visited in a different season. Check it out!


CanadianGardenJoy said...

Kylee girl thank you for stopping by and visiting my garden and I, and of course the "girls" : )
I simply loved this post and it reminded me how lucky I was to live in the Netherlands for 4 years and to see the amazing fields upon fields of beautiful Spring bulbs .. yes those stunning waves of colour from tulips!
Also visiting the Keukenhof which would make even the most hard core gardener melt in their wooden shoes? LOL
But this wonderful place would convert anyone to planting more Spring bulbs no matter how they felt about it ?
Your "more" is amazing .. I bow to the bulb guru !!
Your pictures are beautiful and your thinking is perfect girl !
Let the "tulip" wave begin : )
Joy .. yes .. I do have wooden shoes ! hehehehe
PS the jello thing is too true though .. I know about that one !
hehehehehe ... oops

Christopher Tidrick said...

Beautiful. I think another road trip is in store for me next spring!!!

Jan said...

What lovely photos. I love tulips, but living this far south, I don't plant them since they require so much pre-planting work and often fade so fast in our heat. However, I do enjoy so much gazing at pictures like yours. I know your garden will look so lovely when your purchases bloom.

Always Growing

Earth Girl said...

This reminds me of our trip to Holland (Michigan) 18 years ago during the peak bloom season. We camped with my in-laws on the lake shore. The next fall, I too planted hundreds of tulips. Because the critters here love tulip bulbs so much, I have been slowly switching to spring bulbs that last longer. I did plant 500 tulip bulbs in a fenced garden this fall for my cut flower business, with a staggered bloom season. I hope the fencing works. I wonder how they handle this in Michigan.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Kylee thank you so much again for being so sweet .. I think we all carry some "blog guilt" with us don't we ? .. not enough time and energy to do all of the things we want to do .. and here on my dining room table sits the last box of bulbs telling me I better get in gear or the snow will make it difficult to find my spots to plant them in .. eeekkk ! haha
Again .. I am so happy to see these pictures and remember my stay there! Thanks you !
Joy : )

Anonymous said...

That's funny Kylee, because I recently posted about my own recent trip to Holland Michigan! But we were there in September, and I vowed then and there to visit in May. I haven't see the Tulip Festival since I was a little girl in wooden shoes! Your pictures just clinched my decision.

Kylee Baumle said...

Joy ~ WOW! You WERE lucky to get to live there! I can't even imagine how beautiful that must be in the spring with all those tulips they're so famous for.
Great to see you here! We've already discussed the busy-ness factor. What are we going to do about that? I don't want to give anything up. LOL

Chris ~ You MUST visit Holland the first weekend in May and you MUST visit Our Little Acre...ANYTIME! :-)

Jan ~ It was a shock to me the first time I heard that people in the south couldn't grow tulips without pre-chilling them. They're so common here! But then, we can't grow crape myrtles either. There's that zone envy thing!

Martha ~ Fortunately, we don't have a critter problem. At least I've not noticed one prior to this and there are plenty of bulbs here already. I hope your fence keeps the critters out! I wonder what they do in Michigan, too. Hmmm...

Robin ~ Oh, I'll have to head over there and read about your trip! Like Joy says, we all carry some "blog guilt" around with us. I don't get around to all my favorite blogs nearly as often as I used to nor as often as I'd like.
Yes, you MUST get to Holland next spring!

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