I love spring. It’s a magical time of year. Everything around me is transformed from dull grey, black and brown to tender green with splashes of colour. It’s the time when everything wakes up from its winter slumber and comes alive again.
Last week, when I looked out my living room window, just the tiniest bit of green was visible. Now when I look out, not only are the trees in full leaf, but some flowers are blooming too.
I’ve always loved flowers. I love the excitement of discovering that a new flower is in bloom today. It could be a garden flower or a wildflower, the sense of awe is the same. I am always actively looking for new ones. Some days I have more success than others.
Right now, the tulips are in bloom. I planted some for the first time two falls ago. I planted some more last fall. Growing tulips here is challenging. I am waging an ongoing battle with the squirrels. They dig up the bulbs shortly after planting, they find some they missed in the spring, and then they eat the leaves of the remaining ones as they are growing. Luckily, they have left me a few, so I have some bright spots of colour to enjoy.
Although I have only been able to get a few tulips to survive, I have lots of opportunity right now to admire tulips. The city of Ottawa is awash in tulips. Most of the city’s parks have extensive tulip beds. The city is ablaze in colour.
The massive display is part of the Canadian Tulip Festival. It’s the largest tulip festival in North America.
The Tulip Festival started in 1953 in commemoration of Canada’s role in liberating the Dutch in WWII, and providing refuge to members of the Dutch Royal Family at that time. A grateful Princess Juliana gifted Canada with thousands of tulip bulbs on an annual basis. These bulbs were the starting point of the festival. Today, over 1 million tulips bloom in the city. The tulips are an impressive site.
The sheer number of tulips is impressive. The riot of colour is cheerful and uplifting. One can’t help but smile when admiring them. Dow’s Lake is the site of some of the most extensive tulip beds. Greg and I hope to go there on Monday to take it all in.
What’s blooming in your backyard right now?