Tulips are not only a sign of Spring, but they have a special place in Ottawa’s heart. The Tulip Festival is on now in the Nation’s Capital and they’re beautiful. Rows and rows of different colours and types of tulips grace the flower beds and draw crowds from all over the world!
Every spring, Ottawa-Gatineau comes alive with a dazzling display of colourful tulips. Close to one million of the flowers bloom in parks and gardens across the Capital Region. The tulips are part of a tradition that dates back to the Second World War, and are a symbol of the enduring friendship between Canada and the Netherlands.
When the Netherlands was invaded during the Second World War, Dutch Princess Juliana and her family were forced to flee. Juliana and her two young daughters set sail for Canada, an allied country and safe haven far from the conflict.
In 1943, the bond between Canada and the Netherlands was made even stronger, when the Princess’ third child, Margriet, was born at the Civic Hospital in Ottawa.
In the occupied Netherlands, the Dutch people experienced hardship, oppression and starvation. In 1945, their ordeal came to an end as the Allies advanced across the country. Canadians played a significant role in the liberation of the Netherlands, an accomplishment for which the Dutch still remember us today.
After the war, the Dutch people and Princess Juliana expressed their thanks to Canada by sending thousands of tulip bulbs to the Capital. The Gift of Tulips became a yearly tradition. Every year, the Dutch Royal Family and the people of the Netherlands each send 10,000 bulbs to Ottawa.
The Gift is planted in two flower beds in Ottawa. One bed, at the Ottawa Hospital, Civic Campus, pays tribute to the birth of Princess Margriet. The other is the Queen Juliana Gift Bed in Commissioners Park. The tulips planted in these beds are in shades of pink and purple – Juliana’s favourite colours.
Tip Toe Through the Tulips – Styling 101
This is a picture of my oldest son when he was about 8 months old. Muah!!
Tulips are one of my favourite flowers to use in my home. Not only are they beautiful, inexpensive, come in tons of colours, but they also last longer than many other flowers. Here are a few ideas on how to add style to your home using tulips.
Try using a short dish to display just the petals:
Sticking to one colour creates cohesion in the space. This tulip vase is from Pottery Barn. Love it! Not only do I use it for tulips but it works all year-long for various seasons.
Have a mirror over your mantel or front hall table? Adding a vase of tulips will reflect the light and scream Spring!
So next time you need to run to the grocery store to get bread, pick up a few bunches of tulips to add to your beautiful space.
Keep it Beautiful.