Every year it happens, Spring arrives and I think I must visit the Tulip Festival; I have not been in such a long time. Then by the time I get around to it, it’s all over. The Festival is only on for one month, every year; this year I finally went and I was not disappointed. This is an iconic Melbourne institution which has been running every year since 1954.
Arriving early one Saturday morning with a friend, we had driven up to Silvan in the Dandenong Ranges with a little fog greeting us, the sun just breaking through. There was not a cloud in the sky, it was crisp with a promise of some warmth later in the morning.
There were fields of Tulips; every colour, shape and size I could think of and then more. There is more than just tulips, every week they have a slightly different festival, celebrating unique cultures, this weekend was primarily a Dutch Weekend, they also celebrate Turkish and Irish Weekend as well, plus a Jazz and Wine and a Children’s Weekend. There are market stalls, clog, clothing, food (so much food!), folk dancing, artwork, wood crafts, costumes, music. And of course you can buy tulips: cut ones, bulbs, pre planted bulbs, pots full of them, even hand made wooden ones. Many people came loaded with picnic baskets and lounge around on the extensive lawns amid the explosion of colour, listening to music and watch the festivities unfold, or wander through the seemingly endless offering of food from all over the world to sample and buy. It was a lot of fun. And such glorious spring sunshine, I could not have asked for a better day.
They have over 500,000 tulips planted and 120 different varieties available to view, in every shade of colour you could possibly think of, and varying sizes and shapes, long rows of them amongst fields of green. Row after row of colour, did you know that tulips originated in Turkey? I had no idea……..apparently they were only available in Brown! It was the Dutch who created the colours & varieties we have today. Apparently after looking at the images I took I am particularly drawn to the red varieties!
For more information on dates, times etc, please visit the Tesselaar web site. Til next time, happy snapping…..