A Canadian Perspective on Tulips by Catherine Collins

When I moved into my home 12 years ago in the month of December, I was excited for the snow to clear to discover what was growing in my new garden.  One early April morning, I gazed out across the yard and into my flowerbed, nestled against my common suburbia white picket fence. A few small mounds of snow sparkled from the sunlight. Something was different though, the melted snow had exposed the very beginnings of green stems. Tulips, I know them well, and I clapped excitedly at the first signs of garden life after a long cold winter. I picked the perfect city of Ottawa Ontario to enjoy my favorite flower.  Tulips are celebrated with great extravagance here.

As the good Canadians we are, in 1940 Canada provided refuge to The Royal Dutch family Princess Juliana and her daughters Princess Beatrix and Princess Irene. After 5 years of Canadian protection, they returned to their homeland in the Netherlands. In appreciation for the care and security that Canada had provided and in gratitude for the Canadian soldiers that fought for her homeland, Princess Juliana provided Canada with gifts which included 100,000 tulip bulbs. This tradition continued every year, sending thousands of bulbs until the end of her reign in 1980.

This bond between Canada and the Netherlands continues to be celebrated every year in the capital with an extraordinary display of vast varieties of tulips throughout the city during the May Tulip Festival.

Are you active on Pinterest? Spread the Tulip love! The image below has been optimized to look wonderful on one of your boards there. Facebook and Twitter would be lovely as well. Thanks!

Reasons to Plant Tulips in your Garden

Reasons You Should Consider Tulips in your Garden This Spring

  1. Great Return Policy – Tulips return to your garden every year once the bulbs are planted


  1. Variety – The colors and varieties of tulips available is simply massive and with a little research, you can create your own tulip garden festival.


  1. Easy Planting – Plant your bulbs once the warmer weather is done with and the evenings get cool. Your tulips will be best in a spot with afternoon sun. Place them approximately 4-6 inches apart and fairly deep at about 8 inches with the pointed end of the bulb facing towards the sky. Bulbs are not meant to be out of the ground so do not hang on to them too long before you plant. Cover with soil and water.


  1. Low Maintenance – Deadhead the tulips once flowering is complete. After about six weeks you can cut the foliage down to ground level.


  1. Feel Good Flower – After a long winter, to see that green stem poke through the soil, you can’t help but smile. It is one of the most beautiful flowers that spring has to offer.