Posts Tagged ‘tulips’










I had two early Mother’s Days this year. There was one last Sunday with Suzanne’s family at Rhode Island’s Wicked Tulips Flower Farm and an epic birthday card by Suzanne’s kids (the 3-year-old insists all cards should be birthday cards). I also got flowers from my husband. I do love flowers.

Then yesterday at John’s house my daughter-in-law provided one of her delicious meals, and the grandchildren created the artistic Mother’s Day cards below. Both my kids gave me donations to beloved charities, too, which makes me happy.

By chance, the Boston Globe had an article about Wicked Tulips a couple days after I went there, so I’ll quote from it for background.

Cristela Guerra reported, “In a small town in Holland called Zwaagdijk, Jeroen Koeman’s last name is synonymous with flowers. Koeman’s father is a tulip farmer, as are his older brothers. So try as he might to leave the family business, the 36-year-old found his way back to the flowers.

“Since 2015, on a small plot in the town of Johnston, R.I., the Dutch farmer has grown acres of tulips in rows of deep purples, oranges, and sunset reds. …

“Koeman said, ‘When we came here, we fell in love. It’s kind of magical. When you drive through Johnston, you never, ever expect to land on the piece of heaven that we have over here.’

“Koeman leases and tills the state-owned soil on the edges of Snake Den State Park, alongside other farmers like himself. The project, called Snake Den Farm, resulted from a partnership between the state and the nonprofit Northern Rhode Island Conservation District to return the land to agricultural production. …

“Turns out, the climate in Rhode Island happens to be perfect for tulips. The Koemans work year-round to prepare for one ‘U-pick’ event in the spring that lasts for a month — if they’re lucky. …

“Their first year brought out close to 20,000 people all eager to tiptoe through the tulips. The second year brought close to 40,000. …

“ ‘We are not about just the bouquet of flowers,’ Jeroen said, ‘but the whole experience of walking in a blooming tulip field.’ ”

More here. Check out the impressive array of photos.

Suzanne told me that the farm never knows precisely when the tulips will be ready in the spring, so you have to be alert and buy tickets as soon as they go online.


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Photo: Amy Sterling
Amy Sterling’s guerrilla-gardening campaign means tulips will be blooming in unexpected places come spring. You could do this in your neighborhood.

Boston Globe reporter Steve Annear gets all the fun stories. Here is one that John knew at once was made for this blog. I do love public-spirited projects that people organize just for the heck of it.

“Amy Sterling had tulips on the brain,” writes Annear. “After returning from a recent trip to Amsterdam, where she served on a panel about artificial intelligence, the Cambridge resident went to a home improvement store and picked up a bag of bulbs so she could plant the spring-blooming flowers in her yard.

“When she was finished gardening, Sterling and her husband, Will, realized they had about 50 bulbs left over. In a moment of spontaneity, they decided to bury them in random places around their neighborhood near Inman Square.

“Now Sterling wants others to do likewise and participate in this act of so-called ‘guerrilla gardening.’ …

“ ‘It’s just a way to cheer people up,’ Sterling said. ‘Get outside, it’s super nice out, go plant some stuff, and then sit back and relax — and when spring comes, you can enjoy the spoils.’ …

“After burying bulbs beneath public trees in Cambridge Sunday, she posted a picture of herself, shovel in hand, to the Boston Reddit page, as a way to spread some happiness, [and] others quickly latched on to the concept. …

“Sterling started calling around to Home Depot stores in the area, asking if they’d be willing to donate to the cause. In the days since sharing her impromptu project with others online, Sterling has collected hundreds of additional bulbs, she said. …

“Sterling said she chose tulips because they’re ‘a signifier of the death throes of winter’ and require very little maintenance. You dig a hole, plop the bulb in the ground, cover it up, and then just wait, she said. …

“She has also started a Google signup sheet for the ‘Boston Tulip Takeover,’ where people can get a free bag of tulips to plant around their neighborhood.

“ ‘We need some actions to bring us together,’ she said, noting that the news has been particularly hard to swallow lately. ‘And remind us that people are generally pretty nice and want to do well for their neighbors.’ ”

More at the Boston Globe, here.

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