The Tulip Festival arrives at Union Sq 4/7 and visitors can get 10 free flowers

The Tulip Festival arrives at Union Sq 4/7 and visitors can get 10 free flowers

It’s no secret that the Netherlands is the epicenter of all things tulips, but in the coming days New Yorkers will have the chance to experience the bloom and colors for themselves, and even get ten free tulips.

Royal Anthos, representing Dutch companies that distribute bulbs worldwide, is bringing San Francisco’s famous Tulip Festival to New York. On Sunday, April 7 between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Union Square Park, more than 200,000 tulips will be on display. Moreover, each visitor can receive ten free flowers.

“We are thrilled to share the beauty and excitement of so many tulip varieties with New Yorkers at this one-day event.” said Marc-Jean Terwent, General Manager of Royal Anthos.

Among the 200,000 tulips that will cover Union Square, there are all kinds of flowers in a rainbow of colors. After all, there are more than 3,000 species. Visitors can choose what suits their personal style. Ruffled, parrot, traditional or multi-coloured.

In what will become an annual event called Tulip Day, the Consul General of the Netherlands in New York, Ahmed Dadu, will bring an exclusive variety of New York tulips to New York City. This year’s new tulip, FUTURE400, commemorates the landing of the first Dutch settlers on Governors Island 400 years ago and symbolizes another 400 years of cooperation and friendship between the United States and the Netherlands.

As Boris De Ward of P. Aker Seeds and Flowerbulbs explains, it takes “20 years” to develop a new variety of tulips unlike other flowers.

But this does not mean that flowers cannot be named after people. At the recent San Francisco Fair, the tulip was named after Jill Biden. Another lavender was recently named after New York event planner David Beam.

There has always been a special relationship between the Dutch flower bulb sector and the United States. It dates back to 1951, when Royal Anthos and the Dutch and US Departments of Agriculture signed an agreement to launch the so-called pre-clearance programme. This program protects the quality and health of flower bulbs and perennials: partly through strict standards for diseases and pests, and partly thanks to American and Dutch inspectors who conduct joint phytosanitary inspections in the Netherlands before shipment.

Because of the Dutch expertise in flowers – and the famous flower auction in Aalsmeer – cut flowers are not sold all over the world only to florists. What is not known is that the country also harvests millions of grafts which are then distributed around the world.

In countries on every continent, you may hear local farmers proudly discussing their local goods while it is the Dutch bulbs that are exported and grown. Millions of them. Not only that, but local farms in New York and elsewhere often carry Dutch heritage as well as Dutch bulbs

And let’s not forget that New Amsterdam is named after Amsterdam, you guessed it, because of the Dutch influence on our city.

Moreover, the Dutch tulip bulb market is a part of history and Hollywood. Films have been made highlighting how a single tulip bulb was sold in 1634 for approximately 10,000 guilders, equivalent to the value of a palace. Until, of course, the “bubble” broke in 1637 and became a cautionary tale.

Trends that flower lovers may want to know before choosing their tulips is that there are two colors that are popular in every country. No, it’s not orange, red, or even yellow.

When asked, Joost de Jong of VWS, Paul Grout of P. Nelis & Zoos, and Boris De Ward of P.Aker Seeds and Flowerbulbs echoed the exact same sentiments.

“Pink and white,” De Jong said. “The hot pink and white are our best sellers,” added Groot of P. Neils & Zooms.

It may be so, she suggested, because in such turbulent times, people seek calm and peace in their environments. “Interesting,” said Joost De Jong Boots of Flowerbulbs, Bonne Boots.

Another trend is the growing popularity of double tulips, which means multi-petaled. These flowers are lush and luxurious. Reminiscent of cushion peonies, these flowers have much more than the six large petals of traditional tulips.

The Dutch had been perfecting lamp making for hundreds of years, explains John Kelder, who runs Kelder Farm in upstate New York (Kerhonkson). “They’re very good at it,” he says.

In fact, Kelder’s Farm will have its own Tulip Festival on April 13 for those who might miss out on the New York City experience.

As he and others note, tulips are “the first big flower of spring” and help us “come out after the long winter and experience the beauty of these flowers.”

Those who want free tulips must register at To download tickets. But anyone can enjoy the view of a sea of ​​beautiful tulips welcoming spring.

Jill Brock is the Managing Editor of, a former CNN Producer, a former NY Post Correspondent as well as a former Editor-in-Chief of Travel savvy And street magazine.

    (tags for translation) Jill Brook

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