The tulip season has begun. Most of the tulips will be at their peak over the next two weeks. The early season varieties are already in bloom. All over the heart of the Capital, they will amaze residents and visitors.
As the official gardener of Canada’s Capital, the National Capital Commission (NCC) invites the public to take in the colourful displays of tulips throughout the region. This spring, close to ** one million ** tulips of 100 varieties, and thousands of other spring flowers bring the NCC’s flower beds to life.
“The annual gift of Dutch tulips has become a 70-year tradition. The tulips help define the character of the Capital,” said Dr. Mark Kristmanson, CEO of the NCC. “They have become a durable symbol of Canada’s friendship with the Netherlands.”
An array of dazzling tulips will brighten over 100 flower beds at 30 different sites, such as Parliament Hill, Commissioners Park and Jacques-Cartier Park, as well as along Confederation Boulevard, the historic Rideau Canal and the Capital’s scenic pathways.
The first tulip beds in the Capital were planted in 1945, when the Netherlands sent 100,000 tulip bulbs as a postwar gift in gratitude for the role that Canadian soldiers had played in the liberation of the Netherlands. ** 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands ** To mark this anniversary in May 2015, the Queen Juliana Gift Bed in Commissioners Park blooms in shades of the Dutch royal colour (orange), along with other varieties in the park that are named after the Dutch royal family: Prins Willem Alexander, Princess Irene and Orange Princess. Also, three tulip beds in Major’s Hill Park bloom in the shape of poppies, inspired by the war poem “In Flanders Fields” which marks its 100th anniversary in 2015. Commemorating our fallen soldiers, the red tulips symbolize remembrance and the white tulips symbolize peace. ** Tulip gardens at Commissioners Park ** The most spectacular display of tulips can be found in Commissioners Park, by Dows Lake and the Rideau Canal in Ottawa. Close to 250,000 tulips, of 60 different varieties, bloom in the park’s 30 flower beds. Unique designs have been applied by NCC landscape architects to larger tulip beds in the park, by combining tulips of different colours and sizes. ** Annuals after tulips ** As part of its horticultural program, the NCC plants more than 100,000 annual flowers in the Capital Region’s flower beds, which are in full bloom in late July, August and September. The most colourful gardens are situated at Commissioners Park and Major’s Hill Park, in Ottawa, and at Jacques-Cartier Park, in Gatineau.
For more information about tulips in the Capital, the public may contact the NCC at 613-239-5000 , 1-800-465-1867 (toll-free), 613-239-5090 (TTY) or 1-866-661-3530 (toll-free TTY), follow us on Twitter @NCC_CCN or Facebook|National Capital Commission , or visit the website at www.ncc-ccn.gc.ca/tulips .