Cut tulip grower Arjan Smit from Spierdijk (NH) and his employees are preparing more than 20,000 flowers for transport to France. In Saint-Denis, 5 km from the heart of Paris, the tulips, bulb and all, will be available for free picking by the public next weekend.
The administration of the Parisian suburb, which will host the Olympic Games in 2024, wants the event to create a similar, cheerful atmosphere as during the National Tulip Day in Amsterdam. A colorful picking garden has been held there by Dutch cut tulip growers since 2012. The public's enthusiastic response to the Dutch tulip display is causing increasing international demand for such picking gardens from the initiator, Tulip Promotion Netherlands Foundation (TPN).
According to Smit, chairman of TPN, free-picking gardens are the ultimate promotional tool for Holland's national flower. Similar tulip festivals are now being organized in Antwerp and San Francisco, and there are picking gardens in Milan and Turin with a total of 1 million tulips to be picked for a fee. For next year, TPN is exploring opportunities for tulip events in Germany and the UK. The tulip season runs from January to mid-May.
For the French picking garden, TPN is working together with the municipality of Saint-Denis, the Dutch embassy in Paris, and Bloemenbureau Holland. The intention is to also build the picking garden in 2024 again, the Olympic year.
Photo credit: TPN/VidiPhoto