Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan

In 1999 I suggested to my village of Croton on Hudson that we plant daffodils all around the village in mass quantities..They're deer resistant, come back every year and multiply....I figured we could create a daffodil village in much the same way Holland, Michigan is the 'tulip town'.

The Holland Michigan Tulip Festival displays over six million of the town's signature flower every year.

Also known as the Tulip Time Festival, it is the largest tulip festival in the United States and Reader's Digest has named it the best small town festival in the country.

Indeed, this year Holland Michigan was named by Money Magazine one of the top ten places to retire, partially due to its cultural assets and large amounts of green space. I bet the tulip festival has something to do with this because any town that dedicates itself to flowers has got to be special!

The idea of Tulip Time was introduced in 1927 at a Woman's Literary Club meeting by Miss Lida Rogers, a biology teacher at Holland High School. She suggested Holland adopt the tulip as its flower and set aside a day for a festival. She wanted every resident to plant tulips in their yard. The first year in 1928, City Council purchased 100,000 tulip bulbs from the Netherlands. These bulbs were  planted in city parks and other areas. Bulbs were available to Holland residents at one cent a piece.

Thus, it was in 1929 that thousands of tulips bloomed, and Holland invited visitors to come during a week in May.  The festival began in earnest in 1930 when 250,000 tulips were planted for the event. Now they are are planted along city streets, in city parks and outside municipal buildings as well as at tourist attractions. About one million tourists visit Tulip Time each year bringing in a lot of tourist dollars....

So wouldn't this be wonderful if my little village of 7,000 could do the same thing? I will tell you  in an upcoming post what happened after I suggested it....


  1. I love your idea. Daffodils are fun and they are coming out with new varieties all the time.

    Great pictures - I must arrange a visit to Holland some spring :)

  2. I can not wait to hear!!! What a wonderful story!!

  3. Jan, I hope they accept your fantastic suggestion. I have a question for you. I was given a hyacinth plant a some tulips for Easter. When should I plant them in the ground? They're so beautiful! I want to savor them again next year.

  4. Thanks all!
    hyacinths - You must feed it until the leaves die down naturally...they create the food for next year's bloom...so put it outside in the earth and feed it now...but do not cut the leaves down until they are all yellowed...

  5. A first time visiter and Michigan blogger, I love this post ... a delight to visit!

  6. Kudos to Michigan! - let's tell them to add 'flower festivals' to their economic development plan...


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