Yesterday afternoon, Harland and I went to Topeka for their annual Tulip Time Festival. Started 22 years ago as a fund raiser to support community beautification projects, it is held for about 2 weeks each April.
Several public gardens and parks participate by planting their flower beds with thousands of tulip bulbs of every color.
Tidbits of Tulip History:
- You might think that the tulip originated in Holland, but it was first commercially cultivated in the Ottoman Empire, and then found its way to Europe in the 1500s.
- In the Netherlands, between 1636 and 1637, a tulip speculative frenzy occurred, now known as tulip mania. Tulips became so popular, that at the height of the mania, the price per bulb was more than the average laborer’s yearly salary. Prices collapsed in February 1637, and the trade of tulips as currency came to an end.
- Today, Holland is the largest producer of tulips, selling over 3 billion bulbs annually.
We only had time to visit Lake Shawnee Ted Ensley Gardens, but our visit, though short, was enjoyable.