Monday, May 23, 2022

Tulip Views

Today is Victoria Day here in Canada. Take a peek over at my writer's blog today for a post about it.

Heading home one evening, I went into Central Park in the Glebe. There's a small planting of tulips at a tree here.

As well as some along the slope- though I sometimes wonder if their placement here is the work of squirrel gardeners.

A few minutes later this set of tulips in a residential garden caught my eye.

A couple of days later I was heading to Dow's Lake via a different route, taking the Canal pathway from Bank Street and heading west. At this location where I started is a pond that's linked to the Canal, and at one end is a bed of tulips.

My path led me onward, past several gardens where the homeowners include tulips among their plantings.

Sunday, May 22, 2022


 A few days back one morning I was at Lansdowne Park. Around the Aberdeen Pavilion, tulips can be found this time of year, some in the flowerbeds east of the building, others alongside the bushes that line the building on the north and south sides.

East of there where the path leads out towards the Canal are two beds. Here's the smaller one, with trees beyond it just starting to show blossoms.

The larger bed encircles a statue put up at the time of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, with two torch bearers. The Rideau Canal can be seen in the background here.

Taken from the east, these include the Aberdeen Pavilion in the distance.

Saturday, May 21, 2022


Picking up where I left off yesterday, more of the rich variety of tulips at Dow's Lake.

Some from this bed, dedicated in honour of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. Muscari, the small purple flower accompanying the tulips, is often a companion flower to tulips in these beds.

I finish today with these tulips growing off on their own across from the formal beds. Tomorrow we move elsewhere.

Friday, May 20, 2022


A reminder to members of City Daily Photo: the theme for the first of June is The Road.

There is an abstract sculpture set in between sections of a bed where tulips are deliberately sparsely planted.

The sparseness appeals to me as much as the more dense plantings.

Another work of art. Man With Two Hats is a large sculpture, one of a pair. The other one stands in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. The two sculptures mark the friendship of the two countries.

The path beckoned me on.

A fellow member of the Tulip Paparazzi.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Of War

The origins of the Canadian Tulip Festival are examined in a series of signs around one side of a raised bed of tulips. It's one of the positive outcomes of war- the abiding friendship of two countries that came out of the Second World War.

When the Nazis occupied the Netherlands as part of their sweep across much of continental Europe, the civilian population suffered.

The Dutch royal family escaped to London, where Queen Wilhelmina remained to rally her people, work with Resistance movements, and become a general thorn in the side to the little corporal in Berlin. Her daughter, the crown princess Juliana, was sent to Canada with her own daughters, where she would live in Ottawa and do much on her own to keep the Dutch people in the minds of people in the New World.

Her husband would spend much of the war in England assisting his mother-in-law, but there were visits, and out of that came something unique: the birth of a royal in Ottawa. The Canadian government at the time passed a law temporarily deeming the maternity ward with an extraterritorial status, ensuring the royal status of the baby, and Juliana gave birth to another daughter, Margriet. 

The news of a new royal baby reached the occupied country, and Margriet would be baptized at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church here, with her father and grandmother in attendance, and a multitude of godparents. This panel includes two photographs by the Canadian portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh, who by then had already made a name for himself on the world stage with his iconic photograph of Winston Churchill.

It was Canadian soldiers who liberated the Netherlands, and out of that time of the war came a deep friendship that has carried on to this day. Juliana and the royal family sent tulips to Canada as thanks. 

Princess Margriet has come back many times- in fact she was back a few days ago with her husband to open the festival.

Malak Karsh, the brother of the aforementioned Yousuf, made his own reputation as a famous landscape photographer, based out of Ottawa. More than anyone else, he can be credited as the founder of the Tulip Festival. It was he who made the suggestion of a formal festival to showcase the tulips.