Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 3, Issue 3
June 2008
 
The Canadian Tulip Festival
 
 
 
Canadian Tulip Festival
Beautiful tulips bloom in front of the Canadian Parliament Buildings.
 
     
 

Tulips have been a symbol of friendship and peace between the Netherlands and Canada for more than 60 years.

The Dutch royal family has been sending tulips to Ottawa, Ontario, since 1946 as a thank you for housing the royals during the Second World War. Occupied by enemy forces, the Netherlands wasn't a safe place for the family, especially for the pregnant Princess Juliana. They sought refuge in Ottawa, where Juliana gave birth to Princess Margriet in the Ottawa Civic Hospital.

After the royal family returned home, the Dutch sent a gift of 100,000 handpicked tulip bulbs to Canada in gratitude. The present acknowledged the hospitality and recognized the efforts of Canadian troops in the liberation of the Netherlands. Moved by her countrymen's display of gratitude, Juliana sent 20,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa the next year. Today, the Dutch royal family sends a gift of 10,000 bulbs every year, which is matched by the International Flower Bulb Centre in Holland. These Dutch tulip blooms are among the first colorful signs of spring in the nation's capital.

 
 
             
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