Melbourne Daily Photo

Hello, I created this blog because Melbourne is my city and I want people to see what a beautiful place it is. So come with me on a journey of discovery as we traverse the dining precincts, the culture, the laneways and hidden gems that make Melbourne marvellous.

Waltzing Australia

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Tesselaar's Tulip Festival

Every year from mid September to mid October Tesselaar's Tulip Festival is held. There are over 100 different types in all sizes and colours.

Above: Tulip Time
Tesselaar's Tulip Farm is in Silvan, in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges about an hour's drive from Melbourne.

Did you know
Tulip images are found as far back as the 12th century where they were used to decorate a Bible. The three petal image of the tulip was and still is used as a symbol of the Holy Trinity.

Above: Windmill
There is more than just tulips to see, although the flowers are the main focus. Various windmills are to be found.

Above: A shady spot
This chap looked like he had had enough.

Above: Tip-toe through the tulips
Everyone likes to walk among the tulips.

Tulipomania began in the Netherlands and the tulip became a status symbol for the rich. The gamble of creating a new colour break was an exciting game to play. Much experimentation was done trying to get the best effects. Wall plaster and powdered paints were mixed into the soil. Bulbs of various colour were spliced and joined together. Rare colours and streaks were also created - later with the discovery of the microscope these variations were revealed to be caused by a virus.

During tulipomania exorbitant amounts of money were spent on the frenzied purchasing of bulbs - houses were mortgaged and people joined syndicates to try the bulbs. Tulips were literally worth their weight in gold. A single bulb like 'Sempus Augustus' was worth more than a house in Amsterdam's best district.

Above: Tulips as far as the eye can see
The first famous tulips in the Netherlands were planted by Carolus Clusias, the curator of Leiden's botanical gardens. He was approached to sell them, but refused. Later they were stolen from his garden. It was these stolen bulbs that created the stock for the booming tulip trade throughout the Netherlands. The Dutch named their tulips after Admirals and  Generals in the spirit of the times.

Nurseries were established in the 17th century and as the stocks grew so did the market. The new colour breaks were the most popular and helped maintain the aura and mystery of the tulip.

Above: Tulip Fantasy
It was cheaper to have a tulip painted by the masters of the time than it was to purchase a single bulb. Master painters were commissioned to paint a momento of the tulips grown, these became treasured possessions.
Bulb farms were worked by hand, fields were tilled, drainage trench ditches dug, bulbs planted and dead headed after flowering. The work was labour intensive.

Did you know
The tulip motif has been used extensively in art, as crystal etchings and the shape has been a feature in gold and silver work.

Above: Stall holders
Most all of the stall holders and people working here were dressed in Dutch costumes. There are twelve provinces in the Netherlands and "traditional" Dutch clothing is therefore different in each area.

Above: Traditional costumes
The young lad was working at the bulb buying marquee and was quite happy to pose. The centre couple are members of the Folk Dancers and the lady on the right I just happened to see walking around.

The Beginning
Read how Tesselaar's began over 60 years ago.

Above: Windmill girl
Another windmill. After this I had lunch. The cafe provided light foods etc., but I wanted Dutch food, so went to the stalls on the other side and had Frikandellen and Reifkoek. Frikandellen are Dutch sausages - like a minced-meat hot dog and Reifkoek are potato cakes. The potato is grated and mixed with onion then fried - very greasy and very fattening! Later in the day I indulged in one of my favourites - Poffertjes. Dutch pancakes. Miniature pancakes - you get 19 of them and I went for jam and cream. Lashings of creams, smothered in icing sugar. Mmmm....heavenly.

Above: Folk Dancers
While eating my lunch, just as I was finishing, I heard an announcement that there was to be Dutch folk dancing in the centre bit near the souvenir shop. Wasting no time, I walked there - there was a very large circle of chairs placed around, and I espied two empty chairs. Needless to say, I made my way quick smart to the appropriate empty chair(s) and sat down on one. Lucky for me that I did - soon there were many, many people standing in rows behind.

Below is a video I took with my camera. I didn't capture all of it and alas stopped in mid-air so to speak - before a dance ended. (I wasn't sure how long the battery would last, plus my arms were tired from holding them up to film)

Above: Melbourne Tukkers
The group is called the Melbourne Tukkers and I thouroughly enjoyed watching and listening to the music.
I found my toe a-tapping for most of the performance.

Above: Dutch Beauties
These lovely ladies were part of the folk group - as you can see they are all smiling and happy.

Above: Under the willow
After lining up for about 45 minutes to buy poffertjes, I saw this lovely old willow and was quite taken with the serenity of the scene.

Click here to see other worlds.

Today's Quote: Dutch tulips from their beds flaunted their stately heads ~ James Montgomery


Luis Gomez said...

These are great! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

What a delightful place! And the photos of those children in the tulips is gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

it's so wonderful to see all these spring time images when out here we are excited about the fall colors.

EG CameraGirl said...

I enjoyed this post! Tulip time in your world is wonderful, I can see that!

Trish ~ ♥ ~ said...

How beautiful, must be amazing to see in person.

Carver said...

What a great post. The tulips and windmills are wonderful and so much interesting information. I enjoyed this very much.

Dianne said...

Tulips are beautiful and what a great day out! I've often seen this company advertising in different magazines ~ they certainly have a wonderful array of tulips.

Lowell said...

I'm in awe, BFG! What a fantastic post. All I ever wanted to know about tulips and more. And who would think you'd find all this in your neck of the woods?

Your photos are stunning - such deep colors and so vivid! And your portraits are wonderful - really showing the character of the people.

In other words, I loved this post!

brattcat said...

I'm putting my "two hands" together to applaud your "tulips".

Unknown said...

This is such a Dutch post! :-) Lovely and the tulips on top are the most beautiful I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

How nice to see such colours while waiting for winter to begin. Thank you for the effort and sharing of such beauty. Please have a good Tuesday.

daily athens

Unknown said...

what a gorgeous time and place this is.

SandyCarlson said...

An exquisite post and beautiful images.

Al said...

I love tulips, so I enjoyed this post a lot! I remember a lot of tulips when I lived in Holland.

Kay L. Davies said...

Gorgeous flower blossoms, BlossomFlower!!

Still difficult, somehow, to wrap my head around the fact that it is tomorrow already and you're growing tulips in Australia, probably because we've been spending so much time talking about our trip to the Netherlands to see tulips in April.

But your pictures are lovely. Thank you for sharing them with us, and thank you for visiting my blog. I do love to have visitors.

Kay, Alberta

Leif Hagen said...

What a grand, Dutch, tulip extravaganza!! Very fun Spring fling!

gogouci said...

Beautiful, beautiful gardens. Looks like everyone is just having a wonderful time.

Gizelle said...

a photographer's haven!!! Such beauty in all the flowers!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful place. Lovely colorful Tulip flowers. They have done a great job.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful place. Lovely colorful Tulip flowers. They have done a great job.

Boom Nisanart said...

Thank you for the delightful post. Very beautiful place !
and thank you to visit my cat blog and share your experience with me.

My husband had the same experience as you. Since we have Puddy, my husband is really happy about these because his good time with his cat is coming back.

Adopt Rescued cat, not just save one cat life and it might bring your good time back. I know no one can replaced your cat. But the new cat can make a good home. I never have cat before..for me he is one of the best thing in my life.

If one day you consider to get one please consider the rescued cats first. They are lovely and waiting for new home : )

Eden said...

Great captures.I enjoyed all your photos. I missed our Tulip Festival here. Maybe next year I would be able to visit.

NatureFootstep said...

that´s a lot of tulips. But I favoured the last shot with the tree.

diane b said...

It is great to see the dutch traditions being carried on in Australia. The tulips are very pretty. I visited the Dandenong gardens it was lovely. Is that the same place?

B SQUARED said...

Nothing say "Spring" quite like tulips.

Louis la Vache said...

What a delightful post!

Cezar and Léia said...

Lovely event in such a wonderful sunny day!Your pictures are excellent, mainly the kids and mother among the tulips, it's a precious moment and shot! :)

Noel Morata said...


what a wonderful show you've given us today.

love this tour, thanks for sharing this

Halcyon said...

Funny costumes! And beautiful flowers.

BraCom said...

beautiful serie, we have tulips in april

Have a nice week,
Greetings, Bram

My Word Tuesday post

Seen on My World Tuesday

Gunsside said...

Thanks for shearing this post,
great shots ;)
- and thankyou for visit me ;)))

Anonymous said...

I've learned something new, as I would never have thought of tulips in Melbourne. The festival looks like great fun, and now I'm curious whether there's other Dutch culture in the area.

Melbourne Daily Photo

Hello, I created this blog because Melbourne is my city and I want people to see what a beautiful place it is. So come with me on a journey of discovery as we traverse the dining precincts, the culture, the laneways and hidden gems that make Melbourne marvellous.