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.
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.
There is more than just tulips to see, although the flowers are the main focus. Various windmills are to be found.
This chap looked like he had had enough.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Read how Tesselaar's began over 60 years ago.
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.
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.
These lovely ladies were part of the folk group - as you can see they are all smiling and happy.
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.
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Today's Quote: Dutch tulips from their beds flaunted their stately heads ~ James Montgomery
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.