Hundreds of tulip bulbs were planted Thursday afternoon to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Tulip Festival. The festival commemorates a unique and special relationship between Canada and Holland that has its roots in the Second World War.
The tulip bulbs were being planted by the Cranbrook Garden Club near the Elko Station, with the participation of other groups from the community, as well as students from Gordon Terrace Elementary School.
Debbie Sinclair, from the Cranbrook Garden Club, noted that the 700 bulbs for the new permanent tulip bed came courtesy of Holland.
At the planting, there were representatives from the city, like Mayor Lee Pratt, as well as representatives from the Cranbrook Historical Centre, Sunrise Rotary, Cranbrook Garden Club, Royal Canadian Legion, Ladies Auxiliary, Cranbrook schools and the public.
The tulips will sprout up in the spring.
“We’re hoping May,” Sinclair said. The tulips will be red and white. “We’re hoping it will look spectacular.”
The tulips will be deer-proofed using a combination of chicken wire and a light sprinkling blood meal, which makes the flowers no longer appetizing.
The bulbs come from Vesey’s Bulbs on Prince Edward Island.
“We’re here to celebrate our friendship with the Dutch people from World War II,” Sinclair said.
In 1945, the Dutch gave Canada 100,000 tulips as a symbol of their appreciation for the role Canadian soldiers played in the was, as well as the hospitality Canada showed.
Cranbrook is one of 15 communities in B.C. to get the tulip garden. Across the country, there were only 140 gardens available, and 400 communities applied.
Usually the tulips go to Ottawa, but because it is the 70th anniversary, the Dutch decided to provide tulips to communities across Canada.