On the Road: Exploring a Large Flower Garden

Visiting a large flower garden filled with tulips and other flowering bulbs in Michigan.

Spring fever usually hits many gardeners this time of year, when winter still has a long way to go before it is over.  So, if you’re beginning to sense the symptoms of spring fever coming on and are yearning to plant something out in the garden, (even if  the ground is frozen) – I’d like to offer you a brief respite and share with you a virtual trip to places with beautiful flower gardens, colorful plants and a few new garden ideas.

One of the great things that I like about traveling is viewing new gardens, seeing different plants and learning some new ideas to try out in the garden.

Every year in late spring, I go on a road trip to a different part of the country.  I fly into one city, rent a car and drive through different states while taking time to discover new places.  I like to learn about the history, the people, the food and most importantly the plants and gardens.  A few years ago, my road trip led me to the states of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas.

My journey began in a town called, Holland, Michigan, which is located on the shore of Lake Michigan.  This town also just happens to hold the nation’s largest tulip festival each year.


Springtime in Holland, Michigan is a magical time with fields of flowering bulbs bursting forth in a variety of colors.  The Tulip Time Festival takes place every year in the beginning of May when the downtown area is awash in colorful tulips and other types of flowering bulbs.

I was looking forward to seeing the different types of tulips and other flowering bulb plants.  Growing up in Southern California and now living in Arizona – I don’t get to see many tulips.  So, I always make it a point to visit some gardens with flowering bulbs whenever I travel in the spring.


While visiting Holland, I knew that I wanted to take time to visit  is a large nursery, called Veldeer’s which has fields filled with 5 million tulips, 50,000 daffodils, 10,000 hyacinths and 20,000 crocus that you can walk through.


In addition to walking through fields of flowers, you can also have some wooden shoes custom-made or buy some bulbs to plant in your own garden.  While I passed on the wooden shoes, I definitely wanted to see the bulbs for sale along with the fields of flowers.


On my way to viewing the tulips, I stopped to enjoy the beautiful fragrance of the hyacinths.  There were large swaths of pink and white hyacinths, but my favorite were the blue ones…


Blue is not a common color for flowers, but I highly recommend adding blue-colored flowers in your garden.  The blue color contrasts beautifully with all shades of orange-flowered plants.


As I was walking, I passed by beds with daffodils and tulips planted together.  As you can see, they chose complimentary colors – the dark-orange tulips bring out the pale-orange color of the daffodils.


In this bed, the pale, creamy-yellow daffodils set off the bright pink tulips visually.


I really liked these bright-red tulips with their wide-open flowers.  I believe they are called Tulipa linifolia.


As I got ready to leave the fields of tulips, I stopped by a flowering magnolia tree.  The large, white petals were so lovely.

I enjoyed my visit to Holland, Michigan and viewing the beautiful, flowering bulbs.  The best time to visit for the best floral display is in late April and early May.

Now it was time to hit the road for my next destination – Amish country in Indiana and on through central Illinois.


But on my way, I took some time to walk along the shore of Lake Michigan and view one of its many iconic lighthouses.

Please join me next Monday, as we visit an Amish swap meet filled with plants for sale and later an old bed frame planted with flowering bulbs.  I also learned how the Amish fertilize their fields, which I’ll show you next week.

**Want to see more beautiful tulips? Check out the “Top 10 Tulip Favorites” from Birds & Blooms.


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