Royal Anthos, who represents Dutch companies that distribute bulbs around the globe, is now bringing their popular San Francisco tulip festival to New York on Sunday, April 7.

Full Article Below Source Flowerpowerdaily

200,000 Tulips Will Blanket NYC -FREE Flowers for Visitors

By Jill Brooke

It is no secret that Holland is the epicenter for all things tulips – and blooms.

This is why Royal Anthos, who represents Dutch companies that distribute bulbs around the globe, is now bringing their popular San Francisco tulip festival to New York. On Sunday, April 7 between 11.30 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Union Square,  over 200,000 tulips will be on display. Furthermore, visitors can each get TEN free flowers.

How fabulous is that?

“We’re overjoyed to share the beauty and excitement of the many tulip varieties with New Yorkers for this one-day event,” said Mark-Jan Terwindt, Managing Director, Royal Anthos.

Among the 200,000 tulips that will blanket Union Square are all sorts of blooms in a rainbow of colors. After all, there are over 3,000 varieties. Visitors can choose which ones appeal to their personal style.  Ruffled, parrot, traditional or multi-colored.

At what will become an annual event called Tulip Day, Consul General of The Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York, Ahmed Dadou, will present an exclusive New York tulip variety to the City of New York. This new tulip, FUTURE400, commemorates this year’s anniversary of the first Dutch settlers landing on Governor’s Island 400 years ago and symbolizes another 400 years of collaboration and friendship between the United States and The Netherlands.

Because of the floral expertise of the Dutch -and its famous Aalsmeer Flower Auction- it is not only cut flowers that are sold around the globe to florists. What is not as known is that the country also harvests millions of bulbs which are then distributed throughout the world.

In countries on every continent, you may hear local farmers proudly discuss their local wares when in fact it is Dutch bulbs that have been exported and planted. Millions of them.

Photo Credit: Flowerpowerdaily

The Dutch tulip bulb market is also part of history – and Hollywood – where films were made highlighting how one tulip bulb in 1634 sold approximately for 10,000 guilders, equal to the value of a mansion. Until, of course, the “bubble” crashed in 1637 and became a cautionary tale.

But since that time, the Dutch have developed the most vigorous, vibrant and beautiful bulbs in the world.

On a recent trip, Florists Review Magazine owner Jules Lewis Gibson and I visited the P. Nelis & Zoons, Paul Groot,VWS, Joost de Jong Boots Flowerbulbs, Bonne Boots,P. Aker Seeds and Flowerbulbs, Joris de Waard of Jan de Wit & Zn., Jan and Nico de Wit,Nord Lommerse, Erik Lommerse to discuss the business of bulbs.

In cavernous very chilled rooms, discussions about the complexities of cooling the bulbs at the right temperature and also forcing them for growth at different intervals was not only scientific but impressive. Many of these companies and their leaders are three, four and five generations in the making – as is their vast institutional knowledge.

Technology is helping streamline businesses in that there are now machines that can literally sort a promising bulb and discard one that is not up to their exacting standards. Very cool indeed.

Photo Credit:Royal Anthos

As Boris de Waard of P. Aker Seeds and Flowerbulbs explained, it takes “20 years” to develop a new variety of tulips unlike other flowers. However, there are hundreds of varieties available. Parrot, fringed, small, large, tall and multi-petaled. The rooms were filled with every color of the rainbow.

Furthermore, naming a tulip in development is a popular trend as when the Jill Biden tulip was christened in San Francisco. Another tulip was recently named after event planner extraordinaire David Beahm. The Jill Biden tulip was bred by Hobaho by Dümmen Orange and made available by Remarkable Tulips. Royal Anthos and the Dutch ambassador to the United States, Mr André Haspels, hosted the christening.

After a welcome speech by the ambassador, Anthos president Henk Westerhof talked about the special relationship between the Dutch flower bulb sector and the United States. It dates back to 1951, when Royal Anthos and the Dutch and United States Departments of Agriculture signed an agreement to launch the so-called Pre Clearance Program. This program safeguards the quality and health of flower bulbs and perennials: partly through strict standards for diseases and pests, and partly thanks to US and Dutch inspectors conducting joint phyto-sanitary inspections in the Netherlands before shipping.

Photo Credit: Flower Power Daily

Trends that floral enthusiasts will want to know is that each and every one of these floral business leaders shared how two colors are trending in EVERY country. No, it’s not orange or red or even yellow.

When asked, Joost de Jong of VWS and Paul Grout of P. Nelis & Zoons, and Boris de Waard of P.Aker Seeds and Flowerbulbs echoed the same exact sentiment.

“Pink and white,” said de Jong. “Light pink and white are big sellers,” added Grout of P. Neils & Zooms.

Perhaps it is, as I suggested because in such turbulent times, people are seeking calm and peace in their environments. “Interesting,” said Joost de Jong Boots of Flowerbulbs, Bonne Boots. He also shared with us a special variety of “fragrant” tulip called “Monte Orange.”

Photo Credit: Flower Power Daily

Another trend is the growing popularity of double tulips – which means multi-petaled. These flowers are lush and lavish. Reminiscent of pillowy peonies, these blooms have far more than the six large petals of traditional tulips.

John Kelder, who runs Kelder’s Farm in upstate New York, (Kerhonkson) explains that the Dutch have been perfecting bulb manufacturing for hundreds of years. “They’re so good at it,” he says.

In fact, Kelder’s Farm will have its own tulip festival on April 13th for those who may miss this New York City experience and venture upstate.

As he and others mention, tulips are “the first big flower of spring” and helps us “get out after the long winter and experience the beauty of these flowers.”

Those who want free tulips should register at to download tickets. But anyone can enjoy the sight of a sea of beautiful tulips welcoming spring.

If not in New York, perhaps plan a trip to Holland. Who hasn’t dreamed of visiting Keukenhof in Lisse where over 1 million visitors eagerly arrive each year to see over 7 million flowers blanketing its 79 manicured acres? Dating back to 1950, it is considered the most beautiful spring garden in the world.  The exquisite beds of blooming tulips of every color and variety are artistically arranged with special exhibitions and even a boat ride winding through the park’s canals.

There are also other fabulous tulip festivals around the world and don’t be surprised if digging deeper,  you discover that the root bulb has a Dutch heritage.

tulip field

Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD and a contributor to Florists Review magazine. She also won the 2023 AIFD (American Institute of Floral Designers) Merit Award for showing how flowers impact history, news and culture