The Addison Parks and Recreation Department spent part of December planting a treat for the City, one that will blossom throughout the coming months and add a splash of much needed color after a drab and dreary winter. The tulips are about to bloom.
Flowers are a sign of rebirth and renewal, and their happy hues brighten everyone’s day. Some cities and countries choose to throw a big bash before the winter hits, like the Dutch Bloemencorso or “flower parade” and the Jersey Battle of the Flowers, held in September and August respectively. Other cities plant bulbs along major walkways and streets for the benefit of their residents. Here, Addison is in good company with the likes of Boulder, Colorado, Anchorage, Alaska and Rochester, New York.
Boulder Colorado’s Flower Program plants thousands of flowers each year as well as nearly 9,000 tulips bulbs from Holland and winter-blooming pansies along the famous Pearl Street Mall. The mall itself attracts a large number of residents and visitors from all over the world, and is more of an outdoor path lined with over 1,000 shops, most of them owned by locals. Anchorage’s City of Flowers program plants over 80,000 flowers in 270 flower beds, including giant dahlias and begonias, and also celebrates with the Festival of Flowers each June. Anchorage’s long summer days make for some beautiful flowers. Rochester, nicknamed the “Flower City,” attracts visitors from around the world when its 500 varieties of lilacs bloom in Highland Park each spring.
In Addison, the Parks, Recreation and Landscape Development department plants over 70,000 tulip and daffodil bulbs each December and according to Director Slade Strickland, it’s a decades-old tradition that the city has every intention of continuing. The tulips and daffodils bloom in early, mid and late spring depending on the variety, so residents and visitors are treated to flowers all spring long.
The parks department team, in addition to the day-to-day maintenance, is also responsible for preparing for the biggest events in Addison: Fork & Cork, Kaboom Town! and Oktoberfest. The Parks department deals with food vendors, fire ants, sudden weather changes and artfully restores the grassy areas to their former glory after thousands and thousands of feet have trampled it into the dirt. As the larger events require lots of planning and ongoing preparation, there doesn’t really seem to be a dull day on the parks department’s calendar. Of course, they take it all in stride and pride themselves on the success and quality of each event. The tulips and daffodils are no exception and after decades of planting, they have their system down pat.
December is the best time for planting each year, according to Strickland. “The department started planting tulips in 1988 to add a splash of color in the spring,” he says. “I think it has become a trademark for the town and citizens look forward to seeing them each year. It is important to the town’s brand. ”
Strickland also notes that the city’s flower program has received positive feedback from Addison residents in the past.
Residents and visitors can look forward to seeing the following 22 varieties this year: Carlton Daffodil, Quail Daffodil, Tahiti Daffodil, American Dream Tulip, Appledoorn’s Elite Tulip, Blushing Beauty Tulip, Big Chief Tulip,Daydream Tulip, Purple Dream Tulip, Golden Parade Tulip, Holland Emotions Tulip, Holland’s Glory Tulip, Hollandia Triumph Tulip, Lighting Sun Tulip, Mrs. J.T. Scheepers Tulip, Oxford Tulip, Pink Impression, Plant to Impress Mix Tulip, Rainbow Mix Tulip, Renown Mix Tulip, and Tequila Sunrise Mix Tulip. The blend of pinks, purples, yellows, reds and all kinds of variations will make for lovely photographs with family and friends in the coming months.
With all of the parks in Addison, it’s already the perfect place to go for a walk, but the tulips and daffodils make it that much better. You might see a few squirrels trying to dig up all of the Parks department’s hard work, but not to worry they can’t eat them all. Take the opportunity to wander through the diminutive, four-acre Celestial Park. Star-themed poetry is carved into each stair leading from the jogging trial to a human sundial and a few park benches at the top. It is quite a romantic spot and usually quiet in the early afternoons.
Addison Circle is another nice place to walk, especially during lunch. Small cafes and restaurants line the sidewalk leading to the interactive water gardens and covered pavilion. In all the park covers over 370,000 square feet and is the site of all of the major events in Addison. In between Kaboom Town! and Oktoberfest, the park is quite peaceful and almost unrecognizable after the hustle and bustle of the crowds of visitors.
Start looking for the blooms in the next few weeks (you might have already seen some flowers starting to poke out). Texas weather might be a touch unpredictable, but we just might dodge a freeze this year. If so, the plants will produce healthy, long-lasting blooms. Grab a camera and the kids, pooches and spouses and enjoy a walk around Addison.