Tulips delight thousands of New Yorkers as Dutch open mega cutting garden in Manhattan

The city of New York, in association with Dutch tulip professionals, opened its first free-pick-your-own tulip garden in Manhattan’s Union Square on Sunday, 7 April.

The first free-pick-your-own tulip garden (together with Keukenhof, arguably the world’s best piece of floral promotion) was put up in the Netherlands’ Dam Square in 2012, with many successful editions annually taking place in Amsterdam, Antwerp and San Francisco since. Now, it is taking its magic to the Big Apple, the USA’s largest and most influential metropolis.

On Sunday, 7 April, a crowd of 40,000 New Yorkers, tourists, and passers-by are invited to pick ten tulips for free from a purpose-built Dutch-themed garden (it’s not for nothing that the city goes by the historical moniker ‘New Amsterdam) with more than 200,000 tulips from New Jersey and Virginia. Blooms come in a rainbow of colours, a tribute to a morally flexible town where tulips, progressive ideas and inclusive attitudes flourish together.

The driving force behind New York’s first-ever Tulip Day is Anthos, the Dutch trade body for nursery stock and bulbs in association with the city of New York and the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The latter has launched FUTURE 400. Its website reads, “Future 400 is an initiative to mark 400 years of Dutch New York history with honesty and integrity, creating space for others who share this common heritage to voice their feelings and experiences at this momumental moment”.

The Dutch arrived in what is now New York in 1624 to establish New Amsterdam, and FUTURE 400 aims to approach Dutch colonial history through a more complete and honest lens. Or, as Ahmed Dadou, Consul General of the Netherlands in New York, puts it, “From the past to the present, Future 400 projects center a multitude of voices – Indigenous, African-American, Dutch, and others – who made up the vibrant tapestry that was New Amsterdam, and whose diversity continues to distinguish New York City to this day. “

The Tulip extravaganza blooms for one day only. People can get their free tulip bouquet between 11.30am – 3pm. Advanced tickets are sold out, but tickets will be available in situ as a walk-in.

Public Transportation: Union Square is easy to get to by Subway (the 4, 5, 6, L, N, R, and Q lines), by Bus (the M1, M2, M3, M7, M9 and M14), or the PATH train to 14th Street (walk two blocks). There are also over a dozen Citi Bike stations around the square.

↑ Back to top