Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Tulip Top Gardens 2014

My self indulgence in spring gardens continues.

Last week we went to Floriade and on Monday of this week we continued our spring garden pilgrimage.  Floriade and the Tulip Top Gardens are open for the same period each year.  Floriade is a local government initiative, and Tulip Top Gardens are the brain child and the blood, sweat and tears of a single family.

Tulip Top Gardens are a little way out of town, 13 kilometres from the showground, and in another state (New South Wales).  They are just off the highway - and a million light years from it.

Both gardens are a riot of colour but there are a lot of differences.

Floriade is free to enter.  Tulip Top Gardens charges $14 for an adult (with senior concessions).  Included in that fee is unlimited tea and coffee and if you arrive around lunch time a sausage sandwich is thrown in (which usually gives the skinny one a big lunch).  Despite the entry fee Tulip Top is a great deal less commercial.  There is one shop where you can buy food, one garden shop and a couple of other stalls.  And this year, on our way out we picked up some free pansy tubes.  They have been planted and are flowering their hearts out in a pot on our back deck.   

Tulip Top Gardens was established in 1997 by one couple, and is still owned and run by the same family.  Each year over half a million bulbs and flowers are planted by hand.  Which puts my efforts to shame.  There are over 1000 blossom trees, a waterfall and watercourse.  The sound of frogs is everywhere - and some day I will see one there.  Classical music is wafted from the trees and there are chairs littered around the garden to sit and absorb the splendour - or, as I noticed several people doing, to nod off in the sun.  It is set in 10 acres, and has a water course, a water fall and a stunning look out.

Like Floriade, Tulip Top Gardens are not fully out yet.  There are blossom trees still to come, and more tulips.  Unlike Floriade, we have every intention of going back next week or the week after to revel some more.

Less rabitting, more photos.  And be warned, there are many, many photos.  I have mentioned my lack of restraint haven't I?  Clicking will, as always, embiggen.

This is what greeted us at the top of the (steep) walk down to the gardens.  A walk I take every year despite there being level access for those who want or need it.  And, with luck, next time we go this path will be through an avenue of flowering crab apple.




Looking to the left.


Looking straight ahead.


Looking to the right, which is the direction I took when I reached the bottom.







The waterfall trickles into this pool.



Walking on.

 











The forsythia avenue is something I look forward to every year.  And the underplanting of pansies and violas sets it off beautifully. 




And then to the look out.  It is a steep walk, and one I find difficult.  Each year I wonder whether I can do it.  And perservere.  Wouldn't you?






Down again - with just a few more of the many, many photos I took.  Ok, I am a stranger to the truth.  Quite a few more photos.





















Isn't it beautiful?  I will go to Floriade each and every year but Tulip Top Gardens has first place in my heart.  And is considerably less crowded too.

123 comments:

  1. Wow and I thought I added a lot of photos to my blog! :D It sure is beautiful, all the photos look amazing. All that colour and beauty, but to be honest the bit that interested me the most was the sausage sandwich. :D

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    1. LL Cool Joe: Do I detect that you are hungry? I don't do snosage. In sandwiches or anywhere else. Himself loved them though.

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  2. So nice to know that spring is somewhere in the world even as we are approaching the end of the growing season.

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    1. Delores: And I thought of you as I wandered round. Quite a lot of the photos I will use for Sunday Selections were taken with you in mind.

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  3. Now that's what I call in bloom!
    Cool that the same family owns it. And I'd pay extra for less commercialism.

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    1. Alex J. Cavanaugh: And it isn't expensive either. By the time you factor in the tea and coffee, the sandwich and this year the pansies I thought it was really quite cheap. And certainly worth it.

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  4. Half a million bulbs and flowers planted by hand? My god. That is a mighty feat. But sooooooooo very worth it. Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous!

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    1. Wendy: Isn't it? They must have backs and knees of steel.

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  5. Wow, your photos are always full of such beauty!

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    1. Optimistic Existentialist: There is a lot of beauty around - and I think it would be hard NOT to take a good photo here. Explosions of colour.

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  6. Such perfection! When I think of all the hours and hours of hard work put in to achieve and maintain such a garden my heart skips a beat. And then I think of YOUR also gorgeous garden where you put in just as much of yourself.
    what are those trees/shrubs with the spears of blossom? The 7th photo down.
    I really like the perfect single pink blossom just above the forsythia photo.
    And would I persevere on that walk? You betcha! Just slower each year with more stops along the way.

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    1. River: I don't know what the spears of blossom are - and will ask when we go back. Isn't it a glorious garden. Their home is at the top just behind the look-out, and I would love to stay there. I think it would make a brilliant B and B.
      The walk to the look out is indeed slower each year. But I know it is worth it.

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  7. You put that Forsythia in for me, didn't you? And I am happy.:-)

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    1. dinahmow: For you - and for me. It really is an amazing sight. And there are (naturally) more photos of it too.

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  8. Please, keep posting as many pictures as your heart desires. It is currently dark and rainy here and I am sitting in front of my SAD light. Your pictures bring me pleasure.

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    1. ditchingthedog: Would you like me to send you some of them so you can look at them whenever you feel the need for colour?

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    2. That would be lovely! I will put them in my Happy Valise. :-)

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    3. ditchingthedog: I will send you an email (or two) later today.

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  9. HI What a wonderful garden with beautiful flowers which the gardeners have worked so hard to make really lovely.

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    1. Margaret Adamson: One hard working family. One incredibly hard working family. And a triumph every year.

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  10. oh my word spring has sprung in your neck of the woods. Thank you for loading all the photos I know how long that all takes.

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    1. Linda Starr: It is probably just as well it takes some time, because there are many more photos. And my problem was which ones to leave out.

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  11. The trees were amazing.

    Oh, liked the flowers too ;O)

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    1. R. Mac Wheeler: I loved it all. And the trees are a joy.

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  12. Wow! Wow! Wow! I think I'm drunk with beaty. I don't tire of your pictures. They're never enough. Thank you so much.

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    1. Myrna R.: What a lovely thing to say. And yes, drunk with beauty was how I felt. And very, very peaceful. Birds, frogs, bees and some classical music. Bliss.

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  13. I sighed deeply, and drooled at your photos, EC.
    It's like you were in another world. A kinder, gentler, good for the soul world.
    I would have loved to walk beautiful blossom avenue into these magnificent gardens, then lay down on the warm green grass and travelled to the land of nod for a time.

    In this increasingly busy world, it's so good to know that there are places of beauty and rest - for the mind, body and soul - to come to.
    Thank you for taking us there.

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    1. Vicki: It is an incredible place isn't it? So much beauty. And rather a lot of work. Which I applaud.
      There is a lot of beauty about - but this place is special. Very special.

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  14. Very pretty. What is that pink blossom right above the forsythias set off with the pansies? So pretty. Many of these bulbs we have here but won't see again until April-May, which seems like a life time. And this week, my old standby impatiens have suddenly come down with a disease so my garden is looking bare.

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    1. Sue in Italia/In the Land of Cancer: I think the pink blossom is an ornamental fruit tree. When we go back next week I will try and find someone to ask. I am sorry about your impatiens. They are usually so hardy too.

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  15. Unbelievably beautiful.What a walk you took us on.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: Isn't it special. Paths and peace. I do love it there.

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  16. Tulip Top would be my favorite, too. So it costs more, it's worth it! I am so thrilled to have been privy to the view of springtime blossoms, tulips, and forsythia in brilliant form. Thank you, and many big hugs to you and SP. :-)

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    1. DJan: I think the cost is more than reasonable. And yes, it is certainly worth it. And hugs returned to you - with interest.

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  17. The number of photos you have shared (in comparison to Floriade) is testament to how much more Tulip Tops has inspired you this year EC. I can't believe a whole year has lapsed in Blogland. I wonder if a Blogland year is the same as a real year?

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    1. Carol in Cairns: You are right. I took lots of photos at both Floriade and Tulip Tops but the much less commercial focus and undeniable beauty at the latter won me over.
      And time/space/seasons are different in the blogosphere I am sure. Much more flexible...

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  18. What a deluge of colors! The tulips are amazing! Thanks for bringing some color to a dry desert called California.

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    1. Susan Kane: I do hope you get some life giving rain soon. Very soon.

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  19. Just the kind of happy places I am trying to be right now. A peaceful place with a pond and lots of colorful flowers and the shade of beautiful trees. Now I feel better. :)

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    1. Al Diaz: Anything which makes you feel better is a winner. And yes, it is a happy place. And beautiful. And peaceful.

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  20. What gorgeous photos. I love visiting gardens with my camera - and I have the pics to prove it! But it's been a while and seeing your beautiful pictures reminds me I absolutely must get to the botanical gardens next year.

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    1. mshatch: Snap. We have been saying for some time that we must go back to the botanical gardens. Soon. Ish.

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  21. From top to bottom, every single picture is gorgeous. I would not have had restraint either (in taking the pictures). :)

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    1. mail4rosey: I am not going to admit just how many more photos there are. Rather a lot. And if/when we go back next week I will do it all over again.

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  22. Absolutely beautiul, EC...awesome. Thanks for sharing...you've brightened my day considerably.

    Best wishes to you, The Skinny One and the two furry terrors. :)

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    1. Lee: It is an absolutely glorious place. And I love that it has brightened my day - and so many other people's days as well.

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  23. it is almost impossible to convey the vast pleasure of such flower gardens, and you have accomplished it beautifully!
    "hana fubuki" flower blizzard!


    L'Shana Tova with ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^= . <3 . >< } } (°>

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    1. Cloudia: Thank you. It was/is sooooo much better in person though. Sight, scent, sound in perfect harmony.

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  24. What a delight! Beautiful place for a springtime walk.

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    1. Karen: It is. And while it is only open the public in spring, I think it would be a delight all year round.

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  25. Words cannot do this justice, EC. It must be even better in person. And it must be a true labour of love for the family who does it, because I can't imagine they would recoup a fraction of their cost. Glorious. Thank you for sharing it.

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    1. jenny_o: I can't see how they can recoup their costs either. And labour like that can only be done for love. Rather a lot of love.

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  26. Wonderful Pictures...Thanks for sharing!

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  27. Wow, while we have some nice gardens around Melbourne and nearby, I don't think there is anything on the that scale or of such beauty. The entry fee is quite reasonable for what you get to see.

    It must be terribly disappointing for advocates of native gardens to see.

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    1. Andrew: I think the price is quite reasonable too. Floriade attracts criticism each year from the native flora advocates, but Tulip Tops gets next to no publicity good or bad.
      And I think there is room for native and exotic gardens.

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  28. Beautiful images of the flowers EC.

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    1. Bob Bushell: Beautiful gardens - and thank you.

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    2. Beautiful flower gardens, whoops.

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  29. That's lovely, I really like those blossom trees with the blossom all the way up the wand-like branches that look like fireworks going off - I've not seen them before.

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    1. lynners: They do look like fireworks don't they? And I was fascinated to see deep pink and white blossoms on the same stem.

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  30. It is always a 'woah' moment to adjust to the fact that, over the other side of the world, it is spring. How lovely to look at these beautiful (and well captured) gardens, when England is descending into the colder, wetter, darker months.

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    1. carrie kitkat: Welcome and thank you. I love that somewhere in the blogosphere someone always has great weather. And that I get two springs, two autumns and two winters a year. Our summer is one too many for me though.

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  31. This is a spectacular garden and thank you for reminding us to embiggen :) An incredible series of photographs!

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  32. Just gorgeous - I can see why you would want to go there again and again. This is such a treat to experience spring while our leaves are beginning to brown and fall here.

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    1. Lynn: Spring is definitely here. And I am looking forward to seeing photos of the vibrancy of your autumn - and the pared back elegance of your winter.

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  33. If possible I would cover our entire 10 acres with tulips.

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    1. Grannie Annie: Much as I love tulips, I am glad that they put the trees and other plants in as well. Very glad.

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  34. Breathtaking is the first word that comes to mind. I can see why you would want to go back again and again. It's amazing that it's still in the same family. Just from those photos, I'd say it is well worth the price of admission and more.

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    1. Mason Canyon: I am in awe every year at the work they put in - and the incredible results. Beauty overload. And bliss.

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  35. What beautiful photos! Definitely worth the trip to see.

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    1. Stephanie Faris: Each and every year - and I have never been disappointed.

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  36. I'm in love! I can see why you'd want to go back again and again. What gorgeous, gorgeous views. Flowering trees are the ultimate pleasure to look at and the rolling hills as backdrop is spectacular!

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    1. River Fairchild: The hills are clothed in green at the moment, but before long they will be rolling golden hills. Still beautiful - but very different. And I am in love with the place as well. Of course.

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  37. Lovely, lovely flower shots, especially the one of the red tulips beneath the weeping tree branches. It never fails to mess with my perceptions when I see your spring photos while it's fall here! No tulips in my garden....just waning vegetables and fall-blooming chrysanthemums.

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    1. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson: Chrysanthemums have a charm of their own. And autumn foliage. I am enjoying our Spring - but loving seeing shots as autumn emerges on your side of the world.

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  38. Stunning photos - and an absolutely beautiful place. Tulips are my very favorite flower. My husband bought me coral and yellow colored ones for our anniversary, and they are on my table right now :)

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    1. Susan F.: We have more tulips coming out in our garden every day. Candles of colour. Your anniversary gift sounds lovely. Jewel like colours...

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    2. So does my cat - and unfortunately loves to snack on my tulip flowers.

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    3. Susan F: Our current cats prefer to roll on my favourite plants rather than snack on them. The end result is much the same though. Cats 1, plants 0.

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  39. It's a really lovely display.
    Merle............

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    1. Merlesworld: It is isn't it? So much work, so much beauty...

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  40. Ahhh. Sigh of pleasure. It's blooming beautiful and it seems to be worth every cent.

    Where in NSW?

    I'd love to meet that family, what a wonderful thing to work on together.

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    1. Guyana-Gyal: The gardens are just off the highway between Sydney and Canberra, about equal distance between Canberra and Lake George. And I hope the family revels in their home all year round. They open it to the public for a month, but it would be beautiful in every season.

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  41. Once again, I'm so envious of your visit. Such lovely gardens, such beautiful weather.
    The owners must be amazing people - and worth their weight in tulip bulbs. What an achievement!

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    1. Alexia: They aren't spring chickens either. I felt more than a bit of shame as I looked, and marvelled, at what they have achieved.

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  42. I could spend the rest of my days visiting gardens, this one is especially wonderful and those views, exquisite.

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    1. Linda Starr: I am always amazed that this garden is not publicised and seems to be almost unknown outside the local area.

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  43. Absolutely amazing, EC! I'm so impressed with the number of bulbs planted and the blossom trees are stunning. If I manage to get down your way I'll have to make it in spring time. No wonder you love going there...

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    1. Carol: I think it is worth the trip. Well worth it. And I love the trees they have planted too.

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  44. Yes, the flowers and trees are gorgeous -- thanks for sharing these lovely photos! Visiting your blog feels like going for a refreshing walk. :)

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    1. Meg Evans: Welcome and thank you. Not many of my walks are this spectacular though.

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  45. Oh, how much do I love that family at Tulip Top?! Such a beautiful place. Thank you, Elephant's

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  46. -- Whoops!

    Elephant's Child, for bringing me along on this trip!

    Pearl

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  47. What a paradise of flowers! Just gorgeous.

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    1. ladyfi: Paradise it is. Gorgeous it is. And an annual treat.

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  48. Blooming marvelous, and just what I needed, a bounteous balm for the eyes and mind. Lovely.

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    1. All Consuming: I am always glad to share the balm for eyes, hearts and minds.

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  49. Stunning! If this is "not yet in full bloom" the mind reels at what that must be like!

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    1. Molly Bon: There are more flowering trees to come out, and several hundred more tulips. Which is incredible.

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  50. I love tulips! How much is $14 in American monies?

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    1. Riot Kitty: I am not certain what the exchange rate is at the moment - but less than $14 US. $12 or so?

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  51. Mind you, I'd also have to get the $1,500 plane ticket...

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    1. Riot Kitty: There is always a catch. And the plane ticket is a biggie.

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  52. Dear Sue, these photographs are overwhelmingly beautiful. I need to find some synonyms to use to really capture the wonder of Tulip Top Gardens. Everything--especially the forsythia with purple pansies and violas--is truly lovely. But what takes my breath away are the vistas from the look-up. A Persian carpet of colors--some muted, some vivid, all evocative. Thank you. Peace.

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    1. Dee: It is an overwhelmingly beautiful place. The foliage, the blossoms, the blooms, the water... And a Persian carpet is an excellent description. Thank you.

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  53. Many of these photos remind me of The Netherlands' amazing Keukenhof gardens, and I'm seriously impressed that it's a private endeavor! (Now they just need to lose the ground-up corpse sandwiches and serve something non-harming and nutritious instead!) I'm glad you made it up the hill and that your efforts were so handsomely rewarded! Terrific photos from what looks like a wonderful day!

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    1. Laloofah: The snosage sandwich is not for me either - so I fed on beauty instead. And they are more than happy for people to take their own lunches...

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  54. It is beautiful, immensely so. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. A Cuban in London: Thank you - they are stunning.

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  55. We have HUGE tulip farms north of where I live. Every year April or May they open up to the public and they're sooo beautiful. I never knew there were so many different species of tulips.

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    1. Furry Bottoms: I would love to see that. Tulips are spectacular - and like daffodils there are a zillion more types than I ever knew about.

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  56. This is a place to my heart! How very beautiful. I would go there over and over again, and of course take pictures like a crazy woman. Tulips are my favorite spring flowers and don't do that well here, so it's always wonderful for me to see those large plantings of tulips. I probably should live in Holland...

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    1. Carola Bartz: Isn't it an incredible place? And yes, this crazy woman did take many, many photos and will take more when we go back. Lots more.

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  57. S.
    I always smile when I click into your world. :) xxxxxxxxxx

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    1. My Inner Chick: I am glad. I often weep when I visit you - and am inspired by your strength and your caring.

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