Tulip Top Gardens are a little way out of town (and in the next state) and they are open each year at the same time as Floriade.
Both are celebrations of spring. Both feature tulips by the hundreds. Both are in spectacular locations. And they couldn't be more different.
Floriade is free to enter, and is becoming increasingly commercial in nature.
Tulip Top Gardens charges $16 admittance to people over 16 (seniors get a discount). Included in that fee are unlimited cups of tea and coffee and for those who would like it a sausage sandwich (the skinny one had mine as well).
Floriade is a government initiative.
Tulip Top Gardens are the work of a single family - who put over a million bulbs in the ground each year by hand. I am so in awe of their backs and their stamina. And their eye for colour.
I go to both of them each year, but Tulip Top Gardens is first in my heart. This year it too was celebrating a significant anniversary - its 20th year of opening to the public.
Starting at the entrance to the gardens, wandering down the path.
I think their eye for colour and design is amazing. I love their companion planting too.
They have a lookout. Each year it is a test. Is this the year I have to give up? But no, slowly (with lots of rests) I did make it to the top again. And was rewarded with this view.
It is steep, but worth it.
Very tiring and well worth it.
I can not even begin to imagine the man hours that go into planting and maintaining the garden. It is magnificent and I am glad I got to see it through your eyes!ReplyDelete
Anne in the kitchen: Just thinking about planting a million bulbs by hand makes my back hurt. Badly.Delete
Very beautiful. That one would be my first pick as well. One family going to so much effort. And free food and drinks! Can't beat that kind of special attention.ReplyDelete
Alex J. Cavanaugh: They open the garden to nursing homes and people with disabilities too. I cannot see how they make any money out of it. A labour of love. A lot of labour.Delete
I am so glad you were able to make it to the top once again, and share your pictures. I suspect you must feel like I do right now when I post my Tulip Festival pictures in April. This place is magical, and so, so beautiful. Thank you for every last picture. :-)ReplyDelete
DJan: The time will come when I cannot walk to the lookout - and I will grieve. Not this year. And yes, it is magical.Delete
When that time comes, call me. I'll hire a wheelchair and push you.Delete
River: Thank you. I may hold you to that.Delete
It's absolutely stunning, thanks for sharingReplyDelete
Cheapchick: Welcome and thank you. I really love these gardens and look forward to them every year.Delete
Absolutely incredible. I am in awe that anyone can plant and see the beauty that wil happen months later.ReplyDelete
Birdie: I love their vision and I am completely awed at the effort involved. My body complains (loudly) when I plant a fraction of the bulbs they do.Delete
Oh my. So beautiful. How in the world do they keep up with it?ReplyDelete
Sandra Cox: It is amazing isn't it? And I am clueless about how they do it.Delete
Is the "fuzzy" pink flower a tulip? It's beautiful!!ReplyDelete
fishducky: If you mean the ninth photo (goodness how excessive) yes it is. And it is very beautiful indeed.Delete
Tulips are beautiful and I've never seen the shaggy looking ones before! Glad you made it to the top because the view is stunning.ReplyDelete
LL Cool Joe: When we first starting going to Tulip Top you could see the flower beds from the lookout. Over the years the trees have grown, but I do love that view.Delete
Beautiful! So many kinds of tulips and other flowers! Fantastic colors!ReplyDelete
Sharon Quails: It is a glorious place.Delete
Such an amazing flower! Why can't they last longer?!ReplyDelete
Susan Kane: They would crowd out the garden and prevent other things from blooming?Delete
I love red tulips! They are my favorite.ReplyDelete
Sandi: I love them too. Sadly the cockatoos destroyed all the red ones in my garden at home.Delete
Hi EC - just wonderful to see ...and yes one family's work - an amazing achievement ... just lovely. Great photos - as you say their colour scheme is pretty good (to put it mildly).ReplyDelete
So glad you were able to reach the look out - and what stunning views you're rewarded with ...
Gorgeous - thank you - cheers Hilary
Hilary Melton-Butcher: It is an incredible place. Classic music wafting from the trees, glorious scents, bees humming, frogs croaking. A slice of heaven.Delete
Tulip Tops is my favourite, too! I have only ever seen or heard of it through you and i thank you for making the effort.ReplyDelete
kylie: It gets MUCH less publicity than Floriade and many less visitors. I think it deserves more.Delete
Oh, EC. It is glorious indeed! Love this post!ReplyDelete
Marie Smith: Isn't it a joy?Delete
I would love to stroll through the floral splendor. I'd say it was worth the price.ReplyDelete
Truedessa: We don't begrudge any of it. And children under 16 are free.Delete
This is truly STUNNING.ReplyDelete
Or to use your words 'Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.'
It really is beautiful. Sometimes words are just not enough to describe what you can see.
What a lovely post, please feel free to share more photographs.
All the best Jan
Lowcarb team member ~Jan: It is a truly amazing place. And full of smiles.Delete
Just wonderful, nicely wrapped up by a stunning crab apple.ReplyDelete
Andrew: I think the trees really add to the gardens. And are often in full flower with the tulips.Delete
how spectacular, can't tell what is that first lavender flowered shrub or vineReplyDelete
Linda Starr: If you mean the very first photo it is an avenue of flowering apple trees.Delete
What a wonderful place - the tulips are spectacular, and the whole place is just stunning. Are the yellow shrubs forsythia? Well done on making it to the top; it's well worth it to see the lovely vistas below (for us as well!).ReplyDelete
Alexia: The forsythia is indeed the cheery yellow shrub. The smaller portion's sister's husband pruned hers just before it bloomed one year. Twenty years later she has not forgiven him. And I am on her side.Delete
Oh dear! Bad mistake. One of the few things I miss about Christchurch, the city I was brought up in, is that the climate was cold enough there to grow forsythia and other plants which enjoy freezing their socks off in the winter. However, I do NOT miss those horrible winters, or the summers for that matter!Delete
Alexia: She was living in the UK at the time, and suffering through a long hard winter. The splash of golden forsythia was very, very important to her (she is a woman who wears a cardigan in Brisbane summers because people keep their homes too cold for her). I like the cold, but could do without baking summers.Delete
Beautiful! As many have written, spectacular!ReplyDelete
Bill: Isn't it incredible?Delete
Absolutely beautiful, 20 years of planting and taking care of this and over a million bulbs makes the price to enter seem minimal and well worth it.ReplyDelete
Jimmy: Each year they plant over a million bulbs. By hand. Which blows me away - with awe and gratitude.Delete
You took gorgeous photos. Tulips are my favorite spring flower and they come in so many varieties. It certainly was worth more than $16 to visit this site - and you got tea and a sausage sandwich. That is quite a bargain!ReplyDelete
Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: In one visit I took over 200 photos. And could have taken more. And will use them to brighten dark days or moods.Delete
Beautiful flower arrangements.ReplyDelete
Jamie Ghione: Aren't they?Delete
These are gorgeous pictures and I do hope we will see more of them. The colours are amazing but what caught my eye perhaps even more were your shots of the many shades of green trees. Ahhhhhh . . . nature . . . helped along by hard working, nature loving individuals. Beautiful!ReplyDelete
P. S. the bee in the flower was a lovely bonus
jenny_o: Nature's palette is truly spectacular isn't it? And her gallery glorious. I too love the trees, their colours, their shape...Delete
And I was very pleased to capture the bee in the poppy.
A bee? How did I miss that?Delete
River: On the poppy. I expect you missed it because there were soooo many photos.Delete
I would adore this place! How wonderful. Yes, I agree, they have a fantastic eye for design and color. All those lovely tulips. And that view from the top is simply stunning. Thank you for sharing this beauty with us.ReplyDelete
Carola Bartz: You WOULD love this place. It really is an incredible piece of design and work. And by the time we leave each year my face hurts because I have been smiling so broadly.Delete
Incredible place, I could lose myself here for hours. Thank you for sharing all these amazing flowers.ReplyDelete
Denise inVA: We do lose ourselves. Each and every year. I am so glad we found it.Delete
I love tulips...They are so cheery early in the spring. I read your bio and I see we are both medically retired for the same reason...I hope you are doing alright. The summer's heat and humidity was a challenge for me...MichelleReplyDelete
Rambling Woods ~Michelle: Welcome. Summer heat and humidity (which I describe as the sweaty season) are always a challenge for me. I do my best to only go outside very early or very late. I hope you are getting relief from the heat.Delete
WOW! Well i have not enough words to describe the beauty of these gardens and the massive task of planting all those bulbs. I remined me of the wonderful day we spent all the bud field/ garden in amsterdam this year but you are fortnately both these gardens are more accessable to you to visit. Glad you made it to the top and had that wonderful view.ReplyDelete
Margaret Adamson: I was more than a little green eyed about your trip to Amsterdam.Delete
What a wonderful garden just beautiful.ReplyDelete
Merlesworld: Isn't it just? It fills me with awe and wonder (and delight) each year.Delete
It's all so stunningly gorgeous! I love the purple and white checkerboard of photo 16 andI'm amazed how well those plants are growing under and around the trees in photo 21. Anything under my trees here doesn't do nearly as well. I'm so glad you go every year to show us the beauty of it.ReplyDelete
River: I really don't know how they grow things so well under trees - they don't do nearly as well here either. I am happy to go every year, and glad that you enjoy the trip with us.Delete
Beautiful colours and types of tulips - a lot of hard work rewarded. I like the companion planting of trees and violas too. You had a lovely day to enjoy the views - thank you for sharing your visit.
I have bought my tulips for next year (on a very small scale) but am not planting until November.
Ellie Foster: Doesn't the thought of planting a million bulbs make your body ache? I love that they did, but will be more restrained here. And I still have some tulips in bloom - and am already planning for next year.Delete
That is beyond amazing. Such color. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. As the cold creeps in here, it's wonderful to see signs of spring elsewhere.ReplyDelete
Mason Canyon: I am glad to give you spring again. When our summer arrives I will get cool relief from blogs on your side of the globe.Delete
Absolutely stunning! I love that they provide drinks and food with the price of admission. That just makes it that much more enjoyable.ReplyDelete
Have a beachy week!
Elsie Amata: It is a really generous gesture isn't it? You can buy other food there too. Or take a picnic.Delete
all wonderful, but I must confess to one favoriteReplyDelete
(looking down into the valley)
Author R. Mac Wheeler: The valley is spectacular isn't it? And I am always thrilled to see it when I reach the lookout.Delete
Wow. Just wow. Such fabulous tulips. So glad you made it to the top for the view :)ReplyDelete
mshatch: It is a truly delightful spot. The owners house is behind the lookout and they get to see the view every day (if their aching backs will allow them to look up).Delete
Wow! I don't know if I could make it to the top the 1st time around, but I would keep going back until I did. These gardens are like artwork, and I love them. The time and patience it took to plant these had to be tremendous, AND to keep them looking so lovely for 20 years! Hugs...ROReplyDelete
RO: The gardens are only open to the public for one month of the year, but the work will go on the year round. The lookout is an inspired addition and I am so grateful I got there this year. And hopeful for next.Delete
stunning! beautiful! gorgeous! Reminds me of the gardens in Holland we saw as kids. I'd love to plant bulbs this fall to look forward to next spring but have decided to wait until we have a home of our own.ReplyDelete
Cindi Summerlin: I would love to see Holland's gardens. Perhaps you could put some bulbs in pots? Hyacinths and tulips both do well in them.Delete
You are so right about the companion planting. That's a true art isn't it?ReplyDelete
Sandra Cox: I think they are artists. Inspired (and inspiring) artists.Delete
Thank you so much for showing your photos - how very lovely, my favourite being the white tulip with red stripes. So cheery!ReplyDelete
Mrs Shoes: Welcome and thank you. My favourites changed every time I shifted my gaze.Delete
Oh wow, absolutely gorgeous! It's always well worth it to get to the top!ReplyDelete
Karen: It is. It was hard work, but worth it. And they very considerately provide chairs at the top.Delete
The flowers are all so gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your trip.ReplyDelete
I love your fortitude! So glad you made it to the lookout.
Myrna R.: It is a truly lovely place and I look forward to visiting each and every year. My father told me that I was 'more stubborn than stains'. Sometimes it pays dividends.Delete
I hadn't heard of these gardens until one of your previous visits. Such wonderful displays. So glad you made it to the lookout.ReplyDelete
Anna: They don't receive a fraction of the publicity they deserve. While we were there I was talking to a couple from Sydney. They had come to Canberra for Floriade and while there someone had suggested they stop in on their way home. They did. And much preferred it to the more commercial Floriade.Delete
Seems I missed this post before - what beautiful tulips, love the frilly one.ReplyDelete
Margaret-whiteangel: I like frilly tulips too. I am not fond of doubles though.Delete
I love the Tulip garden, It looks like it was created especially for you.ReplyDelete
Bob Bushell: I wish it was...Delete
I can see why you love to go. It's amazing that they do that much planting each year. Loved your pics!ReplyDelete
mail4rosey: Thank you. I am completely awed at their stamina and determination.Delete
Yours is the first blog I visited this morning. Talk about starting with a bright spot! (LOTS of bright spots!) The gardens are absolutely gorgeous, and I'm in awe of the people who planted all of those bulbs and have such a good eye for design and color. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Susan: Lots and lots of bright spots. And glorious scents and sounds too.Delete
Beautiful, EC....I thought of you when I heard about this yesterday...and after being a regular visitor to your blog, I understand why Lonely Planet gave Canberra the thumbs up. You probably are already aware of the below...but just in case...ReplyDelete
Lee: I saw that, and have noticed that people are already pooh-poohing it. Which I am happy about. We don't need more visitors.Delete
You do incredible work. I'd love to visit that place.ReplyDelete
Rick Watson: It is a remarkably little known wonder. And I have never heard of anyone who visited it and didn't love it.Delete
Seriously a gorgeous garden. Thank you for sharing! Have a great weekend!ReplyDelete
likeschocolate: Welcome and thank you. I love your name - chocolate is one of my weaknesses too.Delete
This is beyond spectacular and your pics as usual do full justice to the garden. Loved all the flowers, the avenues and the views, the pink tulip with the fringed petals is first among the equals. Thank you.ReplyDelete
Nilanjana Bose: It really is a glorious place. And it would be hard NOT to take a beautiful photo - in the kazillion I did take. Thank you.Delete
I'd say the Lookout view was well worth it (and all the others too). Gloriousity.ReplyDelete
Andrew MacLaren-Scott: Gloriousity is the perfect word. Thank you. I really do dread the year I can't get to the look-out. It is the cherry on top of an already generously iced cake.Delete
What a lovely, lovely garden!ReplyDelete
We feel happy looking at all kinds of flowers...
Caterina: Gardens are one of my obsessions, and this garden reminds me what they can be. It is more formal than any I would create, but very, very beautiful.Delete
Wow, I love all the color!ReplyDelete
Strayer: It is brilliant isn't it?Delete
I see why you say its steep but so worth it! Absolutely beautiful. The colors are so bright, the tulips and all are.ReplyDelete
Kim Standard: That walk to the lookout is very steep. I am so glad it hasn't yet defeated me, and I revel in the gardens each and every year.Delete
Those red tulips just pop don't they?ReplyDelete
Have a spooktacular weekend.
Sandra Cox: They do. And I am still mourning the bank of red tulips which the cockatoos destroyed at home.Delete
This lovely garden takes my breath away with it's colour and design and landscape. I love those pink tulips with the fluffy edges. It looks like someone has had a go at then with a pair of scissors. It's a grey cold rainy day here, I still have my jammies on, so the bright flowers are cheering me up. I bet the air was perfumed too.... so beautiful.ReplyDelete
Shammickite: How right you are about the perfumed air. It was blissful.Delete
Oh my, what gorgeous blooms everywhere you walk. Tulips are always one of my favorites maybe because they don't last long enough. The poppies are just incredible here too. Thanks for bringing us on your adventure I feel blessed only wish I could take in the scents as well!ReplyDelete
Karen S.: I wish I could share the scents and the sounds. Lots of happy people, birds, frogs,...Delete
WOW!!! Truly amazing! Truly breath taking! How do they keep up with it??? So BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Thank you for sharing these amazing pictures! Big Hugs!ReplyDelete
Magic Love Crow: I really don't know how they do it. Work, work and more work - with glorious rewards.Delete
Stunning! Wow! I love all the variations and bursts of color. I can only imagine how fragrant the air must be! So much work to get it all designed and planted. But boy- does it delight! Thanks for taking us with you. :)ReplyDelete
DMS ~Jess: This is an annual pilgrimage and treat for us - and yes the air is fragrant. Very fragant. Beautifully so.Delete
Simply spectacular! I would love to see that in person, but thank you for sharing your photos.ReplyDelete
Lynn: I would love it if you could see it in person too.Delete