Now we come to our main reason for going on our Spring Expedition, The Tulips!!!!!!!
It was such a beautiful day and the tulips looked stunning in the sun light. I think half of Wellington City came along to look at the tulips today. Mum and Dad's out with the kids, students with their cameras, tourists, couples, Nana and Grandad with the grandkids, all walks of life..... all enjoying the same thing.
Lots of people having picnics on the Sound Shell lawn. We had our lunch there too.
Salem and I had a lovely time looking at all the tulips. The Spring Festival doesn't start until the 30th September with Tulip Sunday on the opening day.
I am glad we didn't wait until then as the tulips had opened a couple of weeks early and I think they won't be looking as good for this weekend. It must be hard getting the timing right for these events as all the spring flowers seem to be blooming earlier and earlier each year. The seasons are really out of sync.
So this Sunday is Tulip Sunday and there will be lots of entertainment to welcome Spring to the Wellington Botanic Gardens. Thousands of people will be there to enjoy the music, dancing, food and of course the flowers.
The Mayor of Wellington Celia Wade-Brown will be there and so will the Dutch Ambassador Arie van der Wiel. They will be doing some speeches for the opening day.
Also on offer are guided walks, talks, storytelling, workshops, a visit from zoo critters, children’s activities and exclusive tours of other attractions in the area as part of the festival.
But Salem and I are quite content to just stroll around doing our own thing for now. We will probably go to one or two activities over the school holidays which have just started today.
I found a nice place to sit down and have another cup of tea and I had a read of the newspaper. It was lovely to just sit down and relax surrounded with such a beautiful sight.
It was also a good opportunity to let Salem go off to have a bit of an explore by himself in the surrounding trees and bushes.
He just loves to climb a good tree and he told me he made a bit of a fort up in the bushes.
I'm sure the gardeners wouldn't be too impressed but he only uses dead branches off the ground.
We will be going back there tomorrow hopefully as we have a few things to do in Wellington tomorrow, so it will be interesting to see if his fort is still intact.
He has been talking about it all week.
Here are some facts about the tulips at the Botanic Gardens:
They planted 25,000 tulips.
A warm, wet and mild winter has led to an early flourish for most of Wellington Botanic Garden's tulips.
Last year we had the big snow and the very cold temperatures meant the tulips were very late. This year the warm wet winter has really got them growing.
The council's parks and reserves manager used to wander down to check out the tulips on a Monday and, after some studying, would duly pronounce: 'We will have Tulip Sunday this week'.
They can now no longer do this as it is now such a big event and needs a lot of planing.
This has been the second year that the tulips haven't bloomed on time.
We didn't get to see them last year unfortunately but this display absolutely made up for missing them last year.
Tulips originate from vast areas with mild climates and need a period of cold dormancy.
They do better in temperate climates with long cool spring and early summer, but they also are frequently produced as many spring flowering annual plantings in temperate areas.
It will be interesting to see how the beautiful tulips have fared since our visit last week.
The weather this week has been quite mild, some rain but no big gusty windy days to blow all the petals off.
I just love Spring!!!!!
We will hopefully be checking out the gardens at the Hobson Street Park this weekend among other things but I still haven't finished with telling you about this expedition yet. I think there are about three more installments. We try to fit as much as we can in one day when we go into Wellington.
So more tomorrow.......