The Tulip Festival at Glenarm Castle and walled Gardens
What makes a flower appeal to the eye, enchant the soul, and inspire art, poetry and true love?
For some, it may be perfect symmetry and bold colours. For others, it is wild frills or subtle
shades of pastel. All of these traits are on display when you tiptoe through the Tulip Flowers.
You have seen tulip as a cut flower at the florist or maybe even bought a tulip bulb to plant and
care for in your garden. Now, imagine yourself walking the walled gardens of an ancient Irish
castle at the Glenarm Tulip Festival.
Local crafts, music, food, and art make a festival great. Still, there needs to be an attraction.
What could be a better reason to celebrate Spring than viewing an incredible display of thousands
of tulips of mixed varieties?
To get in the mood, let us learn about some of the amazing variety of colors and textures of tulips.
You will discover a mysterious and dark ‘queen’ that you will want to take home for your garden.
Red Emperor- Spring is the time for love! Red tulips are the symbol of love. Pointed petals and a
yellow base give this affair a fiery edge.
Purissima- Of course, love means being able to say you’re sorry. White tulips are the traditional
colour for saying “I’m sorry”. White tulips are amazing around dawn and dusk.
Verona- The most striking color of tulips in any garden is yellow and this variety really shines.
Light up darkened corners or mark the entryway with an exclamation.
Uncle Tom- No traditional mix of tulips is complete without the color of the royals.
A calming and pleasing hue that you can gaze at all day.
Tulips have been incredibly popular for centuries. At one point the bulbs were worth ten years
of an annual salary. Tulip Mania is a famous story where the prices got very high and then crashed, ruining fortunes and creating the first pricing bubble in modern economics.
Maybe this is the reason why we think of Holland when we think of Tulips, but they actually come
from the foothills of the Himalaya mountains. How about a daydream of strolling through eastern
Turkey looking at hillsides covered in these wild tulips.
Little Princess- Multi-coloured earth tones of brown centre with golden streaks and rusty orange tips.
Chrysantha– Low growing tulips burst open with vibrant yellow and warm red towards the edges.
Reminds me of some childhood candy treat.
Lady Jane- A low growing tulip variety with a slender petal that gives off the elegance of a true lady.
Sylvestris- imagine wandering a forest path and coming across a field of these yellow, aromatic
beauties with a sparse open petal shape.
There are over 150 different species and 3000 individual varieties of tulips. Plant breeders create
new hybrid varieties each year, however, it takes decades for a new variety to be available
Hybrid varieties are not as tough and hardy as the wild, but the colors, shapes, and sizes
created are incredible. One of the most popular are the fringe edged hybrids.
Flaming Parrot- Flamboyant flowers with layers of curves. Bright yellow and red colors do
give it the look of a tropical drink with an umbrella in it.
Estella Rijnveld- Like the tissue poking out the top of a gift bag from a favorite Aunt, this
tulip manages to be both unusual and nostalgic. Put in a cut flower arrangement,
Glasnost- Your ideas will flow free when you are inspired by this lovely and wild-looking tulip.
The ruffled edges and the red and yellow colors are bold and enticing.
Oviedo– A flower that looks fragile enough to shatter into a million pieces. Pink and white
with tiny frills like frost on a windowpane.
Tulip bulbs are not at all difficult to grow or take care of. If you live in a cool climate and
have well-drained soil, they will practically care for themselves. They require some amount
of frost when the bulbs are in the ground, so it is essential to plant them in the fall to
bloom the following spring.
It is easy to find tulip bulbs in your local mega-store or to order them from vast catalogues
that require a large minimum purchase. The better way to choose your tulip bulbs is to s
ee them in full bloom. At the Glenarm Tulip Festival, you will walk the enchanted walled
garden viewing a wide variety of tulip flowers.
At the end of the day, you can order the varieties that caught your eye or captured your heart.
Every time you step in the garden you will be reminded of your day at the festival and the
loved ones who shared it with you. The tulip bulbs will be delivered to your house the
following fall just in time to be planted outside.
Monsella– Double-flowered tulips have an extra set of petals and a fuller look to them.
This flamed bloom looks amazing in a bouquet and can be sprinkled throughout a garden
as an uplifting highlight.
Bastogne– A favorite of florists who appreciate a hard, strong stem and long-lasting petals.
Not frilly, yet there is a ruffled look to the curved petal tips.
Bessie– When I view flowers, I want to look inside. Perhaps that is why my favorite are the
open-cupped tulips. Simple, happy lavender blooms greet me as I walk to my car on
Bestseller– The orange peach color of these tulips is reminiscent of the lovely displays at
Church on Easter Sunday. Perfect for contrasting with any other color.
Finally, presenting the variety that makes an impression on everyone at the Glenarm Castle
Queen of the Night- Famous in the world of cut flowers, this gorgeous heirloom was
originally created in the dark days of 1940. Dark, velvety maroon that provides texture and
drama to a garden display. The magic flute will play in your ears when you gaze into this
dark beauty. ShutterSpeed Ireland will be there to capture the Festival! See you there