A row of flowers

Tulips in bloom at Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace has hosted a tulip festival this spring.

The Palace is adorned with over 100,000 bulbs for the annual Tulip Festival, which took place from early April to 29 April.

The tulips’ colourful blooms can be seen in several gardens and historical courtyards, such as the Great Fountain Garden, Fountain Court, The Privy Garden, Base Court Wine Fountain, and Lower Orangery Garden.

Graham Dillamore, Head Gardener at Hampton Court Palace, who has worked at Hampton Court Palace since 1990, said: “The Tulip Festival is a huge job, with over 100,000 bulbs planted each year by our dedicated team of staff and volunteers, but it is all worth it to see the palace and gardens bursting with colour spring.

“One of my highlights of the gardening calendar is designing the different colour combinations that we’d like to see the following spring, and as you’ll notice most of our displays feature different colours and types of tulip flowers to add variety and depth.”

Linda, a 61-year-old visitor to the Tulip Festival expressed her gratitude for the well-preserved historical sites in Britain, including Hampton Court Palace.

Image: Linda at Hampton Court Palace Tulip Festival

She believed Hampton Court Palace had been well-guarded since Henry VIII’s era, which is why visitors can still enjoy the sight of beautiful flowers at the Palace.

“I went to Holland specifically to see the tulips, the tulip fields didn’t have as many flowers as I expected. Some areas had tulips, while others were empty.

“Whereas the setting of tulip fields in Hampton Court Palace is so beautiful, you can see the tulips from different seasons.”

According to the Palace’s statement, the gardeners planted over 100,000 bulbs by hand last November in preparation for the Spring festival.

Hampton Court Palace has a long history with tulips. Queen Mary II, a former resident at Hampton Court Palace was an avid horticulturist who collected exotic plant species.

Image: At the “Tulip Talk” seminar in Hampton Court Palace, a Palace Host gave a speech

The tulip show brought back people’s emotional connections and memories of tulips.

Natasha Nardell, The Palace Operations Manager, revealed that some visitors are former Palace gardeners who reminisce about planting tulips.

As tulips are also symbols of love and femininity, during the Tulip festival, some visitors come to pay respects to their loved ones who have passed away.

Nardell said: “Yesterday, a visitor came to the Palace to see the tulips. She had tulips all over her wedding and she recently lost her husband.

“She attended our 15-minute ‘Tulip Talk’ seminar within the Palace to hear nice stories about the tulip, in order to remember her husband in this way.”

Nardell mentioned that tourism has increased since reopening after the pandemic.

In relation to the number of tourists who attended the Tulip Festival, Hampton Court Palace stated:“ We do not have exact figures for the number of attendees, but we know that it is a very popular event and a key reason to visit the palace during this time of year.”

Lisa, a resident of Kingston, brought her daughter to the Palace in the rain to see the Tulips. Lisa explained that the reason she came to Hampton Court Palace was because she had never been there before.

Lisa said: “I tried to book tickets in March, but they were in high demand, and there were only a few tickets left. Today was the only day I could bring my kid to the Palace.”

Featured image credit: Anna Yifeng Wang

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