Sunday, 11 May 2014

Tulips and gardens

This is the first weekend of the Tulip Festival in Ottawa a tradition which was started many decades ago when the Queen of the Netherlands, Juliana in recognition for the protection given to her and the Royal Family during the Second World War gave a generous gift of Tulip bulbs to the Capital.

HRH Alexander Lord Athlone, Governor General of Canada

Her family lived in Ottawa at Stornoway in Rockcliffe Park. They arrived by boat at Montreal and then took the train to Montebello where HRH the Governor General Sir Alexander Frederick Augustus Prince of Teck, Lord Athlone met them to escort them to Ottawa. Princess Magriet of the Netherlands was born in Ottawa in 1943 at the Civic Hospital. So this Tulip Festival is forever tied to Holland and Canada and the Royal Dutch Family.

HRH Princess Magriet of the Netherlands, she is known as Canada's Princess.

The tulip displays around the Capital are impressive, Dow's Lake, the gardens behind the Chateau Laurier,  along the Rideau Canal on Queen Elizabeth Drive and along commercial streets like Bank street, all very colourful. 

 This year we have these miniature Turkish Sultan Tulips by the thousands on the banks of the Rideau Canal in front of our house.

 They are quite small, about the size of an index finger 

 Other beds of tulips along the Canal by our house.
A riot of colours.

Now more photos but from Dow's Lake, an artificial lake created 180 years ago when the Royal engineers flooded what was a gigantic swamp below Hog's back Falls.

 The park around the lake is quite beautiful in all Seasons

 The real Estate is also beautiful, stately homes with prices to match, there is a whole neighbourhood around Dow's Lake which stretches down for kilometres on the Queen Elizabeth Drive.

On the other side of the Lake is the Arboretum which rare trees, it is part of the larger Experimental Farm which is an enormous area in the centre of the city.

 There are several giant topiary at Dow's Lake

 Daffodil's compliment the grounds

 Also dozens of papier maché tulips hand painted by various artists on a theme of their choosing

Well worth a visit to see so many beautiful flowers 

So today it was our turn to do our little garden, on our balcony. We went to Ritchie Feed and Seed a venerable company in Ottawa for I do not know how many decades with a solid reputation for all things garden, plants, flowers and seeds on Windmill Road at Cyrville Road.

We looked around and found some Regal Geranium a type of geranium I had never seen before quite different. We also got German Ivy and Colius and a hanging basket but I cannot remember the name of the plant though the flower is a lovely red. There is also another type of ivy with a beautiful small white flower. 

The regal geranium some are a dark blood red and the other plants are a white pink and violet colour. The leaf is large and flat. 

We also put up a white trellis, so we are ready to entertain.

Regal geranium 

On one of the first warm days of the Spring-Summer 2014

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