Going, going, gone. As quickly as parks staff can dig them up and deliver them for sale, tulip bulbs from the Town’s many gardens have been snapped up.
Local Doreen Bell was grabbing some pink bulbs, and would have liked other colours, but they were sold out.
She was at the property of Lord Mayor Betty Disero about 4:30 p.m. last Thursday for an event that was supposed to start at 5 p.m., but like any great sale, a crowd of early-bird shoppers was arriving.
“These are so fantastic. I’ve already planted yellow and red, and now I’m picking up pink — four dozen all together. My garden should be gorgeous next year. I want a real show of tulips.”
She likes the price of the bulbs as well, she said, pointing out the Town buys the best, “not common varieties. These bulbs are expensive. They’re variegated colours, and huge bulbs. Really beautiful. I see them come up each May, and I say, ‘I want my gardens to look like the Town’s gardens. Maybe next year they will.’”
Every year, Niagara-on-the-Lake parks staff plant 12,000 tulip bulbs, and dig them up late in the spring when it’s time to plant the summer gardens.
There is nowhere to store the bulbs over the winter, and it’s more cost-effective for parks staff to use their limited budget to source new ones each year, says Disero.
She volunteered her property for selling the bulbs, and has spent two Fridays and a Thursday evening sandwiching meetings between her job collecting money for the tulip bulbs, which go for $3 a dozen. Any bulbs remaining will be sold from her home at 477 Butler Street Friday, June 7.
For the past three years, the bulbs have been sold to raise funds, first by the NOTL Rotary Club, and then the NOTL Horticultural Society took it on.
This year it’s tulips for trees, with the money raised going to the Town’s tree fund.
Next year, says Disero, she’ll offer her property to hold the sale — it takes up a significant amount of space with the bulbs laid out on the ground, sorted by colour — but there will have to be more volunteers to staff the event, so she can get back to her day job.