Plantation bulbes ©MRT
Plantation des bulbes ©MRT

Tulip bulbs planting

Discover how the bulbs of the Tulip Festival are planted.

It all begins in January of the previous year, when the current year's celebration has not yet begun. The gardeners of the City of Morges draw the plans of the massifs between January and March. They vary as much as possible the massifs and their locations but some must remain in the same place each year because of the roots of the trees for example. They must also be attentive to the flowering period of the varieties present in the same massif because they must flower at the same time for the massif to be homogeneous and successful. If the tulips of a massif must bloom at the same time, the massifs will have on the contrary, a different flowering period each one in order to extend the flowering period of the park. In April, during the festival, the City's collaborators study the flower beds to see if the compositions and assemblies they have created are a success or not. They will then decide if there are any changes to make assemblies that should not be renewed. Each year, about 200 new varieties are chosen to present new flowers to the public.

The Tulip Festival also allows the younger generations to participate through a mass drawing competition. Indeed, as part of a course during their 2nd year, the landscapers, flower growers and nurserymen apprentices of the "Centre d'Enseignement Professionnel de Morges" must each draw a massif of tulips. When creating this massif, they must obey all the real constraints such as selecting tulips that have the same flowering period in order to have a harmonious massif by using a supplier's catalogue of flowers and creating realistic yet original designs. Out of the 100 apprentice drawings, a jury will select four that will then be planted in the "Parc de l'Indépendance" with the other massifs. La Fête de la Tulipe also works with associations such as Le Repuis in Grandson, a foundation that helps young people in difficulty and the Lavigny institution, which takes care of people with disabilities. Two massifs are designed and planted by young people from the Repuis and two by employees of the Lavigny garden workshop.

In October, the City's gardeners began planting tulip bulbs. First of all, they use sawdust to draw the massifs according to the plans. Once the massif is delimited, they remove the grass and plough the soil so that there are no clusters that would complicate planting. The massifs are then levelled so that all the bulbs are at the same height and the massif is very flat. Once this step is completed, the actual planting can begin. The bulbs are first placed on the earth mound to check their location and that all bulbs have a place in the massif. They are then buried to a depth of about three times the size of the bulb. It is important to place them with the future stem at the top, otherwise the bulb will take longer to flower as it will grow upside down.

Once the celebration is over, the tulips are left in the ground until the day the bulbs are sold. On that day, the public can come and buy the tulip bulbs they want. On the morning of the uprooting, the gardeners close the "Parc de l'Indépendance" and start to uproot the bulbs, while leaving the plant in the massif from where it was removed. Thus, people who want a specific type of tulip know exactly where to pick up the bulbs. The stems of the tulips are not cut because the tulips must be allowed to yellow so that all the nutrients return to the bulb so that it has enough reserves to grow back properly next year. Visitors can take a souvenir of the Tulip Festival home with them.

  • Morges Fleur du Léman
  • CP 768
  • 1110 Morges 1 - CH

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