THE FÊTE DE LA TULIPE – MORGES TULIP FESTIVAL
by Vivian Holding
Don’t you just love this time of year with all the beautiful spring flowers in bloom? Tulips are my favourite – I love all the colours, sizes and forms. My love of tulips has led me to the south west of Amsterdam in previous years to visit the world famous Keukenhof gardens – the tulip festival to beat all tulip festivals.
For a much cheaper alternative, I’d also recommend the Fête de la Tulipe in Morges, only 50kms from Geneva, where admission is free (yes free – hooray!).
Set in the Parc de L’independence, just behind the beautiful Château in Morges, the annual Fête de la Tulipe starts this weekend and runs from 1st April to the 14th May. This leaves ample time for the different species of tulips (approximately 300 in total) to bloom (very much weather permitting, as cold weather can often delay this). In addition to 120,000 tulips on display, other spring bulbs such as daffodils and hyacinths can also be seen at this beautiful lakeside setting.
Photos in this article were taken a few days before the opening, by the very talented Catherine Lewis. As you can see, there are already quite a few varieties in bloom. However, if you want to make the very most of the festival, my advice is to leave your visit for another week or so to experience the gardens at their very best.
History of the Tulip Festival in Morges
The Tulip festival in Morges dates back over 50 years, when it was set up as a one-off event to mark the 50th anniversary of the Vaudoise Horticultural Society. The continuation of the festival to this day is thanks to the insistence of local businesses, as well as the society for local development, who convinced the authorities to keep it going.
What’s worth seeing during your visit to Morges Tulip Festival?
Apart from the beautiful tulips, you could also enjoy the Ceramics Festival taking place on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th April. Over 80 carefully selected potters/ceramicists will present their diverse range of styles of pottery to the public.
On Saturday 29th–Sunday 30th April, Turkish culinary specialties, handicrafts as well as ethnic music will be featured during their Journées Tulipes – Istanbul.
Fancy having a bird’s eye view of the Morges Tulip Festival? Hot air balloon trips can be arranged on Saturday 6th May (weather permitting). Contact the tourist office at Morges for further information.
Why not take some home with you?
Please don’t try to help yourself! If you like the look of any of the tulips, there will be an opportunity to buy them a few days after the festival has finished on the 17th May from 11.30am onwards. The bulb sale will take place at the three different entrances to the park itself with bags of bulbs priced at 10chf for your first bag, 5chf for the second.
That way, you can continue to admire the beauty of the tulips in your own garden for years to come.
For further information: http://www.morges-tourisme.ch/