Tulips brighten up Bendigo | Photos

Bendigo’s annual spring tulip display has become well-known and loved for its beauty.

But aesthetics alone were not the reason the colourful perennials were introduced to the city’s gardens.

City of Greater Bendigo’s intensive horticulture team leader Brendan Beale said it was decided to plant tulips, rather than annuals like petunias, during the dry years of the mid-2000s, because they needed less water to thrive.

But the blooms were so popular they became a permanent yearly event, and now attract both Bendigonians and out-of-town visitors.

A lot of hard work and sweat goes into preparing the displays, which number some 30,000 flowers.

The City’s gardeners plant the bulbs in May, but before they do, they have to ensure the gardens are weeded, compost is laid, and the soil has a suitable pH level.

The horticulture team varies the display each year.

But the tulips last only a month and will be at their best until about the end of next week, depending on weather: if the cooler weather stays around, the tulips will hang on longer, too.

Once the tulips are past their best, they will be made available for sale to the public.

Mr Beale said it took weeks for the gardeners to plant all the bulbs, but the sale at the end of the season was so popular, it took just half an hour for them to disappear from the gardens.

He praised the dedicated horticulture team members for their work in preparing and caring for the tulips each year.

Once the tulips are gone, they will be back in the gardens, preparing for the planting of annuals such as marigolds, petunias and salvias in December.

These will decorate the gardens over summer, and then in May the gardeners will be back planting the tulip bulbs in the beds, setting up for yet another stunning spring display.

Anyone who wants information on the tulip display, including the different varieties of flower, can pick up a brochure at the visitor information centre.

The sale of the tulip bulbs will take place mid to late-October, depending on weather. The council will advertise the date when set.