With 20,000 tulips, Mohonk Mountain House is planning a massive flower show

Here are the tulips, buds and blooms, their peaks and their hollows, their luster and their poses, the satin of their darkness.
–Margaret Atwood

This spring, the annual Mohonk Mountain House Tulip Festival is held in conjunction with Art in the Garden. Wire-frame insect sculptures created by SUNY Ulster students as part of the Three-Dimensional Design program have been installed on rustic garden structures that stand among tulips. (Photos by Lauren Thomas)

The mountain is ablaze in a palette of wild colors. Known for its 150-year-old gardening tradition and spectacular grounds, the gardening team at Mohonk Mountain House Resort have outdone themselves by planting over 20,000 tulip bulbs in the large lawn that rolls away from the landscape. hotel like gentle waves.

This dazzling display of flowers is on display during the iconic Mountain House Tulip Festival until May 8. This year they also partnered with more than a dozen art students from SUNY Ulster who were commissioned to create Victorian-inspired wire sculptures of insects designed and installed to blend seamlessly into the gardens.

According to Madeline Myslow, publicist for Mohonk, “The resort has always planted tulips, but in recent years it has turned into an entire festival.” After a pandemic hiatus, they wanted to reintroduce the festival with even more flair and teamed up with sculpture students from SUNY Ulster to create these one-of-a-kind pieces. “The Mountain House wanted to bring art into the festival and thought a partnership with a local college art department would be the perfect way to accomplish this.”

Festival-goers are invited to tiptoe through the tulips and discover the sculptures made in the shape of dragonflies, bees, butterflies and ladybirds. You don’t have to be an overnight guest to enjoy the splendor, as those with day passes are also welcome to wander the whimsical outdoor canvas.

According to Mohonk Parks and Grounds Superintendent Tim Hetrick, the garden team has two varieties of tulips that they love. “The first is the fringed variety, a fun mid-season blooming tulip that has a fringe-like appearance on the top of the petal,” Hetrick said. “The other is a unique late-season French variety that is hardy in nature and will bloom until Mother’s Day on our property.”

Planting 20,000 bulbs in two weeks is no mean feat. When asked if they planted the bulbs in stages for a cascading effect, Hetrick replied, “The bulbs are all planted in the same amount of time. Planting tulip bulbs in stages will not prolong flowering, as it is more dependent on variety, temperature and daylight. The show garden itself is not planted until after the last threat of frost, so we start planting around the end of May and finish it around the beginning of June.

As for a specific color scheme, Hetrick said, “More often than not the color scheme finds us, depending on how many of each bloom type we have to work with. The great thing about tulip color combinations is that most of the varieties we use complement each other well in a garden bed.

When asked what he and his staff enjoyed most about the Tulip Festival and the fact that the grounds swelled with color once the flowers had burst, Hetrick said: “We really appreciate that the garden exhibition is admired and appreciated by our guests. It gives us a reason to celebrate the first signs of spring and welcome the warm weather.

There will be a host of activities surrounding the Tulip Festival for overnight guests and day visitors alike, including a croquet garden party, cooking demonstrations, a wax candle-making workshop beekeeping, live music, storytelling and of course, guided hikes around the lake, up to Sky Top’s Smiley Memorial Tower and through the wooded trails with Mohonk’s on-site naturalist. To find out more about the Tulip Festival, go to www.mohonk.com/events/nature-outdoors/tulip-festival.

About Maria Hunter

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