To experience a brightly colored extravaganza of color, the tulips and other blooms at the Queen Wihelmina Tulip Garden at the Golden Gate Park provide the perfect accompaniment for the imposing Dutch Windmill, which has become a popular sight among visitors. Situated on John F. Kennedy Drive, located near Great Highway, the Tulip Garden bears the name of the late queen of the Netherlands.
Exploring the Surroundings and History
As you travel about the Great Highway, you will come across an authentic Dutch windmill positioned in Golden Gate Park. Many are filled with shock and amazement as they view such a cultural icon. The windmill was first erected to serve as an irrigation system that pumped water to the plants in the park, which reached the nearby Strawberry Hill area.
Today, the windmill is no longer of physical use, as this majestic structure remains at the western end of the park. Surrounded by an overflow of red and yellow at its base, tulips dance in the breeze. Located a few steps away from the garden is an open-air dining facility called the Park Chalet Garden Restaurant, which harbors a stone fireplace and menu dotted with flatbread pizzas and BBQ delights. To truly enjoy the vibrant blooms, visiting the garden in early spring will produce the best experience.
As you sit a spell on a nearby bench and admire the neighboring flora, you may wonder why the garden is named after a former queen of the Netherlands. Without Queen Wilhelmina (grandmother of the existing queen, Beatrix), the Dutch Windmill would not exist in Golden Gate Park because it was she who donated the structure to the city in 1902. Nowadays, the garden and windmill have made the perfect place to catch up on reading or on a larger scale, set the stage for the exchange of nuptials as wedding parties take pictures amongst the brightly colored tulips.
Who is Queen Wilhelmina?
Ruling the Netherlands for fifty years, the former queen held the position longer than any other Dutch monarch, who saw many decisive points during her reign in both the circles of Dutch and world history. She saw the decline of the colonial empire influence that the Netherlands was once known for. She ruled through World War I, the Second World War, and the Great Crisis of 1933. During World War II, she proved her worth as a leader as she showcased her strength while the Dutch government was in exile.
During her reign, she was known as a leader that respected the viewpoints of the Dutch people, but also displayed her strong will by speaking her mind and acting upon her thoughts. For the Netherlands, tulips became a symbol of peace and reconciliation, which served as a reminder of the extended hands offered to the Dutch during their time of war and reconstruction.
Taking Care of Tulips
If you are interested in planting tulips, you should know that this is one flower choice that has a better showing when in groups. Bulbs can be placed as close as six inches away from one another. To create long rows of tulips, many people have found success in digging a trench to plant their bulbs. When it comes to the ground, the soil surrounding the tulips shouldn’t retain much water because constant contact will cause bulbs to rot. As the end of the summer approaches and the tulips begin to die, it is recommended to leave them in their place until they turn brown. The soil will then experience a ripeness that leads to next year’s tulips living their fullest capacity. In June or July, raking the browned and dead remains is suggested.