Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden

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.

14 Responses to “Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden”

  1. yang
    July 10, 2011 at 5:23 am #

    We would like to visit the tulip garden. Will we age able to if we come during June? Will they still be there?

  2. John
    October 3, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    What’s the story about the restored windmill on MLK Drive?

  3. Patti
    February 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    When is the best date to view the tulip garden, I seem to always get there a little late.
    Thanks for your help.

    • Constance Crawford
      March 10, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

      Go right now! We visited on Wednesday, March 7 20012 and it was perfect, in full bloom. an unusual color scheme–a deep maroon red and orange tulips and Iceland poppies. there was a nice bed of red-and-white striped tulips, too.

  4. May
    February 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    We would like to visit the tulip garden in May. Is it possible to see them in May?

    • Misc
      March 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

      No, tulips only last around mid-April I’d say.

  5. Derek
    April 1, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    Wee, its the first of April and we’ve had a lot of rain recently. I was wondering how are the tulips doing? Has anyone checked them out recently?

  6. Lkue
    April 6, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    i have a plan to visit this garden at April 8, 2012 this week..

    are tulips okay?
    can i see full bloom?

    • Vicky
      April 13, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

      Did you get chance to see the tulips there? Are they still there? I want to confirm before making the long trip there.

  7. Lois
    May 2, 2012 at 5:28 am #

    Tulips are now past bloom. Garden is pretty though with Iceland poppies pansies and primroses. Park chalet restaurant very pleasan

  8. loan
    August 11, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    can we picnic in the garden?

  9. Faby
    February 27, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    We would like to visit the Tulip garden. I was wondering how are the tulips doing? Feb 27, 2013

  10. Teodora
    March 20, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    My husband and I went to see the tulips on March 16, 2013. They are blooming beautifully! Now is the time to go.


  1. Flat Stanley's San Francisco Adventure | Steve's Genealogy Blog - April 6, 2011

    […] we drove to Golden Gate Park and visited a Tulip Garden named after Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.  The windmill is over a hundred years […]

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