Lilies and tulips were the main attraction in a 10-day celebration of the 400-year anniversary of the Dutch settling in Manhattan in 1609. From Sept. 4-14, New York City’s Bowling Green Park became New Amsterdam Village, complete with a greenhouse, windmill and vendors selling cheese, herring and wooden shoes. Longwood Gardens and Zabo Plants provided potted lilies for the event.
A number of Dutch dignitaries were flown in, including Princess Maxima, wife of Willem-Alexander, Crown Prince of Orange. She baptised a new tulip variety, ‘Henry Hudson,’ the same Henry Hudson who discovered Manhattan and has a very large river named after him—the Hudson River.
The event was a partnership between the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and The Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The Dutch shared how agriculture will play a significant role in feeding and greening large metropolitan areas in a sustainable way in the future during the seminar, “Innovation Through Tradition: Feeding and Greening New York In The Future.”
Greenhouse Grower’s Editor Delilah Onofrey joined Juergen Steininger of Longwood Gardens and Ko Klaver of Zabo Plants during setup the day before. They assisted world-class floral designer Dorien van den Berg, who was also flown in for Holland to prepare floral displays and centerpieces for the event. Longwood has commissioned her for a really large exhibition in May called Lilytopia, which is expected to include at least 12,000 lilies. Van den Berg has many years experience designing the Lily Parade for the Keukenhof in Amsterdam. The goal is for Lilytopia to become a new annual attraction at Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia.