Dutch tulips to brighten local communities and schools

The 7,500 tulip seeds with blossoms to be in red or orange will be presented to downtown campuses and communities.
Zhu Kan / Ti Gong

Anneke Adema (center), Consul General of the Netherlands in Shanghai, presents a basket of tulip seeds to Hang Yan (2nd right), the curator of the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center.

The Dutch consulate general in Shanghai donated over 7,000 tulip seeds yesterday to the city’s urban planning exhibition hall to decorate the city's communities and schools.

The 7,500 tulip seeds, with blossoms to be in red or orange to symbolize the two nations, will firstly be presented to downtown campuses and old communities which are undergoing minor renovations to improve the living environment, according to the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center.

"We have a saying in Netherlands that literally means 'say it with flowers,' and these tulips are a message of friendship," said Anneke Adema, Consul General of the Netherlands in Shanghai.

The consulate has so far donated 30,000 tulip seeds to local government bodies and organizations this year to show appreciation to the Shanghai people and to raise awareness about the Netherlands among locals, Adema said.

Yang Jian / SHINE

Some of the tulip seeds presented by the Dutch consulate general in Shanghai. Two species are selected with blossoms to be in red, like the national flag of China, as well as orange, the national color of Netherlands.

Residents and students are encouraged to take part in the planting which will begin from next week, the best time to plant the flower. 

They can also claim their own flowers to either bring the blossom home or decorate public areas in their communities, according to Clover Nature School, a non-profit organization invited to guide the planting and promote the tulips presented by the consulate citywide. 

Expats are also encouraged to take part, with guidance on planting and nurturing to be offered, according to the school.

"Shanghai has a suitable climate and over a decade of experience in tulip planting," said Liu Yueran, a professor with Tongji University and the founder of the nature school, which focuses on the redevelopment of gardens of old communities, as well as providing agricultural education to children.

The flowers are expected to blossom around March 2018, Liu said.

About 1,000 of the red and orange tulips will be planted at the Knowledge and Innovation Community Garden, an innovative part for startups, in Yangpu District near Fudan University as a demonstration on the flower's planting and nurturing to the public.

Hang Yan, curator of the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, said that the remaining seeds will be sent to local orphanages and old people's homes.

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