Chasing tulips in Virginia: When & where to see spring’s colorful spectacle

Photo courtesy of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

By Aila Boyd

May 6, 2024

Springtime in the Commonwealth paints the landscape with a palette of vibrant colors, and leading the floral fiesta are the tulips—nature’s own fireworks of hues. If you’re eager to immerse yourself in a burst of blossoms that rivals the beauty of Holland, check out these fantastic destinations to see tulips in Virginia this spring.

Monticello

Location: 1050 Monticello Loop, Charlottesville

It’s clear that Thomas Jefferson, the nation’s third president, didn’t just take pride in the physical structure that was his home, but also the estate surrounding it.

“From thousands of tulips in bloom to our engaging tours, spring is a wonderful time of year to visit Monticello,” the estate said. One of the best ways to experience the tulips is to go on a guided garden tour. Lasting 45 minutes, the tours are available all day. They highlight the restored flower and vegetable gardens, in addition to the free and enslaved people who planted and crafted the estate’s original landscaping two centuries ago.

From late March through early May, keizerskroon tulips, which are orange and red, are in bloom. The showy striped tulips became available in American nurseries by the end of the 18th century. “Tulips were extremely popular flowers in Jefferson’s day, as much a symbol of prestige as gardening skill, and Jefferson mentions tulips more than any other flower in his Garden Book,” the estate said.

Additional tulips—including shades of red, orange, yellow, white, purple, and pink—can be found along the West Lawn. Many of them came from Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon. Take note of the striped nature of the tulips, which were more fashionable at the time than solid colors.

Tickets to see the grounds can be found here. The estate is largely open daily from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Mount Vernon

Location: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon

While most people probably know Mount Vernon as being the home of the first president, George Washington, its elaborate gardens shouldn’t be overlooked. The estate is home to a range of unique tulips, 16 in total, that bloom every spring. You’ll find many of them in the Upper Garden.

Be on the lookout for the blue flag tulip, which blooms in May. It’s petite with flouncy purple petals. Quite different, the lady tulip, which blooms in May, is white and pink. Its petals open to reveal a nearly pure white interior.

Open daily from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., tickets to Mount Vernon can be found here.

Chasing tulips in Virginia: When & where to see spring’s colorful spectacle

Photo courtesy of George Washington’s Mount Vernon via Facebook.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Location: 1800 Lakeside Ave., Richmond

The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden does spring like no other place in the commonwealth. During the season, it stages “A Million Blooms,” a celebration of spring. The garden describes it as “a parade of blooms unfurls as the weather warms: Daffodils, tulips, peonies, roses, and many more.” Included in the price of the garden admission, it runs from April through the beginning of June.

The tulips fill the open upper garden spaces with color. The Luck Garden features an orange and red mix, while the “Lady Jane” variety can be found along the Main Garden Walk.

The garden is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

Burnside Farms

Location: 11008 Kettle Run Rd., Nokesville

When people think of tulips in Virginia, the Festival of Spring at Burnside Farms likely comes to mind. “Our Festival of Spring is a unique, magical event,” the farm said. “With more than two million tulips and daffodils planted each year, you’ll find a little slice of Holland right here in Virginia.”

Starting in 2012, it’s the longest-running spring festival of its kind in North America. Surprisingly, it features more than 150 varieties of tulips.

The spring season usually lasts about three weeks, from late March through early April, with the exact timing hard to predict due to changes in weather patterns. While the field report no longer features tulips for the 2024 season, the farm is gearing up for a great sunflower display.

Ticket information can be found here.

Chasing tulips in Virginia: When & where to see spring’s colorful spectacle

Photo courtesy of Burnside Farms via Facebook.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.Chasing tulips in Virginia: When & where to see spring’s colorful spectacleChasing tulips in Virginia: When & where to see spring’s colorful spectacle

  • Aila Boyd

    Aila Boyd is a Virginia-based educator and journalist. She received her MFA in writing from Lindenwood University.

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