Spring in Utah brings an explosion of color, from the bright green carpet covering the foothills to the orange-clad construction workers finally fixing that damn pothole on 900 South. But no more surefire sign of spring exists than the emergence of tulips, daffodils, and crocuses in every garden bed along the Wasatch Front.
Ready to get your Tulip Festival on? Tie on your spring bonnet and head to Thanksgiving Point’s Ashton Gardens, where the festival will run through May 5, 2018.
Despite what Punxsutawney Phil predicted on February 2, spring came early this year. So early, in fact, the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point will open its gates a week ahead of schedule. The tulips of the Ashton Gardens are bright, happy, and ready for your Instagramming pleasure – which is more than we can say for the construction workers on 900 South.
The Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point is entering its 13th year, with more than 55 acres of tulips to tiptoe through. You can also run (a half marathon, 5K, and fun run will be held April 29), jitterbug (at the Swing Dance on the 28th) or even croquet your way through the gardens.
But spring doesn’t spring at the Ashton Gardens without a lot of behind-the-scenes work. Thanksgiving Point’s Head of Horticulture, Tony Latimer, breaks shares the numbers behind the beauty:
Different varieties of tulips, all imported from Holland.
Individual tulip bulbs contained within the grounds Ashton Garden. Latimer and his crew also plant daffodils, crocus, fritillaria, chionodoxa, muscari, and a few other spring-blooming bulbs.
Pansies filling in the beds between the bulbs.
Number of full-time employees who work to plant all the bulbs in the fall. Volunteers are also recruited to aid in the bulb-planting process.
Number of days it takes to plant all the bulbs each fall.
Yards of soil trucked in each year to prep beds for bulb planting; 150 yards of compost are added to this to create a nutrient-dense mix.
Total distance, in miles, of all paths created to traverse within the Tulip Festival.
Benches arranged throughout the gardens (because walking 3 miles is exhausting).
Length, in weeks, of the average tulip’s blooming lifespan. Latimer and his crew plant early, mid-season, and late tulips within the same bed to get a longer display time.
Capacity of the garden’s Waterfall Amphitheater, where Utah’s Lyceum Philharmonic will play a concert on May 6.
Attendance at the festival on a busy day.