While in Chicago covering the largest political science conference in the world
and the American Diabetes Association EXPO featuring Paula Deen's son, Jaime Deen
, I could not help but notice the bright and beautiful tulips in the areas of the city I visited.
With a backdrop of metal-colored buildings and asphalt gray roads, the tulips in Chicago provided an extraordinary splash of many colors. According to Chicago Garden
, the tulips currently seen in the city will be taken out at the end of the month. However, they are neither trashed nor composted; rather, "They get collected and sorted by volunteers of TulipMania at the Garfield Park Conservatory," Chicago Garden states. "Tulipmania is a plant giveaway event that recycles these bulbs so they can be distributed to gardeners like you, for free! The tulip bulbs are distributed in bags on a first come, first served basis until all the bulbs are gone."
The Garfield Park Conservatory indicates
that TulipMania will occur on Saturday, April 28 and the gate opens at 8:00am. The location is Garfield Market Gate (on Central Park Ave, just north of the Main Lobby entrance).
Here's a look at some of the tulips you can see in downtown Chicago prior to April 28, and their bulbs can be picked-up for free on the morning of the 28th. Keep in mind, the tulip bulbs are usually gone one to two hours after the gate opens.
I later learned that the spring event on North Michigan Avenue is called "The Magnificent Mile Tulip Watch!" According to The Magnificent Mile
, the event, which "celebrates the bloom of hundreds of thousands of vibrant tulips, signaling the start of spring in Chicago," began on March 22 and continues through May 15. The Magnificent Mile did not indicate whether or not the tulips on North Michigan Avenue were part of the Garfield Park Conservatory bulb give-away program.