Wellington's tulips blooming early

Botanic Garden's 25,000 tulips in bloom

Last updated 12:35 18/09/2012
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A warm, wet and mild winter has led to an early flourish for most of Wellington Botanic Garden's tulips.

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Wellington Botanic Garden's 25,000 tulips are in full bloom - almost two weeks before the official Tulip Sunday.

Tulip fans are being advised to get in early to see the tulips at their most impressive.

Tulip Sunday, the traditional start of the annual spring festival at the gardens, is scheduled for September 30 but after the mild winter most of the tulips are blooming early.

The tulips were still expected to be around on Tulip Sunday but some may not last until then, Wellington City Council Botanic Gardens manager David Sole said.

''Last year we had the big snow and the cold temperatures meant the tulips were very late, but this year the warm wet winter has really got them growing. They are looking stunning right now - so maybe enthusiasts should have their own unofficial Tulip Sunday this weekend.''

Visitor services officer Charmaine Scott said the festival did move around and the timing could only ever be a guess.

''Once upon a time the council's parks and reserves manager would wander down to check out the tulips on a Monday and, after some studying, would duly pronounce: 'We will have Tulip Sunday this week'. 

However the spring festival is now a big event that requires a lot of early organisation and date-setting so we can no longer react that fast.''

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