Tulips take over park by Lake Geneva for annual springtime festival

A picture taken with a drone shows people enjoy the warm weather on Easter Monday and gather to see 120,000 tulips of more than 300 varieties in full bloom at the tulip festival in the "Parc de l'Independance" in Morges, Switzerland, 22 April 2019. EPA-EFE/VALENTIN FLAURAUD

SWITZERLAND.- A park on the shores of Lake Geneva in western Switzerland has been filled with hundreds of varieties of tulip as part of an annual festival celebrating the flower.

Parc de l’Independence (Independence Park) in Morges is currently home to over 120,000 tulips of 300 varieties as part of the renowned Tulip Festival.

«The diversity of these banks of flowers remind fans of the tulip’s huge range of shapes and colours,» the official tourism site, Morges Tourisme, said of the springtime event.

Scores of people visited the park on Easter Monday to catch a glimpse of the floral displays amid mild temperatures of around 22 degrees Celsius (71 degrees Fahrenheit).

The festival was set up in 1971 to celebrate 50 years of the Lake Geneva Horticultural Society.

Horticulture apprentices design and create the colorful flower beds that make up the displays.

This year’s designs include hearts, arrows and artistic abstract forms best appreciated from above

The centuries-old Parc de l’Independence, where the Tulip Festival takes place, boast views over Lake Geneva as well as the Alps, including Mont Blanc.

The park is also home to over 50 species of tree.

«This tranquil park is then brought to life with the color of over 100,000 flowers and special events and entertainment,» the Morges tourism site said.

The Tulip Festival takes place from Mar. 30-May 5, with the flowers in peak bloom in April, according to the Morgues Tourisme.

Visitors can access the park for free.

The tulip is native to Eurasia and was first brought to Western Europe from Turkey around 1550.

In 1562, a cargo of tulip bulbs arrived to Antwerp from Constantinople, the city that is now known as Istanbul in modern day Turkey.

The flower is commonly associated with the Netherlands owing to a period known as «Tulip Mania,» when between 1633-37 it became so popular that demand outstripped supply, which sent prices skyrocketing.

Tulips come in a wide range of colors, from white through to nearly black.

The name tulip is thought to originate from Persian. EFE-EPA

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