To mark the Dirk Hartog 2016 anniversary year, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Canberra is proud to present the official Dirk Hartog tulip.
The Dirk Hartog tulip was presented to His Excellency General, the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia and Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove, by Her Excellency the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Australia, Erica Schouten, to show gratitude for the warm relationship with the people of Australia.
Dirk Hartog anniversary year
This year is significant because it marks the 400th anniversary of the first European contact with Western Australia. On 25 October 1616, Dutch Sailor Dirk Hartog made landfall at Dirk Hartog Island in the Shark Bay area, where he left an inscribed pewter plate. To mark this anniversary, many celebrations and commemorations are taking place throughout the year across Australia and the Netherlands.
Dirk Hartog tulip
The Dirk Hartog tulip was cultivated in the Netherlands by Frank Timmerman, owner of plant nursery ‘Goede Tulpen’, which translates as Good Tulips. The tulip, especially selected for its dual shade of orange, has travelled over 16,500 kilometres to be at Floriade in Canberra, which is roughly the same route as Dirk Hartog took to Australia.
Floriade was the brainchild of Christiaan Slotemaker de Bruine, a Dutch Landscape Architect in Canberra. He commenced the design of Floriade in 1986 and based it on the world famous ‘Keukenhof’ garden in The Netherlands.
For the celebratory event, the tulip was baptised by the Governor-General, Lady Cosgrove and the Ambassador with special Dirk Hartog wine per Dutch tradition.
Tulips from the Netherlands
Tulips came to the Netherlands in the beginning of the 17th century. A few years after Dirk Hartog died, there was a real ‘tulip mania’ in the Netherlands. Tulips and tulip bulbs were very rare and expensive – some had the same value as a house.
Nowadays, the Netherlands is famous for its horticulture, including leading the export of tulips and tulip bulbs. Horticulture will be one of the topics of conversation during the parallel trade mission later this year, coinciding with the Royal Visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima.