Q&A with Paul Tesselaar

Paul Tesselaar

What is something people don’t know about you?

My parents had eight children, of which I’m number six

What has been your most memorable moment?

Having a child.

What event, past or present or future would you like to witness?

Grandchildren.

Where did the idea for the tulip festival start?

It actually started by accident! My grandparents were growing tulips in the flower fields by the road side and passersby’s would stop to take a look at the gorgeous display. The crowds got so big that by 1954 they decided rather than ask the tourists to leave; they would ask them for a donation to the red cross.

From where do you source your flowers?

Our fields of tulips are grown from our own tulip bulbs. To keep our stock of bulbs fresh and clean from virus, we purchase a small percentage of new tulip bulbs every year from the Broersen family. Broersen are our long standing neighbours who also grow tulips.

What are you working on right now?

My job is to make sure every visitor to the Tulip festival has a wonderful day.

From where did you gain your knowledge of tulips and flowers?

You don’t grow up on a flower farm without learning a few things along the way.

How do you ensure your tulips flower at the same time every year?

In our area of the hills, tulips naturally flower from mid September until mid October. Predicting what exact day is an impossible task because you are at the mercy of the weather. We have many varieties on display; some of them flower early in the season, some mid and some late in the season.

What is your favourite flower?

Tulips!