Spring in New York unofficially begins when the Park Avenue tulips bloom. The underground rail lines beneath the avenue heat the ground and give the bulbs and New Yorkers a head start on the season. In mid-May, when the leaves yellow, the Fund invites the public to its annual BYOS (Bring Your Own Shovel) Big Dig to gently gather the bulbs. The following fall, those 66,000 bulbs find their way into tree pits, flower boxes and front and backyard gardens.
In 2009, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Henry Hudson into today’s New York Harbor, the Orange Blushing Apeldoorns, Darwin Hybrids, filled the Park Avenue malls.
For its part, the New York City Parks Department plants 90,000 tulips throughout the city each year. At the Conservatory Garden, 105th Street and Fifth Avenue, with half the garden
under renovation, “only” 10,000 will grace the garden this spring.