In October of last year, a guerilla gardener planted 35,000 tulips in Melbourne’s most famous graffiti-covered laneway, Hosier Lane. That gardener was Joost Bakker, a sustainable designer and self-proclaimed “eco-warrior”. Bakker planted a sea of tulips from his family’s tulip farm near Olinda that were all destined to be thrown in the bin. Now, Bakker is back with another flower display.
To mark the start of spring, this Sunday, September 1, Bakker showcasing over 150,000 tulips that have been planted on the banks of the Yarra River. The tulips are from Joost’s brother’s farm in the Dandenongs and arrived at this Northbank location in mid-August.
Members of the public will be able to pick up free blooms in the early morning of Sunday until all the flowers are gone. The flowers run from Seafarers Bridge towards Wurundjeri Way on the Flinders Street side of the Yarra. There’s no official start time, but people are invited to come along at any time (don’t worry, St Ali will be there serving coffee for the not-so-early-birds).
The goal of the activation is for people to understand a little more about the local florist industry. Imported flowers have increased tenfold in the past ten years, so Bakker is keen to get people buying local like they do with produce.
“We want people to come and visit the activation, learn about the industry and what they can do to help and take a beautiful tulip home with them,” says Joost.
Check it out on Sunday, September 1, early in the morning at the Seafarers development on the Yarra’s Northbank.