Elements of spring have been teasing Chicagoans since February, but its true arrival is just around the corner. The months of frozen fingers and slick streets are behind us, melting away by the day. It is only natural that the city of Chicago has a grand greeting for this savior season, and what better way than with flowers?
The Tulips alongside The Magnificent Mile are soon to sprout, and the anticipation for the famous landscape is sweeping. In just a few weeks, the famous 13-block segment of Michigan Avenue will be decorated with tens of thousands of bold-colored tulips. From the Chicago River to Oak Street, these vibrant gardens will symbolize the long-awaited arrival of spring in the most authentic way.
Despite its startling splendor, this floral welcoming-committee is not something of a surprise. Around 1993, thirty planter boxes were implemented within the medians of Michigan Avenue. It was during this time that the careful tulip-planning began. Since then, over 100,000 bulbs from the Netherlands are planted every fall. Unlike other seasonal displays, it is not as simple as planting pre-blossomed flowers. In order to have them bloom at just the right time, precise precautions have to be executed. For tulips, blooming phases have to be monitored, colors have to be coordinated, and the bulbs have to be protected from the winter’s harsh weather.
The Magnificent Mile always puts incomparable effort into making their streetscape captivating for all holidays, seasons, and events. The light festivals, parades, and seasonal gardens are testaments to this. Yet, the consistently successful exertion of predicting mother nature is something unlike any other. This year, they are predicted to bloom mid to late April and last until mid to late May.
However, much like the Windy City weather, the Tulip flower is notoriously unpredictable. Despite the long-term planning that is conducted, the exact timing of the tulips is never guaranteed. Do feel free to join the rest of the city in their “Tulip Watch” alongside The Magnificent Mile.