Time for tulips in Dover

DOVER — Spring is synonymous with Easter bunnies, dyed eggs and warm weather.

But, blooming flowers and tulips are also a sure sign that spring is here.

The city of Dover plants more than 25 varieties of flowers across town, including more than 40,000 tulips, which seems to help brighten spirits around town.

“They are the pride of the city,” said George Jamar, supervisor of the city’s grounds department.

Most of them have bloomed, but more will start to bloom within the next few weeks, he said.

In addition to the thousands of flowers planted, the nursery staff hangs flower baskets along Loockerman Street in the spring.

The baskets and annuals kept in the greenhouse need to be watered at least every other day until they are ready to go outside.

It takes from October through mid-December to plant all the tulip bulbs. They are planted early because the bulbs need an extended amount of time in cool soil, along with time for their roots to spread before they can bloom.

“We started to plant them in November,” Mr. Jamar said. “We had about eight to 10 guys out there Monday through Friday planting the bulbs. It took us all of January and February to get it done.”

Mr. Jamar said the weather delayed the process at times.

“Sometimes there were periods when the ground was frozen,” he said. “We couldn’t work for about a week.

“We also have other duties within the city. At times we had to prioritize as to when we could go out there as well.”

The tulips are purchased each year from Holland — the world’s tulip growing capital, but other varieties of flowers are raised in the city’s greenhouse near Legislative Hall.

Annuals grown there include petunias, marigolds and geraniums, all of which are planted in February.

Once transplanted from the greenhouse to the flowerbeds around the city, the annuals will bloom all summer.

“People look forward to the plaza at City Hall to see all the different flowers blooming,” Mr. Jamar said.

“That includes the cherry trees and the tulips. It just gives you the burst of spring.”

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