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Monday, September 26, 2011

"The one with the colorful weekend..."

Every year, during Spring the Tesselaar family open the gates of their tulip farm in Silvan to the public. For those wanting a glimpse of the colorful seasonal flowers in regional Victoria - this is the place to go. Though their family hails from Holland; but not many know that tulips actually originated from Turkey, during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. The flower was then brought into Europe by a German ambassador; before being mass-cultivated throughout the continent. The largest display of permanent tulips is in Keukenhof, Holland where tulips are hence now commonly associated with.

Origins aside, none can dispute nor resist the beauty and vibrancy of these flowers. Seeing that we've been having quite a warm Spring so far, I've decided to bring Fifah on a weekend excursion to experience these seasonal delicacies. Having been here two years ago in 2009, it's wonderful to see that the tulips never fail to impress. The weather was inviting, the tulips were blooming; it was a perfect day out in the sun - and how better to spend it than on a flower farm with my loved one.

The farm is a good few hundred acres - but only a fraction of the area is designated for the open public. However, there's plenty of space to enjoy the tulips!

We've also bumped into Kak Jumee's family - it's always good to see a few familiar Malaysian faces around..!

In 1939 during WWII, Cees and Johanna Tesselaar left Holland and found themselves on Australian soil after weeks of sailing. Initially keen for Sydney, the couple eventually opted for Melbourne after immigration officers told them that this was the only appropriate place for them to plant bulbs. After a few weeks of settling in, a local brought Cees to scout for patches of lands for sale - which was in Silvan. He fell in love with the area and vast expanse of the land, but because the location was too far away from transport and basic amenities he opted not to acquire it. They instead bought a 2-acre land in Ferntree Gully where they planted the first batches of tulips and daffodils.

After 5 years of cultivation the property became too small for them, and vast developments into the transport system meant the Tesselaars can now venture further away from the city for potential land to occupy. So when Cees was scouring for bigger land outside the city - he consequently came across the same Silvan property. Out of curiousity he inquired the owner as to whether the land was for sale, and luckily it was. He then bought the land immediately, ironically residing in the land he fell in love with when he first arrived.

In the subsequent few years, the couple noticed a growing number of people stopping and even jumping over their fences to admire their flowers - so in 1954 they opened their farm to the masses for a silver-coin entry fee donation to the Red Cross. This trend continued on for years and the rest - as they say - is history.

In homage to their ancestry - the Dutch Festival was running last weekend at the farm, and the atmosphere was filled with everything Nederlanders; from Poffertjes to traditional Dutch Dances.

In memory of Cees and Johanna, the tulip farm is now run by their eldest son Kees and his wife Sheila. We had lots of fun, and for those in the vicinity wanting to add some color to their Spring - take the time to visit their farm here.



Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum u 2,

It melts my heart to see you two together. and the tulips are so gorgeous!

You two must be enjoying spring ha! what about fruits? no fruit picking?

It's less fun going out now that there's only 3 of us. But let that not be a reason for Fifah to come back earlier than planned. Stay as long as you can. You two deserve the privacy.

Take care, and stay safe....mama.

Anonymous said...

Waalaikumussalam Ma,

Hi! I am missing you so much! And everyone at home as well.

Life here with Jep is very nice, its like we are having our honeymoon all over again. It is quite cold and blustery though on most days, and when he is away at Uni I try to busy myself with housework, other than that I'm bumming out in front of the laptop, ha!

Although its spring now its still quite cold and windy, and fruit picking season hasn't quite started just yet. It also gets dark early here and its very quiet, being in the suburbs. I often give in to the cold and the heater gets turned on even during daytime :P But being here with Jep makes it all worthwhile.

Will be calling you soon for updates. Till then, u take care as well and I'll be back before you know it! :)


AJ said...

as salam

hi bro..act im a fond reader of ur late brother's blog..but anyway i just browse to this blog of urs..and the quality of every photos are really stunning!

For a start, what camera are u using yeah? do u did any photoshop on these photos?'s awesme bro..


JeP said...

As Salam bro Azrin,

Thanks for visiting my blog; its always good to meet another of Afzal's many friends! Btw, most of my pictures nowadays are taken using a 5D. I post edit them in CS4.

How about you? :)

ridwanz_blogg said...