Not everyone will know who, what or where Chongming is, I certainly didn’t know it either. All I knew about this beautiful Tulip was that for a as long as I could remember, good bulbs were sent to China each year to be planted in a park. I recently found out that Chongming is a big island in the estuary of the Jangtsekiang river, north of the city Shanghai. Hundreds of thousands Tulips are planted each year in a big park on this green island, almost like Keukenhof, for the inhabitants of the city. Do they just do that in China, planting Tulips for their citizens? Yes, they do. The Chinese try to make their cities as beautiful as possible for their many inhabitants. I myself have long ago sold Lilies and other flower bulbs to the landscaping department of the city Shenzhen; a big city right next to Hongkong. The civil servant I was working with explained the concept to me. He told me that the Chinese government had a hard time to keep the people living in the cities satisfied. ‘In a city like Shenzhen, there live almost 10,000,000 people,’ he continued, ‘and everyone needs their own place to live. Look around you and you will see how close next to, above and across from everyone, the people live. A lot of small residences with little living space and without a garden. As government we do our best to compensate for these inconveniences, by doing our best to make the city, with all its public spaces, as beautiful as we possibly can. We cannot offer everyone a garden, but the least we can do is make the city as beautiful as possible by planting a lot of flowers and other greenery.’ And it works. It seems that people love to live in cities with lots of public greenery and parks full of flowers.
This Tulip, Chongming Love has been shipped to China in big numbers for years to be planted in a park on the Island Chongming in Shanghai. However, after years of asking, grower Heemskerk form Lisse has finally agreed to sell some to me as well, and I am over the moon with them. Chongming Love is worth the trouble. An excellent garden Tulip, big and strong with a beautiful pastel colour pallet which you rarely find in Tulips. And if you like this Tulip, take a look at her little sister Kunyun, she is just as beautiful, if not more.