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By Sarah Ward and Samantha Teague
August 31, 2019

More Than 150,000 Tulips Will Line the Yarra River Tomorrow to See in Spring

And they're up for grabs.
By Sarah Ward and Samantha Teague
August 31, 2019

Melbourne's Northbank will blossom on Sunday, September 1, with eco-warrior Joost Bakker unveiling 150,000 tulips along the Yarra River.

The designer and activist — who has recently been involved in building the world's most sustainable shopping centre in Burwood Brickworks — has brought in the huge mass of tulips with him from his family's farm in Monbulk. They've been onsite at Seafarers since mid-August, but will be placed along the water, lining the wharf in front of the Riverlee display suite beneath the restored Malcolm Moore Crane and alongside the Goods Shed No. 5, come Sunday when the first day of spring arrives.

If the move sounds familiar, that's because Bakker did something similar last year, but in Hosier Lane. It's part of his ongoing quest to raise awareness about the country's flower growers, as well as the impact of imported bouquets. Bakker has a particularly personal connection to the topic, and not just because his relatives have been connected to the tulip trade since the 1800s. Actually, 2019 marks the last year that anyone in the Bakker family will work in the industry, with Joost's brother giving it up this year because it's no longer economically viable.

"For the last four of five years, flower growers have struggled to maximise their economic potential due to an industry facing headwinds; imported flowers now account for a large portion of the market, meaning a lot of growers in Australia have gone out of business," explained Joost. "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."

If you're keen to take a look at the sea of flowers — and grab a few beauties for yourself or your loved ones — then head over to the riverfront precinct from early Sunday morning. The installation will stay in place until all of the blooms have been given away, with collections available from Seafarers Bridge along the length of the wharf.

Published on August 31, 2019 by Sarah Ward

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