Tulip time blooms bright in White Chapel Memorial Park

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published May 3, 2017

 The springtime tulip tradition, which started in the 1930s, continues at White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery.

The springtime tulip tradition, which started in the 1930s, continues at White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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TROY — There are over 50,000 reasons to take a drive to see some spring color in Troy. 

Over 50,000 tulips in 30 varieties imported from Holland, Netherlands, have once again been planted on the grounds of White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery.

People can see them all for free without driving three hours to Holland, Michigan, said vice president of White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery David R. Krall. 

“It’s part of our tradition, a legacy since the beginning of the cemetery,” Krall said. He said he saw a cemetery newsletter from the 1930s, when the cemetery was established, that mentioned the thousands of tulips. 

Visitors can expect to see some of the following varieties of tulips on display:

• Hot pink Barcelonas 

• Yellow and red La Courtine

• Double pink Capetown 

• Red impressions 

• Orange emperors 

• White triumphator

“We’ve been told by the families the flowers uplift people’s spirits, the bursting colors showing life renews,” Krall said. “The founders always said the cemetery is a place for the living. Come out and enjoy the beautiful landscape of flowers.” 

After the tulips are done blooming, the bulbs are removed and the flowers are replaced. 

Members of the Master Gardener Society of Oakland County, affiliated with the Michigan State University Extension, help to distribute the bulbs to various projects around the area, said Sally Bolle, president of the Master Gardener Society of Oakland County. The sites include the Charles L. Bowers School Farm in Bloomfield Hills, the Troy Historic Village, the Troy Public Library, Veterans Memorial Garden in Rochester Hills, and some schools in the area. 

“We very much appreciate the kind donation from White Chapel Cemetery that will result in spreading the beauty to other areas of the county,” Bolle said via email. 

There is a tulip garden guide explaining the 30 varieties and their locations on the White Chapel Memorial Park website, white chapelcemetery.com. 

White Chapel will sponsor a photo contest through May 31, with prizes for winners. This is the seventh year of the photo contest, which includes a category for selfies.

Visit whitechapelcemetery.com for a complete list of photo contest details. 

People can see the blooms at White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays and holidays.

C & G Newspapers Photo Editor Edward Osinski offered this tip for taking the best photos. 

“Backlighting (with the sun behind the tulips) helps,” Osinski said. “Tulips are translucent. Backlighting really brings out the colors.” 

White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery is located at 621 W. Long Lake Road, just west of Interstate 75. 

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