On December 9, our colleague Gerda van Uffelen officially retired from her position as Head of Collections. She worked at the Hortus for no less than 26 years! We celebrated Gerda and her many years here with a goodbye lunch. There she was presented with a tulip that’s named after her: Tulipa ‘Gerda’, a beautiful reddish pink fringed tulip.
Alongside her colleagues and volunteers, taxonomist and librarian for the Royal General Flower Bulb Association (KAVB) and owner of the KTK tulip association Christian Kolk were also present during the unveiling of the tulip. They’re responsible for naming new tulip varieties.
Incidentally, making a new tulip variety is a lengthy process for which patience is needed. Two different tulip varieties are crossbred, and seed will form in the pistil. Every single seed is a new tulip, but they have to be replanted every year for a couple years for the bulbs to grow large enough, until colored flowers start to appear. So Tulipa ‘Gerda’ has been a long time coming! If everything works out the way we want it, the bulbs will be available for purchase in our Hortus shop by next year.
Luckily her retirement lunch wasn’t really goodbye, because Gerda will continue working for the Hortus as a visiting staff member.