Gotta Get Away? Texas Tulips

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Photos by Marshall Altom

When Pieter and Petra Koeman inquired about buying land in Texas and making the move from Holland to start a tulip farm, their realtor thought it was a hoax at the beginning. But it was no joke, and the realtor’s skepticism faded with time as he talked to Pieter and Petra for months, answering their questions and helping them find the ideal location to start their own American dream. This dream was to continue the work that was passed onto Pieter by his parents many years prior, and the roots of this idea run deep, going back 40 years to when Pieter’s parents, Piet and Afra Koeman, started their own horticultural farm in The Netherlands with only a handful of onion seeds. The couple’s farm gradually grew in acreage and variety when they later added some new crops after gaining experience and mastering the cultivation of onions, including chrysanthemums, irises, leeks, and tulip bulbs. The family began to specialize in tulip production and grew to growing in multiple greenhouses. That metaphorical seed planted all those years ago grew into what is now Texas Tulips, the “First Tulip Field in Texas.” His parent’s legacy inspired Pieter and his wife Petra to move their family to Texas, where physical and environmental conditions are ideal for growing perfect tulips.

Texas Tulips is located in Pilot Point, Texas (in Denton County, north of Dallas), where Pieter and Petra reside with their children Pieter, Jr. and Hillary. Pieter joined in his parent’s endeavors in 1989, soon after they became popularly known for growing “early tulips,” which flower earlier than normal (by putting plastic foil over the tulip bulbs while in the field, causing them to flower more quickly than normal and letting people enjoy the beauty as early as December). While still in The Netherlands, the family’s farm increased to 80 acres and they produced tens of millions of tulips in their greenhouses, which later went to flower auctions in Holland. The death of Peit Koeman brought a change to the family business, when Pieter and Petra decided they wanted to continue the family business and move to Texas, a place they had visited multiple times before and fallen in love with. They were drawn to Pilot Point for the fertile soil and ideal conditions in the hills of northern Dallas. The nice and gentle weather during the spring season is prime time for colorful rows of tulips to flower early and bathe in the sun.

Open 7 days a week from 9 am-8 pm, there is an entrance fee of $5 a person on weekends and $3 a person Monday through Friday. The colorful tulip fields are a perfect location for photography shoots to mark an occasion or celebration, with an entrance fee of $25 and $3 for each additional person to take unlimited photos in front of their beautiful tulips. Rows of pink, white, coral, and yellow flowers spread across the earth like colors on a canvas, a true work of art against the blue North Texas sky. And a form of art it is, growing a field of healthy and flawless tulips; rows of vivid pink, yellow, and lavender growing toward the sun, petals open and soaking up the suns rays. Perhaps the most interesting tulips are the ones that start with a yellow at the base of the petal, fading into a soft pink toward the top edge.

In addition to the opportunities to pick your own tulips or take professional photos in the fields, Texas Tulips also offers educational field trips for school groups, home school groups, girl scouts, and more from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on weekdays. They offer concessions and free parking, with a U-Pick rate of $2.50 a stem, with baskets available in the fields. Tulip-picking can begin as early as mid February and goes through the end of March or early April, weather permitting. There are about 90 different varieties of tulips to choose from, with the availability of varieties varying throughout the picking season, including varieties such as: Texas Gold, Texas Flame, American Dream, Dallas, fringed, parrot, and striped tulips. To pick your own, simply pick up a basket from the field, pick to your heart’s desire, bring your tulips to be wrapped in pretty paper and the stems placed in flower gel to preserve the stems all day long. Texas Tulips also offers a tulip planting service, so save your back and let them do the work for you! Their special bulb planting machine can quickly plant bulbs outside your home or business in a variety of custom colors, adding vibrancy in the months to come and setting a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere.

Texas Tulips is located at 10656 FM 2931 Pilot Point, Texas 76258 and can be contacted at (940) 230-6512. To keep up with Texas Tulips via social media, follow their Instagram page to see gorgeous flower photos, or sign up for their newsletter on their website at texas-tulips.com. Visit Texas Tulips online to order gift certificates and tulip bulbs in their webshop, or see the stunning flowers for yourself by making a trip with the family to Pilot Point to pick some tulips, take some photos, and enjoy the beauty of Holland tulips in Texas.

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