Portrait of the artist as 23,000 blooms
JAMES JOYCE will be in full bloom at the National Botanic Gardens next spring when 23,000 bulbs emerge to form Ireland’s first Joycean tulip portrait.
The portrait began to take shape last Tuesday in the presence of Joyce’s grandnephew Bob Joyce. Dutch ambassador Paul Schellekens said it would “constitute a fusion of two symbols that represent our respective countries”.
Overseen by Jan Guldenmond, former landscape architect of the Keukenhof flower bulb fields in the Netherlands and his assistant Nol van Ruiten, the planting took three days to complete.
The portrait is comprised of 17,000 grape hyacinth bulbs and 6,000 tulip bulbs covering six square metres. It will bloom in April 2013.
As planting began, the experts were assisted by children from Scoil Mobhi primary school, Glasnevin, Dublin and St Michael’s National School in Limerick.
Director of the National Botanic Gardens Matthew Jebb, director of the James Joyce Centre Mark Traynor and James Joyce lookalike John Shevlin were among those in attendance at the planting ceremony.
The work is sponsored by the OPW, National Botanic Gardens, the Irish Museums Trust, the James Joyce Centre in Dublin with the support of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, by Beechill Bulbs from Co Offaly, Jac Uittenbogaard Zonen (JUB) and the Dutch embassy.