30 Years of Its Yates Springtime – The Journey

Four weeks of Its Yates Springtime have already gone by! That means there will only be another two or three weeks of Tulips. If you haven’t had the chance to visit, make sure you make it out this September! The 30th year of Its Yates Springtime, as sponsored by Yates Australia, has so far been a roaring success. Araluen has once again welcomed thousands through the gates to marvel at over 120,000 Tulips and spring blooms. To commemorate the 30th year of holding this event with Yates, we’d like to share some history with you.  

Tulips have been planted at Araluen from the 1930’s through until Boss Simons (founder of the YAL, and a key figure in Araluen history) died in 1948. The Tulips were delivered in coloured paper bags (red tulips in red paper bags, white in white paper bags) and sometimes individually wrapped in paper to show the bulb colour.  

In September 1990 the ABPF held informal talks with The Dutch Consul and Yates regarding the decision to replant Tulips at Araluen. In February 1992 Yates, who marketed bulbs for Tesselaar and other growers in WA, agreed to support and supply the ABPF with Tulips. The first festival was known as “Yates Tulip Time,” now “Its Yates Springtime.” This was the start of an ongoing relationship that is still going strong today. Yates have been in business for over 130 years and the ABPF are proud to have been part of this relationship for 30 years.  

The photograph on the left shows a bed planted with some of the 10,000 bulbs Yates donated in 1992. We now plant over 120,000 tulips and thousands of spring blooms throughout the park.   

When Yates gave us 10,000 tulips in 1992 the public support was overwhelming. Araluen had to look for parking staff, gate staff and volunteers to look after the visitors. It didn’t take long to realise that 10,000 bulbs were not going to let visitors get a good view or photo of the Tulips. This also meant we had to look at extra parking areas and new garden beds. This growing of the Park continues every year. 

Yates was founded by Arthur Yates, an Englishman who migrated to New Zealand in 1879 to escape the damp weather of his home town of Manchester. The seed business that Arthur opened in Auckland in 1883 was the beginning of what was to become one of the most recognised names in Australian and New Zealand gardening. Although the Yates company has gone through many changes their support for Araluen Botanic Park has always been unwavering. Congratulations to Yates for over 130 years of history and thanks for thirty years of a relationship that is still going strong between Yates and Araluen that has seen over 1.5 million tulips planted at Araluen.   

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