‘Dutch Connection’ at George Eastman Museum features more than 14,000 flowers

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The George Eastman Museum is hosting it’s 26th annual “Dutch Connection” display; a huge celebration of floral wonder. The exhibit started on February 14th, and will run through March 1st.

Landscape manager Dan Bellavia ordered some 14,000 flowers of a wide variety, including tulips and a lot of others.

The exhibit starts in the Palm Room, and opens up into the main foyer in the mansion, the Conservatory.

The display is inspired by a trip George Eastman’s bicycle trip to the Netherlands in 1895. When he moved into what is now known as the George Eastman Museum, he would order tens of thousands of tulips — though all of the same color — for the house and the grounds.

Bellavia discussed how involved this show is, and how it’s year-long process.

“This is isn’t magic, this starts in June with an order, and ends March 1st. And from March 1st to October, we’re washing all these pots, sterilizing them, so it’s a year round project to get this off,” he said. “And it’s turned out very nicely. I’m real happy with the show comes out every year.”

“It’s very stressful, because I have to have everything blooming that first day. Nothing blooms at the same speed, so we start bringing things out of cold storage, into a greenhouse, starting the day after Christmas. For eight weeks, those things are coming out of the greenhouse at different stages, depending on how long it takes them to bloom.”

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