LIMERICK has said yes to Molly Bloom - or at least to a new variety of tulip named in honour of Joyce’s heroine.
A competition to christen the striking white and lilac perennial was organised by the Dutch Embassy in Dublin, with Corbally’s Mary O’Sullivan victorious.
And the flower is now to form the centrepiece of a new “Love Limerick” flower bed at the People’s Park, set with the help of pupils at neighbouring St Michael’s National School this week.
Over 900 bulbs were planted this week which in the coming weeks will bloom into a beautiful pink heart. According to Limerick City Council, these will be surrounded by additional varieties of tulip to form “Limerick” in red lettering, set against white tulips and all bordered by vivid blue muscari armeniacum.
“It is wonderful to see the new Molly Bloom flower bed in the People’s Park and I am very pleased that the parks department were able to run with the idea of bringing the Molly Bloom to Limerick and to involve St Michael’s National School. I hope people will take the time to enjoy the new ‘Love Limerick’ Molly Bloom flowerbed,” said Mary, whose tulip has also been planted at the National Botanic Gardens - in the shape of James Joyce - ahead of flowering season.
Michael Sheehan, parks department, said it was “lovely to be here on such a bright sunny spring day showcasing the Molly Bloom tulip. Great credit is due to Mary for bringing her tulip-naming win to our attention and we look forward to seeing the flower bed in full bloom in four to six weeks time”.
“It had been Mary’s wish to share the ‘Molly Bloom’ tulip with the people of Limerick,” explained a spokesperson for the council.
“She contacted Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan and from there Mary contacted the parks department and the idea of the ‘Love Limerick’ tulip flower bed was cultivated.”
To give the bulbs the best chance, they were potted up in the nursery to get through the harshest of the weather.
“It is great to see pupils from St Michael’s assisting the City Council with this project,” said Cllr Maria Byrne as they had “been great neighbours to the park over the years”.
All pictures in the above slideshow taken by Limerick Leader photographer Adrian Butler. To order any of the pictures contact the picture desk on 061-214542 or buy a photo online.