Metta Vihara, the retreat centre for Belgium and the Netherlands, opened in 2012. To help fund that project they asked a bulb grower to create a tulip, which was named Urgyen, after Sangharakshita, the founder of the Triratna Buddhist Order and community.
Now the grower has stopped producing it but a Triratna friend, Kees van den Berg, son of a Dutch bulb grower himself, has collected some 18 remaining bulbs and over the coming years is going to restart the production. He will start it in his own small garden near Amsterdam and later continue on the Metta Vihara grounds, with the help of the Metta Vihara Garden Team.
Here’s an update from Kees:
The process just started, is going steady but in its nature rather slow. The 18 bulbs are still in England and will brought to The Netherlands by Sanghadasa (currently living at Padmaloka) around the end of July.
Then my work begins with preparation of the bulbs (eventually splitting and keeping them dark and dry). The intention is to plant the bulbs at the end of October in a sunny place in the garden of Metta Vihara. Then we have to wait to see what nature does.
Flowering is expected begin of May and digging them up around the beginning of July. Then the whole process starts over again.
Most importantly is the process of digging them up, preparing and planting. So I hope the bulb population will grow by some 30% per year. We need a couple of years (up to ten to twenty) before we can offer a substantial amount of bulbs for flowering in gardens, while the population will be maintained.
But that is music for the future!
It is still early days but plans are afoot to design a website for this project - watch this space!