Dixon tulips

River of Tulips — A Photo Essay

River of Tulips — A Photo Essay

Words and pictures by Ken Billett

On Friday afternoon, April 1, Emily and I walked along a dusty path, past oak trees and azalea bushes with flower buds ready to burst. We took in the scenery, the early afternoon sun, and the scent of spring in the air.

The scene was dominated by tulips. Thousands of gorgeous tulips filled the landscape of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens on Cherry Road in East Memphis. The Dixon does a wonderful job with their gardens and presentation.

After returning from a walk in the Woodland Gardens, Emily said the flowers looked like a “river of tulips” snaking their way along the path.


People love tulips, and the crowds in the Dixon’s gardens were a testament to that love. For our family, tulips hold a special meaning. Vicki has Dutch heritage on her mom’s side (see Southern Sinterklaas) and those travel brochure pictures of Holland always include acres and acres of colorful tulips. These perennials, however, are not native to The Netherlands—they were originally cultivated in the mountains of Turkey.

Regardless of their origin, tulips are spectacularly beautiful. Make sure to catch the Dixon’s show before it’s too late.

The Dixon Gallery & Gardens is offering free admission through the end 2024. The Dixon is open to the public Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm and Sunday, 1pm – 5pm.

Dixon tulips in yellow, pink, and red

Ken Billett has called Memphis home for more than thirty years. A freelance writer, fiction author, and nationally known advocate for skin cancer prevention and research, Ken volunteers his time at the Blues Hall of Fame on South Main in downtown Memphis. When not tending to his flowers, Ken and his wife Vicki travel extensively. StoryBoard Memphis is proud to present Ken’s columns Time Capsules and the newest, Get out of Town as, ongoing features here on StoryBoard.

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