Italy’s first “U-pick” tulip farm in Milan

250,000 tulips to be picked.

Wednesday 29 March should see the opening of the first “U-pick” garden for flowers in Italy, in Milan’s north-western Cornaredo suburb.

With entry at €3 which includes the first two tulips picked, visitors can choose from among the 250,000 bulbs in 185 varieties covering the field in a stunning display of natural colours.

The final decision on the opening date will depend on the weather: updates are being published – along with all details on how to find it on Viale della Repubblica – on the garden’s website.

The idea was launched by Dutch horticulture graduate Edwin Koeman, 39, and his fiancée, development economy graduate Nitsuhe Wolanios, 31, who met in Ethiopia. With the help of some retirees, the couple have worked hard since October to plant the one-hectare crop, which is now almost ripe for picking.

Edwin comes from a family of tulip growers in the Netherlands, and was inspired to create his “U-pick” garden here by the example of a small number of Italian fruit orchards operating on the same principal.

The garden will be open daily from 09.00 to 19.30, but booking (on the website) will be required only on weekends. Edwin and Nitsuhe will provide baskets and a bench for wrapping the flowers, but they say no pruning shears will be needed, as the tulips can easily be picked by hand.