EXPIRED: 11/13/09 – Daniel Hughes, 71, planted thousands of tulips, year after year, in front of a house he didn’t even live in. Call him crazy but it was beautiful.
Hughes, known as the Tulip Man of Oak Lawn, Chicago, started making the yard of a house he owned but never lived in a floral still-life like no other, bringing smiles to his Oak Lawn neighborhood every spring.
He started slowly with just a few bulbs around the mailbox and the trees but ended up planting hundreds every fall. And every spring it looked like a Disney parade come to life.
Eventually there were several thousand bulbs popping up. When the flowers revealed themselves, Hughes posted a sign in his yard that read, “It’s Tulip Time Again in Oak Lawn at the Tulip House.”
There were detractors, mind you. Every once in a while, teens would do a latenight drive-by and decapitate the flowers by the hundreds, filling a garbage can and leaving it by Hughes doorstep blocks away as some kind of floral warning.
But it didn’t stop Hughes – he’d just come back stronger than ever with more tulip bulbs. Last year he planted 1000.
But this year, nothing.
Hughes died last week after a yearlong battle with cancer.
At his memorial service, mourners were given a bag of 4 tulip bulbs. Hughes won’t be forgotten come Springtime. RIP Tulip Man.