One of my favorite rites of spring is going to see the tulip displays at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. I would love to be able to go to the Kuekenhof in Holland, but that is a little far to travel. If you ever get a chance to be in the Netherlands between mid March and mid May you should definitely try to get there. However, the Arboretum in Chanhassen is a great alternative. They plant a multitude of tulips in several locations and always have a wide variety of plants to look at.
The masses of color are wonderful to see, but I really like to spend time looking within the masses of flowers for unusual pairings, or the juxtaposition of one color into another. I also look for the wonderful designs of color and shapes within a single flower. Taking this approach it is easy to spend hours in a single area.
I usually work with my macro lenses for these types of pictures using either a Nikon 105mm/2.8 macro, or a Nikon 200mm/4.0 macro. On my D300 DX camera this gives me the equivalent of a 150mm/2.8 and a 300mm/4.0 lens . With these lenses I am able to do both blurred backgrounds, as well as, get good depth of field. I find the best time to take these types of images is when it is overcast, or there is a slight mist or rain.
Below are several pictures of the tulips from this year and one from last year.
(Click on Images Below for Larger View)