Retailer Tracey Friend is challenging fellow Rotorua citizens to "get tuliped".

This week Ms Friend donned her gardening gloves and got planting, in full support of a "Get Tuliped '16" campaign being launched by Rotorua Tulip Festival organisers.

Ms Friend, who owns Friend Wholesale Ltd, planted tulips in pots outside her store in support of the Rotorua Tulip Festival last year.

This year her display will be even more impressive in support of the festival, which will run from October 1 to 9 and is predicted to be New Zealand's biggest tulip festival.


"Last year I planted 300 white bulbs for a bit of fun. And, how pretty did the city look? I think it's great to get involved, even in a small way. Plus, it made me smile every time I went past my tulips in full bloom at the front door," Ms Friend said.

This year she has picked up an additional 100 bulbs from Mitre 10 Mega - she'd doubled her pots and mixed her tulip colours.

Tulip Festival manager Brigitte Nelson is encouraging the community to follow Ms Friend's lead, and is confident many will embrace the fun of the "Get Tuliped '16" concept.

"As we know, the festival is about far more than plantings in public places. It has been wonderful to see the Rotorua community involved in this over the last two years and we would love to see this involvement grow. After all, Rotorua Lakes Council has committed to planting a staggering 100,000 tulip bulbs this year, so now we want to grow the community involvement too.

"We are keen for those taking up the "Get Tuliped" challenge to let us know by taking photos of the bulbs being planted, and tagging us on Facebook (Tulip Fest Rotorua) or Instagram. That way we can all connect from now until October, and of course it signals to others that we've taken up the challenge," Ms Nelson said.

Ms Friend, for one, said she will be doing exactly that.

"I am issuing the challenge to members of the community to plant up their gardens or pots at home, and to retailers too.

"It is a little effort, but when they are in full bloom they make any building or area look great - I had people stopping and smiling - having photos taken with our pots all day every day when they were flowering. It was a great feeling. I think it' a great way for the city to look and feel united," Ms Friend said.

Mitre 10 Mega staff confirm masses of bulbs are in store in anticipation of local support for the festival. May is the best month for tulip planting in New Zealand.

Ms Friend is full of praise for the festival. Not only did it enhance the natural beauty of the city - especially the historic public gardens- but it encompassed many different types of events to engage the community, she said.

"There's a lot of the quirky and the cool, and certainly lots of fun."