One of Melbourne’s most iconic laneways, Hosier Lane, has been decorated in thousands of tulips this morning.

Florist, designer and advocate for sustainable living Joost Bakker is behind the spontaneous installation. Bakker transported the tulips from Monbulk – where his family grows the flowers – after his brother decided they were unsalable and wanted to throw them out.

“For me, this installation is about making people aware that there’s a thriving industry … in this country,” says Bakker in an Instagram post.

Bakker hopes the installation will encourage people to think about the importance of buying locally grown flowers, rather than imported ones. He told Broadsheet that throngs of people had already filled the laneway to pluck tulips to take home.

Bakker is known for his sustainability-focused projects such as the now-closed Silo (a waste-free restaurant), Brothl and Greenhouse, and the soon-to-open World’s Most Sustainable Shopping Centre.

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just planted 35,000 tulips in #hosierlane my family grow them in Monbulk and my brother said these were not quite good enough to sell.. when he said he was throwing them out I said no way! So we spent the early hours of this morning bringing them into town. For me this installation is about making people aware that there’s a thriving industry with more than a thousand growers in this country. It’s currently under a lot of pressure from imported flowers with some estimating close to 70% of flowers sold in Australia are imported. When you buy flowers please ask ‘are they grown locally? Are they in season?’ These two things make a purchase much more sustainable. Support a brilliant industry and the next generation of flower growers #thinklocal thankYOU @cityofmelbourne for giving me permission to do this so quickly too! And thanks also to Koomen’s flowers for lending their trucks this morning! I’ll be on @abcinmelbourne at 7:25 talking about the flower industry and the challenges of cheap imports. #buylocal #nowaste #zerowaste #flowersbyjoost

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