Has spring arrived in your area? My forsythia bushes, Quince bush, and Bradford pear trees are covered with blossoms. I also have a few daffodils blooming, the grass is turning green, and the weeds are popping up. I don't do a lot of gardening, so when I want to see spring flowers I have to go looking for them. A short road trip took me to Garvan Woodland Garden nestled in Arkansas' Ouachita Mountains. The pathways were lined with a never-ending sea of daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips dancing in the breeze. Oh, I wish you could have been beside me when that breeze surrounded me with the sweet smell of hyacinths. Heavenly!
Flowers can say a lot without speaking a word. In Victorian times every bloom expressed a different meaning. Color was also a way to express what was meant.
Red tulips express that you are deeply in love. A famous legend from Turkish lore tells of a handsome prince name Farhad who was deeply in love with a pretty lass, Shirin. The story goes that one day he discovered that Shirin had been killed. Overcome with grief he mounted his horse and galloped over a cliff to his death. As the legend goes, from each droplet of his blood a scarlet tulip sprang up, making the flower a symbol of perfect love.
Yellow tulips, once associated with jealousy and hopeless love, now symbolize hope and cheerful thoughts. I rather like the modern symbolization much better!
White tulips are chosen when an apology bouquet is needed.
Here's a little tulip trivia for you.
- Tulips belong to the same family as lilies and are relatives of onions.
- There are over 3,000 varieties of tulips.
- Tulips did not originate from Holland. Tulips are from Central Asia. They were introduced to Holland in 1593.
- The most popular tulips are the red varieties. The most famous tulip is said to be “Queen of the Night” a tulip that is almost black. It is actually a dark purple.
- The petals of tulips are edible. During WWII some people in the Netherlands were forced to eat tulips because there wasn’t any other food.
- During what was called “tulip madness” or “tulip mania” in the winter of 1636-37, tulip traders could make over $61,000 a month trading tulip bulbs. During this time a valuable tulip bulb could change hands ten times a day.
- The tulip was once the most expensive flower in the world. In Europe a single Viceroy tulip bulb was purchased with four fat oxen, eight fat swine, 23 fat sheep, two hogsheads of wine, four casks of beer, two tons of butter, wheat, rye, a complete bed, a suit of clothes, and a silver drinking cup! Equivalent to about $5,700 today.
I wish it was easy to explain the feelings that wash over me when I take the opportunity to enjoy time in nature. The best words I can think of to describe that feeling is awe and reverence. I left the garden feeling refreshed and full of gratitude. If you haven’t seen touches of spring yet, I hope these tulips will brighten your day and bring assurance that spring is on the way!
“Springtime flowers bloom like colorful arrows piercing their way to the sun.”
~ Terri Guillemets