Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tulip Mania

By Cathy

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.

  1. Tulips belong to the same family as lilies and are relatives of onions.
  2. There are over 3,000 varieties of tulips.
  3. Tulips did not originate from Holland. Tulips are from Central Asia. They were introduced to Holland in 1593.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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


Carol said...

Oh boy, I needed this! We had unusually warm weather yesterday, but it's not meant to stay yet, and nothing is blooming yet. So, while it was a nice respite, it was really just such a teaser! You have given me hope that it might really come to stay soon... I love your stories ( except why is perfect love always achieved only with dead lovers????) Anyway happy spring to you and thanks for sharing!

AFishGirl said...

Bracing for ice pellets and freezing rain so this post is just what the doctor ordered. Ahhhhhhh, exhaling. Beautiful.

kelly said...

I'm nodding my head right along with cathy! :) loved joining you on your tulip adventure! thank you for sharing these gorgeous flowers!

Dotti said...

These are so stunning! Your photos are wonderful - I always struggle with masses of flowers but, Cathy, you nailed it! We have crocus, daffodils and jonquils although it will be a while until we have tulips. But seeing these makes me even more impatient than usual.

Irina Kolosovskaya said...

Wonderful tulip trivia and amazing photos, Cathy!

gina said...

I love this post, Cathy! Your images are awesome, and I love learning more about tulips. Thanks so much for brightening my day!

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