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Time for Tulips!

Saturday 19th January is National Tulip Day and the official start of the new tulip season. On this day, Dutch tulip growers will transform the Dam in Amsterdam into a sensational pick-your-own tulip garden. 

Most people are unaware that the tulip is the national flower of Turkey and Iran, as it is indelibly linked in most people’s minds with Holland. The Dutch fascination with tulips began in the 17th century and by that centuries end had become a mania! Huge sums of money the equivalent of tens or even hundreds of thousands of ponds were spent on single tulip bulbs. In one case, a merchant gave a very large townhouse, six horses, a carriage, 24 cows, 12 barrels of wine and six large cheeses for one bulb!

Indeed one of the first attempts of boom and bust in European history was occasioned by this self same tulip mania in 17th century Holland!

The gift of red tulips, symbolises romantic love, yellow tulips symbolizes happiness, white tulips symbolises an apology, and a bunch of mixed coloured tulips express your opinion that your lover has beautiful, sparkling eyes!

Tulip flowers have a vase life of between three and seven days .In order to ensure that your tulips last for the longest possible time, cut the stems under water, and remove all lower foliage. Also, keep tulips away from fruit and other ethylene producing items.    

The word tulip comes from the Turkish word for turban, as it was the Turks who first cultivated the tulip flower in Asia more than a thousand years ago.

Nowadays, of course, it is the Dutch who are the biggest cultivators of tulips. However, they are still grown in the UK, with Lincolnshire being the largest producer – not surprisingly, since the county has a lot of flat land, very similar to the Netherlands.

Tulips are in season from now until the end of April, with the season continuing even into May.

This means that tulip flowers can be used in wedding flower arrangements all through the winter and spring months. We think that flower arrangements of tulips work best if you mass one type of tulip together, as this seems to intensify their shape and colour.

Tulips are very simple flowers with clean, almost minimalist lines. The impact and beauty of tulips is lost if they are mixed with other flowers.  Tulips work best alone, or mixed with just one other flower. For example, pure white tulips in a black glass goldfish bowl vase, or dark purple tulips in a mirrored cube would make ideal table centres for a wedding dinner. Tulips also make excellent, economical table centres when they are twisted around the inside of a clear glass goldfish bowl with their leaves removed.

January 17, 2019 by Sherree Francis-Bryan