I Love Tulips!


I love tulips

I love the variety of the English seasons, but there is something extra magical about spring – especially when you’ve endured a very long, grey wet winter, as we have. Spring is our reward after the winter, with its lighter evenings, blue skies, sunshine, and knowing that there’s still the gory of the summer stretching ahead.

So, today I’m reposting a version of something I wrote on the blog a couple of years, and it’s

In Praise of Tulips!

I love tulips for lots of different reasons. They come after the snowdrops and daffodils, overlapping with bluebells, chiming with the longer days.  With their vivid colours, they eschew the delicacy of the snowdrop, the sameness of the daffodil – they are bold, jaunty, intense. Their arrival announces – spring is here.

I love them for their elegance in a vase. You don’t have to arrange them Pander to them. They drape themselves with languid ease, their stalks posing with the fluidity of dancers’ limbs. They are relaxed – they know they are beautiful and adored.618

Most of us associate tulips with Holland, but they were first cultivated during the Ottoman Empire. Apparently, the tulip is  indigenous to a vast area encompassing arid parts of Africa, Asia and Europe. The word tulip, which earlier appeared in English in forms such as tulipa or tulipant, entered the language by way of French tulipe and its obsolete form tulipan or by way of Modern Latin tulīpa, from Ottoman Turkish.

During the time of the Ottoman Empire, they symbolised abundance and indulgence. When tulip mania gripped the Dutch in the 17th century, fortunes were made and lost with them. The Semper Augustus – a tulip of extraordinary beauty with blood-red flares streaking the white petals – sold for 10000 guilders. They came to symbolise human greed, and the crash that brought tulip mania to an end has been compared with the financial crashes of more modern times.

But I love tulips. They make life more fun, more energetic – more beautiful. 

When I was looking for curtains some time ago, (and became frustrated with fabrics and patterns which left me cold), I knew I’d found the answer when I discovered a tulip  pattern!

  My curtains clashing beautifully with a vase of tulips

What your favourite thing about spring?

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  1. Christine Steenfeldt says:

    What a fantastic post! I love tulips too not least because I’m rubbish at flower arranging and as you quite rightly say, they arrange themselves. I think the beauty of spring is the hope of things to come. We allow ourselves a period of optimism when we dream of long, hot summer days, conveniently erasing from our memories the reality of the last goodness knows how many summers when hope has been dashed. We can believe, though, however fleetingly, that this year may be different. Of course then, if it is, it’s only a matter of days before we start moaning abou the heat but that’s par for the course.

  2. Lindsay says:

    Thanks for commenting, Christine – good to hear from you – and pleased to hear you’re a tulip fan as well. As for spring, it is that sense of it’s all still to come, isn’t it?

  3. Debbie Young says:

    I love tulips too, Lindsay! Especially the way they arrange themselves without intervention.

    You might like to see this post I wrote about this time last year, which features a photo of a vase of self-arranging tulips and my new invention, the Philosophy of Flower-Arranging!


  4. Lindsay says:

    That’s wonderful, Debbie, and our posts are definitely in tune on the way tulips arrange themselves. Love your philosophy!

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