It’s nearly the end of the tulip season, and despite the abundance of other flowers following on, I always feel a little sad when the tulips finish for another year.I’ve written other posts about how they suggest spring to me, more than snowdrops and daffodils. With their wonderful abilty to drape themselves languidly or stand fully upright as if recognising their glory, they seem to hold the promise of so many good things to come.I love the myriad colours from rainbow bouquets to single hue.
Their history is fascinating too. It seems hard now to believe the tulip madness of the 17th century in Holland: Tulip mania was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for some bulbs of the recently introduced and fashionable tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then dramatically collapsed in February 1637. Wikipedia
When their price fell, people were runined – the bursting of that particular economic bubble!
This is the background to ‘Tulip Fever’ by Deborah Moggach, recently turned into a film (not very successfully, I gather). Set against the backdrop of the 17th-century Tulip Wars, a married noblewoman has an affair with an artist and switches identities with her maid to escape the wealthy merchant she married. She and her lover try to raise money together by investing what little they have in the high-stakes tulip market.
Some years ago, I went to the tulip parade in Spalding, Lincs, a magnificent array of floats with the most extravagant arrangements, all made with tulips. Sadly, this display took place for the last time in 2013. If you click on the link, you can see some examples of the displays:
The tulip parade might be gone but the wonderful tulip lives on – one of nature’s many marvels.
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