Ah, tulips! You’d think there’s nothing more quintessentially Dutch, but believe it or not the tulip actually originates from Iran, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan. Nomads brought the colourful flowers to Turkey and where sultans began wearing a tulip on their turban. That’s how the flower got its name: ‘tulipan’ means turban.
Colours and shapes
The ever-cheerful tulip comes in white, red, yellow, pink, purple, orange, green or with multi-coloured petals. The shapes of the tulip are also a feast for the eye. There’s the playful lily-flowered tulip, tulips with a single or double row of petals and also the eye-catching fringed and parrot tulips with serrated petals. Unsurprisingly, peony tulips look like peonies, and French tulips are exceptionally tall (unlike the average French mademoiselle) and have very large flowers.
If you gave someone a tulip in the sixteenth century, you were giving them a fortune. At that time the flower was incredibly popular and a speculative trade in tulip bulbs developed. You could buy a whole canal side house in Amsterdam for the price of one tulip bulb in those days. A nice bunch of tulips now costs just a couple of pounds, but the symbolism has gained in value. If you give someone tulips, you are sometimes also giving them a message, hence red tulips mean passionate love, and black tulips say: ‘I love you so much I will sacrifice everything for you.’ So you don’t give those to just anybody!
A spectacular bouquet with tulips
You can create some authentic Dutch cheer with tulips. A sizeable bunch of tulips combined with carnations, roses, Viburnum (snowball), lilac and ranunculus turns your week into a celebration. These jolly bloomers are very happy together! Pick a nice vase with a cheerful pattern or plenty of colour for an even greater impact. That’s certainly something you can bring to a birthday … or just keep in your home, of course. Buy the loose flowers and make up the bouquet yourself, or ask your florist to create this lovely bouquet for you. You can also place tulips in a special tulip vase to show them at their best. They will burst out enthusiastically in all directions.