Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Splay of Tulips

I know it should be a display of tulips; but our Valentine's gifts to each other and to family have managed to totally relax once freed from their bondage of wrapping paper, cellophane, elastic bands and anything else the florist could find to contain them before we got them!!!

I love tulips.  The effectiveness of their simplicity is amazing - they are linear yet graceful with dazzling  colours and subtle fragrance. Although they originated in Turkey, tulips really don't like warm weather - one reason they become languid indoors. 

Not only is the flower of the tulip admired, the bulb is also prised. The rounded shape of the tulip bulb with its characteristic point inspired the domed arches and roofs of moorish architecture. In fact, this small bulb was so valued in the 1600s, that it created one of the most memorable stock market crashes in history.

Producing these bulbs is a major industry in The Netherlands. The irony here is that for strong bulbs you have to deflower the plant before it goes to seed. I have seen barges ladened with precious petals, plying the canals of the tulip fields in Holland - a bittersweet sight.

There is even a tulip stitch in knitting.  This isn't actually the one I was looking for.  There is a smaller stitch based on yarn loops. Sorry I couldn't find my swatch.  I'll work up another and post it later.  We'll have tulips in the garden in May and I have wild tulips that just come up every year in masses, as well.  I'll be sure to take some pictures.

Now out to see if the Snowdrops are up.  I saw some in a West facing garden at the end of the street, yesterday.  Fingers crossed for an early Spring!!

Have a blooming wonderful day!!!

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