Take a look outside your window. Summer is well and truly here! And that means balmy evenings in beer gardens, gathering round the barbecue with friends and giving our gardens the TLC they’ve been sorely missing in the colder, wetter months. And if you’re looking to inject some quintessential summer cheer into your garden, you could do much worse than planting some beautiful tulips.
Tulips first came to the UK in the 1630s when Europe was well and truly in the grip of ‘Tulipmania’. These beautiful and (at the time) exotic flowers were the ultimate status symbol to the European elite and their presence in your garden was considered the ultimate sign of opulence.
While the tulip has become much more humble and widely available, in recent years, it remains one of our favourite flowers. Here are 10 reasons why we just love tulips.
#1: They come in a vast range of colours and shades
Tulips are available in nearly every colour of the rainbow. No matter what your garden or your tastes, there’s bound to be a tulip to make it shine!
#2: They have a rich and fascinating history
Did you know that tulips were responsible for bursting the first economic bubble? In the 1600s before the Wall Street crashes of the 1930s and 1980s or the credit crunch, Tulipmania brought on a frenzied buying and selling of tulips at inflated prices which led to their very own economic crash.
#3: They’re easy to grow
You don’t have to be a veteran gardener to grow tulips that flower beautifully. Even a novice can grow tulips that look stunning.
#4: They’re totally edible
Not just edible but their petals and bulbs are surprisingly nutritious (if they haven’t been treated with fungicides and pesticides!). In fact, eating them helped the Dutch to overcome famine in WW2. Although to be honest, it sounds like the bulbs really don’t taste that great!
#5: They have their own wonderful meanings
In the language of flowers, every flower has a meaning. Red tulips symbolise perfect love while yellow tulips symbolise cheerful thoughts. White tulips represent forgiveness while purple tulips symbolise royalty.
#6: They’re incredibly diverse
In fact, there are about 150 species and over 3,000 naturally occurring and cultivated varieties of tulip.
#7: They’ve come a long way to get to us
We may associate tulips with Holland but tulips have actually come much further than the Netherlands to get to us. They were first brought to Europe from the Himalayas in the 17th century.
#8: They can last a long time in a vase
Don’t you just hate when your flowers start to wilt as soon as you put them on display? Not an issue with the tulip! In fact, they can continue to grow for 3-7 days in your vase.
#9: They’re beloved throughout the world
Beautiful and hardy, tulips are much beloved everywhere. In fact, they’re the national flower of Turkey!
#10: Tulips have their own festivals and national day!
Tulip festivals are held throughout the world. In Holland, there’s even a National Tulip Day every January!
So, the next time you plant some of these gorgeous flowers in your garden or display them in your living room, spare a thought for their fascinating history and cultural significance. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you might even want to give one of their petals a nibble!
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