Saturday, January 19th is National Tulip Day and it is certainly on my bucket list to visit the Netherlands during tulip season which runs from January to the end of April.
Dam Square, Amsterdam
The season officially begins in Amsterdam. The event is organized by Dutch tulip growers who build a special tulip picking garden (around 200,000!) on Dam Square. Anyone can come pick free tulips here. This festive event marks the start of tulip season when some 1.7 billion Dutch tulips are expected to bring spring into homes around the world!
A bounty of beauty, free!
A little history on the sanguine tulip:
First imported from the Ottoman Empire to Europe in the 16th century, tulips were considered extremely valuable during the Dutch Golden Age. In the 17thCentury, reckless speculation caused an explosion in the prices of rare bulbs, and wealthy Dutch merchants flaunted their status by purchasing and planting particularly unusual varieties. This episode widely known as Tulip Mania, goes some way to illustrate the importance of tulips to the Dutch national identity.
Painterly Presence on Your Front Door?
The bounty of fabulous hues they grow in makes tulips a star in any arrangement you can dream up. The fact that they shine in the colder months only makes them more charming. Run to the market and pick up a bunch to cheer up the January gloom.
Here are some options to contain your taste of spring, but tulips are winners in almost any container. A couple of tips: If it is a clear vase, I like to take those divine wide green leaves they boast and use some to wrap around the interior of the container. This is especially effective in square containers. Also, if you want your tulips to remain perky add a couple of pennies to the bottom of your vessel.
When you are at the market, don't forget to pick up a supply of K-Cups to brew in your Keurig to savor while you are experiencing your taste of spring!