Tulip’s tunic is spring

If the Rose is the flower of February, then the Tulip is the flower of March. Some photos taken from the Hong Kong Flower Show in March 2011.

I’ve always wondered what was behind the tulip mania in the Dutch golden age. When prices for tulip bulbs went sky-high, a precursor of the bubble economy and reminiscent of the housing prices?  Tulip bulbs afterall are perishable, and unlike homes, can only be discarded if they do not bloom.  Not every bulb, but those infected with a virus that causes a “breaking” pattern. Because tulips bloom in April and May, prices start escalating in November and reach feverish heights in February- March.

Tulips originated in Persia.
When Europeans saw Persian men wearing tulips on their turbans, they mistook the name and gave it its name today.
                                                                                                                                                                        Come to think of it, a tulip does resemble a turban.  Perhaps that’s where the turban got its shape from the bulb.

Why a Dutch fascination with tulips?  Apparently, because land is scarce and expensive in Holland, so tulips are an ideal choice of cultivation, since it doesn’t take up much real estate.

A pot is sufficient.  On a window-sill.

Breaking the wintry still.
Welcoming Spring.
A tulip is elegant, aloof and reticient.
It doesnt call attention to itself.
No scent.
Upright and noble.
Not a hair out of place.
If flowers have personalities, what would a tulip be?
On the Myers-Briggs indicator, an introverted, intuitive thinker?
A rose? Extroverted, sensing, feeling?
 

Tulips at the Hong Kong Garden Festival March 201

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.

(Robert Frost)

The tulip and the butterfly
Appear in gayer coats than I:
Let me be dressed fine as I will,
Flies, worms, and flowers exceed me still.
~Isaac Watts

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