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.
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.
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.
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.