Beautiful Tulip Gardens

When you think of spring, the first flower that you will imagine is the tulip – even if you don’t know its name. Tulips are the ultimate representation of spring. These beautiful and curvaceous flowers come in almost every color imaginable! And each color has its own meaning.

Did you know that there are more than 3,000 different varieties of tulips in the world? And of all the places in the world, there is only one place where you will find them all – The Netherlands!

The Meaning of Tulips

But how did Tulips get their name? The world Tulip means Turban in Persian. When European travelers saw Persians wearing this perfectly symmetrical and gorgeous flower in their turbans, they mistakenly thought the word referred to the flower. And the name stuck!

Tulips in general mean perfect love. But each color has a different meaning. Red tulips signify truelove, while purple tulips indicate royalty. And those bright, happy yellow tulips mean exactly that – happy thoughts and sunshine! And the most popular tulips of all – the varicolored tulips signify beautiful eyes!

Dutch Tulips of every color imaginable, from the famous striped tulips, to the royal deep purple ones, from the popular pale pink tulips to the strangely beautiful black ones – all of them can be found in one place in the Netherlands – Keukenhof, the world’s largest flower garden.

A Centuries-Long Love Affair

The Netherland’s love affair with tulips goes all the way back to the 16 th century. But these gorgeous blooms did not originate in this country. It is believed that tulips came from the mountains of Tien Shan of Central Asia. Then, the gardeners of the Ottoman Empire (in modern-day Turkey), adopted this blossom and began cultivating it in Suleyman the Magnificent’s royal gardens.

Travelers from Western Europe, especially the Dutch, saw these exotic plants and fell in love them. They decided to bring these rare flowers back with them to their homeland. Nobody knows who was the first to bring tulips to the Netherlands, but it generally accepted that it was Emperor Ferdinand I’s ambassador to the Suleyman the Magnificent, OghierGhislain de Busbecq.

Within a few years, tulips because so hugely popular in the Netherlands that it led to the first financial bubble in history – Tulip Mania. Everyone who was anyone in Europe wanted tulips! These lovely bulbs were selling at insanely high prices. And even after that mania ended, and the tulip market in Europe crashed, the Dutch fascination with this beautiful spring flower didn’t.

The Love-Affair Continues

The Netherlands’ love affair with the colorful tulip has lasted through the centuries, and today, the tulip is the national flower of kingdom. These varicolored flowers are now celebrated in festivals in this country, with the biggest one being the Amsterdam Tulip Festival, which is held annually.

But Dutch Tulips aren’t just symbolic. There are also of huge commercial importance to The Netherlands. This country is the largest producer of tulips, and every year, nearly 3 billion of these plants are exported to the rest of the world.

Photography by Albert Dros

- by Matt Watts

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