Though most tulips have no distinctive fragrance, they are—visually speaking—one of my favorite flowers. Either in the ground or in a vase, I love the way they stand—seemingly individually, yet always better en masse.
As far as botanical historians can tell, tulips were first cultivated in Persia where they were a popular subject in art and poetry. From Persia, they spread throughout the Middle East, into North Africa, then to Spain and Portugal. In the Sixteenth Century, they were introduced to Northern Europe and became spectacularly popular in the Netherlands. They were so fashionable, in fact, that, between 1634 and 1637, Holland experienced “Tulip Mania”—a rapid and uncontrolled rise in the price of tulip bulbs. Frenzied speculators bought bulbs for enormous prices, at times using them as currency or as “investment futures.” The entire bubble was pierced in 1637—and the market collapsed—after many fortunes had been made and lost by desperate financiers.
Shown above, a greeting card from England. It’s part of our recently-received collection of Spring greeting cards, now in-store. We’ll be sharing more of these pretty new additions over the next few days.