Flower of the Month - Tulip
Tulip are widely known and a much loved flower. They are one of the most quintessential spring flowers and, their bright colours cheer us up after the long winter months. Tulips are often seen in flower beds, fields, and gardens, as well as in table arrangements and bouquets. In fact, the vibrantly coloured blossoms are so symbolic of spring that they are one of the most popular flowers for seasonal wedding arrangements.
Many people think that tulips come from Holland, but in reality they are traced back to the Ottoman Empire, which is currently Turkey, although it was discovered even earlier in Central Asia. It was not, however, until the 16th century when the tulip was brought to Holland, that it became popular. The name "tulip" can be traced from the Persian word "delband", which means ‘turban’, and plays on the shape of the flower.
Tulips have a wide variety of meanings, with each colour symbolising something different. In general, tulips are said to symbolise love and the arrival of spring. Red tulips represent true love, white tulips say "I'm sorry", and purple tulips symbolise royalty. Interestingly, a multi-coloured bouquet of the blossoms is said to be a compliment of the eyes of the recipient.
- There are over 150 species of tulips with over 3000 different varieties
- Tulips are part of the lily family
- Tulips only bloom for 3-7 days in the spring
- You can find tulips in almost any colour
- Tulips were once the most expensive flower
- Tulips were once the most expensive flower, and were said to cost 10 times more than a working man’s average salary in the Netherlands. Making them more valuable than some homes.
- Their petals are edible, and can be used in place of onions in many recipes
- If you cut tulips, they'll continue to grow at least another inch in your vase
- Tulips will bend and twist towards a source of light, even in a vase!
When planting tulips
You should make sure that your soil is nicely loose and is mixed with some organic matter where possible. It is a myth that the bulbs need to be planted with the pointed end up, although this helps. If you happen to plant them with the pointed end facing sideways, or even upside down, the tulips will find their way up towards the sun; so no need to worry. Plant the bulbs five inches apart and about six inches under ground level. Also think about planting them in groups of 10-15 bulbs, so that the tulips look impressive when blooming. Tulips are happy whether you plant them in full sunlight or in full shade, in a garden or in smaller containers. The best time to plant your tulips is in October or November, before the ground freezes. To make sure the tulips get established and make roots in the ground.