Dutch Tulip Mania

Tulips with white sculptures near the Keukenhof’s lake © Karen Netto (Andrews)

Another armchair garden revisit via my stock of flower photos. In April 2017, I took an opportunity to visit the world famous Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands. The Gardens showcase Tulips and other flowers for bulb growers and exporters. Over 7 million bulbs are planted in swathes to capture the visitors’ attention during a busy 8-week period in spring.

Bulbs are planted in huge swathes for maximum colour effect. © Karen Netto (Andrews)

It’s not all about tulips. There are many other bulbs on display, e.g. Hyacinths above.

There is a huge windmill in the gardens which visitors can climb into for views over the gardens and nearby bulbfield. There are also indoor displays to help visitors make their bulb selections for next year.

During my visit, there was also a display on Dutch Tulip Mania of 1637. It seems extraordinary today that a craze over a flower could cause an economic crisis. Speculation in the value of tulip bulbs got out of hand. The most highly sought-after tulips with exotic streaks and vivid patterns were actually infected with a type of mosaic virus. The most coveted Tulip bulb was the red and white ‘Semper Augustus’. Its 1637 value would equal the price of 300,000 bulbs, 67,000 euros, 90,000 US dollars, a Porsche or a camper van according to a 2017 poster at the Keukenhof. I may be mad about Tulips, but not that quite mad.

© Karen Netto (Andrews)

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