What do we know about tulip mania? Read on. We know when the first wave of daffodils is swiftly followed by the colourful hues of the tulip that spring is here. There are so many varieties with the Garden Hybrid group being the most popular. These range in height from 9 inches (23cm) to 30 inches (75cm). And include Garden Party (pink edged white), Queen of Sheba (Orange & Red) or La Tulipe Noire (purple/black). It is important to plant your tulip bulbs at least 8inches deep otherwise your local squirrel might get to them! So if indeed your tulips do not make an appearance this spring you’ll know why!
Despite the fact we often believe the tulip originated from Holland this is far from the case and their history is as colourful as they are! It was during the Ottoman Empire in the 1500’s that the tulip was cultivated for the Sultan. There were strict laws forbidding the sale of tulips outside the capital city. A Curator fled to the Netherlands to escape religious persecution and took with him a great collection of tulip seeds. He planted them in the Leiden Botanical Gardens that tulips became linked with the country. Today the Dutch export 1.2 billion bulbs annually.
Also, four hundred ago this month saw what was called ‘Tulip Mania’ on Dutch soil when the price of tulips reached manic heights to suddenly collapse. This episode is generally known as the first ‘economic bubble’ as many investors suffered from the fall in stock and as a consequence Dutch commerce took a tumble affecting both the English and German markets. A colourful history indeed!