Lotti Brown Designs

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Tulip Festivals and Traditions

color, inspiration, natureCharlotte BrownComment

Exploring the colours and traditions of tulips at my local tulip festival...

One of the joys of the return of Spring is definitely the Spring flowers - and as the daffodils die away we're treated to the cheerful colours of tulips.

Tulips as far as the eye can see (nearly!)

Last week I went to the Tulip Festival in the gardens in the nearby town of Pocklington, to get some floral inspiration for future drawings... So many beautiful tulips of all different colours...

Bold, bright and beautiful - yellow and red striped tulip

Tulips are natives of Persia and Turkey but we've really taken to them here in Europe.

Early traders brought tulips back to Europe, and by the 17th Century 'tulip mania' had overtaken much of Europe, with tulips being collected and bred as prized specimens, and exchanging hands for huge amounts of money.

Holland became particularly fond of the beautiful tulips, and now they grow fields of them, and the tulip is considered a national symbol of the Netherlands.

Lovely peachy, orange tulip

Lincolnshire in the UK, where I spent my earliest years, is also prime tulip growing country, and I remember going to the Spalding Tulip Festival with my grand-parents...

Each year there was an important parade through the town, with impressive floats in every shape imaginable, all created from tulip flowers - spectacular! (and sadly no more!)

Tulip Meanings

The tulip was originally a symbol of paradise on earth for the Turkish people, and a reminder of heaven and eternal life.

Beautiful tulips have represented paradise, charity, life and love over the years

By the time tulips reached Holland, the Dutch contemplated the ephemeral nature of life in the short but beautiful life of the tulips.

For the Victorians, the tulip was a symbol of charity.

Today the tulip has come to mean perfect love.

Different colour tulips have slightly different meanings.

Red tulips for true love and passion

Red tulips represent true love, and passion

Pink tulips for love and affection

Pink tulips show an affectionate love

Yellow tulips for spreading joy to friends

Yellow tulips are for friendship, sunshine and joy, although the original meaning was unrequited love.

White tulips for worthiness, and forgiveness (giving and receiving)

White tulips are for apologies, forgiveness and worthiness

Purple tulips for a regal nature, wealth and prosperity

Purple tulips represent royalty or a regal nature, or wishes for wealth and prosperity

Variegated tulips for beautiful eyes

Variegated or striped tulips celebrate the beautiful eyes of the loved one

Growing Tulips

We don't seem to have much success with tulips in our own garden - I think perhaps it isn't sunny enough. 

If you want tulips to be happy in your garden, plant them somewhere where it's sunny, and where they won't be sat in damp, waterlogged soil.

Treat your tulips right to get the best out of them every year

Tulips can be quite temperamental about flowering the year following planting (and subsequent years) so unless it's particularly sun-baked where you've planted them, it's best to wait until the leaves start to yellow, then dig them up, clean the bulbs off, dry them out, then store them somewhere dark, dry, warm and well-ventilated until you can plant them again next autumn.

Plant tulips in the right place and to the right depth to ensure flowers in Spring

Tulips are best planted when it's cool, towards the end of autumn, and should be planted about 2-3 times the height of the bulb, and leave a space between bulbs of about 2 bulb-widths, for the best success. (Wear gloves when planting).

Fingers crossed they'll give you perfect blooms next Spring!

Perfect tulip flowers make a garden beautiful

What's in Store...