Monday, May 10, 2010


I think I first fell in love with tulips at the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark. I can tell that the masses of bold colors had an impact on me as a 10-year old girl because most of my photographs from that first trip to Tivoli are of the tulips! I’m certain they played a part in my many return visits over the years.

I’m also certain that my decision to include tulips as an integral part of my own gardens was shaped – either consciously or unconsciously – by the tulips of Tivoli.

Tulips were the first flower I planted at my current home. I bought the house in the middle of the summer, and by the time I’d painted and tweaked things on the inside, it was too late to plant most perennials, but perfect for planting bulbs. I dug a 3x5 foot patch and stuck in about 150 bulbs. I’ve added bulbs to every bed since then. This spring, the tulips were (and still are) spectacular. I smiled every morning as I opened the blinds and saw splashes of oranges, pinks, reds, and purples.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who was affected by the color. Neighbors stopped by daily to “soak in” the color. They made a point of telling me how happy the tulips made them feel. One woman asked how I got such a variety of colors – all she was able to get were red and yellow. Runners stopped to say how breathtaking the tulips were. And, a child in a stroller reached out and grabbed one after exclaiming, “Ooooooooh! Look at the pretty red flower, Mommy!” The mother was horrified, but I was glad that my tulips were “grab-worthy.”

After a week or so of so many tulip tales, I wondered what it is about tulips that affects me (and so many others) in such a profound way. Is it that in our northern climate we’re so starved for color after the long gray and white winter? Is it their simplicity? Or, is it that they remind us of some lovely garden from our past? For me, I think it’s a little of each.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails