Thursday, April 23, 2009


Rachel announced the yellow tulips were blooming!

When did this marvelous herald of spring begin, Old Trunks wondered. A trip to the local library reveals that there is a Cretan vase, estimated to be 3,500 to 4,000 years old, decorated with what appear to be tulips. There are references that can be interpreted as tulips during the Crusades (11th to 13th centuries).

The first recorded reference was in 1554 in a report by an Austrian Ambassador to his Emperor Ferdinand I on a visit to the Turkish Empire. The Ambassador wrote that he saw "an abundance of flowers everywhere-narcissus, hyacinths and those which the Turks called TULIPAN." The ambassador brought back seeds and bulbs as evidence of what he saw and within 5 years tulips were growing successfully in Vienna. It was there that Carolus Clusius, a Dutch botanist, found them and subsequently introduced them in the Netherlands.

In 1849 J.B. van der Schoot is the first 'bollenreiziger' (travelling bulb salesman) to go to the United States. Bulbs were sold to the U.S. from Holland as early as the 18th century.
This year, the Holland, Michigan Tulip Festival is May 2-9. The city is rich in Dutch tradition and it must be truly a beautiful sight to behold.
We have been to Holland, MI while on vacation, although it was not during the tulip festival, rather a time when other perennials were in bloom. The bridge pictured is the bridge my oldest two children were photographed on and we toured the windmill, (my favorite house dream is to live in one).
Bud bought wooden shoes which he never wore to play ball.
It is spring. Even in Fargo, the leaves of the tulipan are sticking through the soil. Bulbs bloom every year however, each year is exciting in itself. And to my dear friend Dixie who stated, "She read five books on how to plant tulips even through there is only one way."
My favorite color tulip? Purple.
What's yours?

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