A Cash Cow.. sorta..

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Ever wonder why we associate tulips with Holland? I wasn’t sure myself, so I decided to look it up.

From http://www.historyofholland.com/tulips-of-holland.html:

The word “tulip” recalls one of the strangest popular follies that has ever been seen in the world, which showed itself in Holland toward the middle of the seventeenth century. The country at that time had reached the height of prosperity; antique parsimony had given place to luxury; the houses of the wealthy, very modest at the beginning of the century, were transformed into little palaces; velvet, silk, and pearls replaced the patriarchal simplicity of the ancient costume; Holland had become vain, ambitious, and prodigal.

After having filled their houses with pictures, hangings, porcelain, and precious objects from all the countries of Europe and Asia, the rich merchants of the large Dutch cities began to spend considerable sums in ornamenting their gardens with tulips – the flower which answers best to that innate avidity for vivid colors which the Dutch people manifest in so many ways.

…Bulbs of the favorite tulips of the rarer varieties rose to fabulous prices; some constituted a fortune; like a house, an orchard, or a mill; one bulb was equivalent to a dowry for the daughter of a rich family; for one bulb were given, in I know not what city, two carts of grain, four carts of barley, four oxen, twelve sheep, two casks of wine, four casks of beer, a thousand pounds of cheese, a complete dress, and silver goblet.

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Wow! Who knew? The tulip was the precursor of the Prada bag! An elite symbol of wealth that seemingly was available to anyone. At least here at the gardens in Holland even the ‘less than wealthy’ can enjoy their beauty. Unfortunately, our trip ended up being about a week or so too late so see them all in their full glory, many of the bulbs had already dropped and soon will be sleeping again until next spring.

 

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Happy shooting,

Nique’

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~ by Nique' on May 19, 2009.

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