Spotlight on the Tulip
Is there a flower more synonymous of Spring than the tulip? A graceful flower available in a rainbow array of colours. What's not to love about this beautiful bloom? Adding to its beauty is its general meaning of 'perfect & enduring love'. I adore the way tulips twist and bend to follow the light, almost like they are dancing to a tune only they can hear.
Cultivated mostly in the Netherlands, and oh my, there are just SO many tulips in Holland, especially at Keukenhof, (the tulip gardens) which I happily got to visit in all its splendour on a beautiful April day this year. Row upon row of tulips line the pathways and fields at this popular destination and it's easy to see why. The different varieties and colour combinations of tulips are seemingly endless!
Some of the meanings associated with tulips other than 'perfect love' are:
- Undying passionate love, whether the passion is spurned or returned
- Royalty and a regal nature
- Forgotten or neglected love
- the 11th wedding anniversary
- Abundance, prosperity, and indulgence
- Charity and supporting the less fortunate
The Tulip is a classic flower of love, although it was considered more of a symbol for charity by the Victorians. The Turkish people who originally bred the flower considered it a symbol of paradise on earth, making it a part of many religious and secular poems and art pieces. While the Ottoman empire planted the bulbs to remind them of heaven and eternal life, the Dutch that popularized the flower considered it a reminder of how brief life can be instead. The link to love and passion developed primarily in the 20th and 21st centuries, but that doesn’t detract from the strength of the symbolism behind this flower. (Source Flower Meaning)
The different colours of tulips also mean different things.
Yellow Tulips - These are a symbol of unrequited love, if you send someone a yellow tulip you are acknowledging that they don't love you back, but you continue to love them.
Red Tulips- These symbolise passion and perfect love, better not give these to a friend!
Purple Tulips- A sign of abundance and prosperity, these are a good choice to give if someone has just received a work promotion.
Pink Tulips - Symbolize friendship and are a nice gift for friends and family.
Tulip petals are edible and can be added to the top of cakes and bread as floral decoration.
Personally, I love tulips, I think they work really well on their own in a vase, just watching them dance and move from day to day is beautiful. They can also work really well in a spring bouquet with roses and other spring flowers.
If you get the chance to visit the Tulip Gardens in Holland then take it! Its a breathtaking display of colour and texture, especially beautiful when the sun shines.
*All photos are mine and taken by me.