Image from Southern Highlands Welcome Centre, Mittagong.
Bulbs are mysterious and clever. Already the flowers are stored in the dormant bulbs, just ready to burst forth once the conditions are suitable. It's an exciting time and I'll be planting these beauties this week, direct from Tesselaar's garden to mine. 😀
Natives of Central Asia and Turkey, tulips were imported to Holland in the sixteenth century. They looked different to every other flower in Europe at the time and soon became collector's items, which led to speculative dealing and subterfuge in the market. "Tulip mania" was a wild time, when prices of the bulbs shot up and many people clamored to own them. This demand crashed in 1637.
Four centuries on, tulip bulbs are easily available for reasonable prices. Lucky us!