Tulip Gold

Spring keeps delaying its appearance, so I created my own indoors variety. Bought tulips at  the market, put them in a lovely vase , and sat myself down next to it to read a book about the people that breed new varieties of tulip. Book is titled  ‘Tulpengoud i.e. ‘Tulip Gold’ and I had saved it for just this kind of occasion.  Leo Erken did the research, the text and the  photography too: the story of three families from Noord-Holland who breed, grow and cultivate tulips. The lives of these families are accellerated when there is new money from new investors going around. Suddenly, new tulip breeds are in demand: a speculative boom that creates a lot of turbulence.

Tulip breeders must be a ruthless tribe, for the tulip species that makes it to my home is the survivor of a thouroughly darwinian selection process that starts with cross-pollenating two promising parents,  of which union thousands of seedlings are grown. Less promising ones are rooted up, and this process is repeated again and again until finally one or two winners are announced.

Tulips in my vase are lily-shaped ones, my favourites, so beautiful! In close-up one can see there is a small red vein running through the petals, very elegant.

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