A Rococo Gift

A generous gift of a kind friend included a few bags of tulip bulbs. They came with the funny comment the species were unknown. 'But i know they are the more uncommon one's. So enjoy!' And with that, they were gratefully excepted and planted 6 months ago.

And so, as they came up and started to flower last week, they were eagerly watched with anticipation and curiosity. As it turned out to be, some were parrot tulips. The irregular colored flames and fringed edges are typical. Known and loved since the 17th Century they were often portrayed in still live paintings and eagerly traded.

tulipa parrot 'Estella Rijnveld'

tulipa 'Black Parrot' 

tulipa parrot 'Rococo'

And finally; tulipa 'Golden Nizza'

There is a funny story to tell about these tulips, linking it to our modern day issues & challenges. Because going fast forward a few centuries, we are now -at the beginning of the 21th Century- experiencing a financial crisis. And these specific bulbs were the reason behind the first known crash in the financial world; Tulpmania.

Like i mentioned above, they have distinct flames and some are fringed or curled up around the edges. When they were first discovered in the early 17th Century they didn't know the cause of it, other then they were rare and strange. Nowadays it's known it was caused by a bacteria that infected the bulb, hence they were rare.

In the mid 1630's these flowers became so popular... a single bulb would sell for ten times the annual income of a decent tradesman. Or the price of a single canal house in Amsterdam. When during the spring of 1637 a single bulb was sold for over Fl 6,000,- (+/- $ 3,000,- today) folk started to protest. The greedy speculation of the traders was seen as a form of gambling. Something that was regarded a great sin in those days. The protest became so strong that within a week prizes dropped dramatically. People went bankrupt and some even committed suicide because of their great losses.

It makes you wonder... will we ever learn from history? :)

Have a wonderful day,


  1. Wow, my tulips never look that good. How do you do that? They are stunning!

    I remember people kept referring to Tulpmania when the '.com' bubble burst. I don't think we will ever learn, there are always people willing to gamble. Nowadays they will probably say they are not risk averse and some people do get rich. In particular those the get out before the crash....

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  3. Elles sont magnifiques et on les croirait peintes à la main.
    PS:. Les Gens qui se ruinaient pour acheter ces bulbes n'étaient même pas sûrs du résultat (certains bulbes n'étaient pas valides et pourrissaient) C'était, effectivement de la pure «spéculation». Il faut juste être conscient, que grâce à cette horrible période, nous avons de magnifiques trésors végétaux ...
    Merci pour les photos féeriques

  4. Gorgeous tulips! Thanks for the wonderful pictures to show off these beauties! To be honest I didn't know about the history, I hope that doesn't make me one of the people who never learned!! (Well, I know now! Thank you.) Kind regards, Brian.

  5. I have never seen anything so beautiful. Plus your photography is fantastic!!! What a wonderful gift and story. I loved hearing about all of it.

    It must be getting close to the time you leave for Maine. Have a great time!!!

  6. These are gorgeous! I've never seen them before. Thank you for sharing.
    Hugs, Drora

  7. Son maravillosos. No los conocía y si tu no lo dices jamás hubiese pensado que eran tulipanes. Tu jardín debe estar precioso, disfrútalo.

  8. They are absolutely stunning! I love tulips and ours are finally blooming,, too!

  9. I can't believe how beautiful these tulips are! I vaguely remember tulips going for outrageous prices somewhere in history, thanks for the info, and of course the gorgeous pictures :)

  10. Les photos sont très belles . Merci pour les précisions historiques . J' avais le souvenir de " la tulipe noire " .
    Les tulipes " perroquet " sont magnifiques .

  11. Какие фантастические тюльпаны! Как щедра природа на разнообразие цветов.
    Прекрасные фотографии!

  12. Hello Deborah,
    What incredible pictures. They are just ebautiful and so full of life. Sadly, I don't think people learn from history very much...oh well!
    Big hug,

  13. Glad i could share my joy about these pretty flowers with you all!

    Mind you, i was a bit worried if the pictures i'd taken would hold up on Blogger. But they have! Gotta tell ya; misfortune had it my regular Canon G12 camera had broken down a week before. But i have this awesome phone since 6 months that takes wonderful pictures. Just the other day i received my camera back, mended and well, but i have to say.... This post and the ones bout the chess board have pictures taken with that phone. And aren't they a delight?! I'm chuffed to have my Canon back now, but if it wasn't for this phone i would be frustrated not to be able to share these colorful tulips with you!

    Of course i can make phone calls with it, but isn't it just amazing how well these modern day phones are???? (ps it's a Sony Xperia S :)))

  14. I am so going to buy that Sony Xperia S!


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