Thursday, 13 May 2021

Tulipmania


 Called the 'Semper Augustus' this tulip was the most expensive bulb ever sold during 'tulipmania' in 17th century Amsterdam. Its unusual colouring, the striations, and wavey edge to the petals made it a greatly sort after bulb. However, it is now known that its appearance was the result of a virus attack which ultimate eventually killed it.
In the 1620s one bulb cost 1,000 guilders but by the time that the 'tulipmania' bubble burst in 1637 its value had increased to the equivalent of five Amsterdam properties. 
Tulip fever spread across Europe, especially here, where many grand homes and wealthy landowners filled their gardens with tulips. They also purchased the highly prized Delft blue and white pergoda tulip display vases. 
Dyrham Park in the southern area of the Cotswolds has a magnificent collection of these unique tulip vases which are normally, at this time of year, filled with seasonal tulips and put on display. However, due to the Pandemic the property is still closed. but very soon it will reopen again. From next Monday our weeks of tough restrictions will be eased and we shall have a new set of freedoms. 

We always enjoy a visit to the gardens at Dyrham so packed ourselves a picnic, having already booked a garden visit online, and enjoyed a stroll around their grounds.




















Wisteria sinensis and Chaenomeles japonica climbing up the walls.

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." - Albert Einstein 

If you are living in this country, enjoy your new found freedoms, but do take care - I'm taking a break.

51 comments:

  1. I can't help thinking that they look rather better in the garden than in any kind of display vase - and probably last longer too. Now, do we cautiously dip a toe into the new-found freedoms or do we leap in and perhaps regret it later?

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    1. I am quite sure that many people will be flying away as quickly as possible which could be a very a big mistake. Israel was given the Government's green light, and I wonder if those who may have decided to travel there will now regret it?

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  2. Tulips are splendid flowers indeed. You are probably aware that in our capital, Ottawa, there is a tulip festival each year. It all started as a token of gratitude and enduring friendship from the people of The Netherlands after WWII. My daughter lives there and under normal circumstances we could go to visit her and the tulips both. Not this year, however! Enjoy your break from blogging, Rosemary.

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    1. Yes, I have seen all of the tulip pictures on William's blog. Hopefully next year you and Miriam will be able to see the tulips again in Ottawa.

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  3. Perfect topic :) Back in 2008 I wrote "Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach was also brilliant. A slim novel set in 1630s Amsterdam, it is about risk, art, illusion, tulips and love - my favourite subjects". Then followed it up in 2010 with a blog post called Tulip Mania:

    https://melbourneblogger.blogspot.com/2010/01/tulip-mania-netherlands-in-1620s-and.html

    The flowers and the Delftware were beautiful, but the damage to the Dutch household economies was tragic.

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    1. Thank you for the link to your blog which I have just read with interest.
      A couple of weeks ago we watched the film 'Tulip Fever' set in 17th century Amsterdam which reminded me that tulips were coming into season.
      That period has left us with wonderful Dutch still life flower paintings, beautiful Delftware, but as you are rightly said tragic consequences for the Dutch household economies at that time.

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  4. Amazing to think how expensive tulips were back in the day. Thank goodness we have them with their many varieties. A lovely post . B x

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    1. Tulipmania was created simply out of human greed.

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  5. These are beautiful photos of tulips...and I know you'll enjoy a break from blogging. Hope you come back refreshed!

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  6. Dearest Rosemary,
    Enjoy your break and thanks for sharing these spectacular photos.
    Yes, looking back at the beginnings of the tulip when the Dutch brought it back from Turkey to introduce to Western Europe, it is quite remarkable how they spread!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - it is interesting that many people imagine that tulips are native to the Netherlands, when in fact they are indigenous to mountainous areas with temperate climates - but they do thrive well on your flat lands. The Persians were the first to cultivate them, but it was as you say the Dutch who brought them back from the Turkish Ottoman Empire. We saw lots of tulips when we were in Kashmir, fields full of them, which were taken there by Persians.

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  7. Tulips are such beautiful flowers! Enjoy your break and your new freedom to roam around!

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  8. Hello Rosemary, The stratospheric prices for tulips always amazed me--after all, they are propagatable, and not rare in the same sense as, say, a Greek statue. On the other hand, look what people are paying now for "rare" sneakers and handbags. And the unbelievable prices paid in China for certain walnuts with propitious wrinkles on their shells. I guess its too much to expect that people will learn from history. Or perhaps, like the Hunt brothers (remember their cornering the silver market?) everyone feels they will be clever enough to sell out in time and make a huge profit--same lesson.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - there have and always will be people who jump on any bandwagon in the hopes of making easy money, and I suspect that is the reason why there are so many successful scammers around today. People are gullible, greedy and always will be.

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  9. Dear Rosemary,
    Tulips were the highlight of the gardens on our recent visit to Butchart Gardens. Huge swaths of beautiful colour. I remember reading about Tulipmania in history books, and of the quest to breed a black tulip, as well. You live in an area with many beautiful gardens to visit and I thoroughly enjoy visiting them via your excellent photos.
    Enjoy your break!
    Lorrie

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    1. Dear Lorrie - Your tulips in Butchart Gardens were really beautiful especially with their lovely backdrop. We are very fortunate to have so many lovely gardens within easy reach of us, something that I have appreciated more and more during this past year.

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  10. Yep, it's that time of year for tulips although I've noticed with covid my local parks are not as colourful due to planting restrictions or something. I think folk are really jumping the gun with trips abroad. All it takes is a new dangerous variant and the planet will be in full lockdown again with people stuck. As it is people and goods are already travelling worldwide, even during full lockdown so any new strain is with us before we are aware of it. Covid has a lot of life in it yet but as soon as we open up folk let their guard down and start mingling again. Authoritarian countries where people are already used to following strict rules and guidelines do much better I'd imagine.

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    1. It was the same at Dyrham, normally there would be far more tulips in their flower beds. I believe that the Covid virus and it's many different faces is something that we going to have to live with for years and years to come. Apparently we already have many cases of the Indian variant in the Bolton area. It was brought to the UK from India by the many who flew here to beat Bojo's red alert deadline.

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  11. Dyrham recently culled all of its park deer I hear. Only now do I associate the name with deer.

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    1. Yes, it is very sad that the entire herd of deer at Dyrham has had to be culled following an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis. Apparently the NT was left with no other choice despite trying to control the infection as the number of deer with the TB continued to rise.

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  12. Beautiful gardens and tulips. Locals here are able to see the tulips this year, so I've been busy photographing.

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    1. The beds of tulips in Ottawa are always marvellous.

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  13. Enjoy your break Rosemary.
    The tulips are magnificent and it's always a delight to see them in bloom.
    Interesting story of that rare tulip.

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    1. Tulipmania in 17th century Amsterdam collapsed the economy.

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  14. What a beautiful display of tulips, in a lovely garden setting. They do come in an amazing range of colours. Despite a complete lack of success in growing them here, I bought another tulip plant today and will pop it in with the daffodils and see what happens. Such is the fun of gardening. Have a lovely break, wherever you go.

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    1. They might do better with you if you grew some in a pot so that you could move them around into a cooler situation with some shade if necessary.
      It is so long since we went anywhere very far that it feels very strange.

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  15. Beautiful photos Rosemary, and a very interesting history, and a bit of madness when a flower bulb equaled the value of propterties. Having said that I know collectors of all kinds will go to extreme lengths. What a beautiful result of a virus, the Semper Augustus is stunning. I adore tulips. I grow some in the garden and some in tubs. One year I lifted the tub ones and stored them in the shed but not in a tin, the mice ate the lot!!! Enjoy your break.

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    1. Some of our fellow humans will do anything to make themselves money, they always have and I expect that they always will. Lucky mice I suspect, but sad for you. Even if the weather is bad we are looking forward to being looked after. As long as we are cosy, have our books, and some lovely meals, we will be happy.

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  16. Love, love tulips - always have always will. Sadly they do not return here and bulbs are expensive so I've only ever grown a few in pots, never a glorious bed stretching for yards and taking one's breath away! Plus when the squirrels bite off the heads I'm so, so miserable and cry all day!!!!!
    Have a fun break dear Rosemary - we need one of those soon!
    Mary x

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    1. Dear Mary - I think that tulips can be surprisingly temperamental, they don't do too well for us either.
      We are looking forward to our little break down in your childhood county. Sitting down to breakfast, cooked for you, and an evening meal with choices to be made, will be such a treat. I have really had enough of thinking about food, buying it, and wondering what to cook next - I feel as if food and chores have completely taken over my life.
      Hope that you too can both enjoy a little break away very soonX

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  17. You've inspired me, again, Rosemary! I have 3 books on my shelf now to read, but, next I will search for that big, fat tome of Tulipmania! that was published several years ago! You have also rekindled my memory of visiting the many tulips in Keukonhof, Netherlands during the 60's! Seas of gorgeous colors everywhere one looked. When I was living in Wisonsin, I had large beds in both the front and back of our home. I purchased large bags at Costco with 60 bulbs in each of the 10 bags! What a display that next spring and many springs thereafter! However, when I planted the 6 parrot tulips like the famous one you have highlighted, I enjoyed their colors and frilly petals for only one or two days before a heavy wind dispersed them all and when I looked out the next morning all there was to see were the green stems standing up proudly with nothing left to admire. Thinking how wonderful it will be for you to have someone else planning the menus and preparing 3 meals a day for you! What a joy that will be when it is my turn!

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    1. I am pleased that it has inspired you to read more Mary - The book that I know best is Tulips by Anna Pavord but I know there is another one called Tulipmania by Anne Goldgar, both covering the same subject of man's greed. We have just watched the film Tulip Fever - the film sets showing 17th century Amsterdam were wonderful to see.
      Hope that you too will not have to wait much longer before you can enjoy a little break.

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  18. Last tulip season here, we had some glorious hybrids available at the florist and so got to enjoy weekly bunches of the most delicious colours. I do love the Delft tulipieres, they're so crazy and quirky, but so seldom see them in the shoppes. Luckily I have no cupboard space for such a purchase :)

    Have a lovely holiday, dear Rosemary! x

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    1. I have a very small blue and white handmade vase, which is more of a contemporary take on the delft ones. I should really have filled it with tulips and taken a photo, but forgot!
      Thank you, we are really looking forward to getting a break.

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  19. I love tulips and was amazed at the number of variations I discovered when we lived in the Netherlands. Beautiful post Rosemary. Enjoy your break. Janey

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    1. Tulips thrive really well in the Netherlands which in reality is quite strange because their natural habitat is to grow in mountainous areas with very temperate climates. We saw fields of them in Kashmir originally taken there by the Persians and of course the Turkish Ottoman Empire where the Dutch ones originally came from.
      Thanks Janey, we are looking forward to it.

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  20. What a wonderful display of tulips , and such a fantastic tulip vase . Incredible to think of the enormous value they once had ! Wishing you a wonderful and fun break !

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  21. I love your tulips, and the garden is beautiful.
    These photos are wonderful.

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  22. Dear Rosemary - I felt strange sensation from Semper Augustus. Its appearance and the reason why it was made is dramatic. Delft blue and white pergoda tulip display vase itself is so beautiful, but I feel weird to see the vase with tulips. Cotswold is blessed with beautiful gardens. I’m happy for you that you can enjoy more freedom. Though vaccine seems to be effective against Indian variants, the spread of the new strain is worrisome. Enjoy your trip and take care.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko - the Indian variant seems to transmit itself far quicker. However, the vaccine still appears to be effective against it. It is now just the younger generation that are being vaccinated here. Although covid-19 doesn't appear to make the young ill there continue to be questions regarding the longterm effects.

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  23. These look amazing . Hope you are keeping well

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    1. Thank you - yes, I am well, and very much hope that you are too.

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  24. Beautiful photos, the tulips have been splendid this year. x

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    1. I was just a bit late catching the tulips as many of them were already beginning to go over.

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