Thursday, April 4, 2013


Whether tip-toeing, or not.

The introduction of the tulip to Europe is usually attributed to the ambassador of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor to the Sultan of Turkey, who sent the first tulip bulbs and seeds to Vienna in 1554 from the Ottoman Empire.  From there it spread to other European nations, especially the Netherlands.

The tulip was different from every other flower known to Europe at that time, with a saturated, intense petal color that no other plant exhibited. The appearance of the non pareil tulip as a status symbol at this time coincided with the rise of the newly independent Netherland's trade fortunes.

The new merchant class displayed and validated its success, primarily by erecting grand estates surrounded by flower gardens, and the plant that had pride of place was the sensational tulip.  As a result, the flower rapidly became a coveted luxury item, and a profusion of varieties followed.

Tulip mania was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for bulbs of the recently introduced tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then suddenly collapsed.

At the peak of tulip mania, in February 1637, some single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. It is generally considered the first recorded speculative bubble.

Humor --


Some of The Washington Post’s winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

~ Coffee (n.) the person upon whom one coughs.

~ Flabbergasted (adj.) appalled over how much weight you have gained.

~ Abdicate (v.) to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

~ Esplanade (v.) to attempt an explanation while drunk.

~ Flatulence (n.) the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.


  1. Well, and the reason there was such a speculative bubble was that a virus swept the tulip crop in the Netherlands--and created a huge number of one-off variants in the offspring, so that each unique bulb held potential wealth to the investors. Your fringed edges, your multi colors, that's where that all comes from.

  2. It's so cold, I wonder when the tulips will bloom around here!