Tulips are not only versatile, they have a rich and interesting history. If you take the time to learn a little about them, you will never be stuck for a beautiful gift to send, and one which is rich in symbolism, but without being over sentimental. Combine these factors, and you may just have the ideal flower.
Tulips are relatively easy to grow. What’s more they grow from bulbs and are hardy. Frost won’t kill them and they multiply, without help. A small display one year can be a larger display the next without requiring a lot of work in between.
Tulips come in a large number of different colors and variations from very deep dark red (almost, but not quite black) through pink and yellow to white. Tulips do not occur naturally in blue, though you might think they do. Most blue tulips you see are either painted with floral paint, artificial, or dyed. There is a variety called ‘blue diamond’ however this is actually purple, the closest to a natural blue is most probably ‘blumex’ which is a very flamboyant parrot tulip with stripes of many colors, including a tinge of blue.
Tulips are not romantic. This may sound like a disadvantage, but it means you can send them to anyone, from your mother to your best friend, even where that best friend is of the opposite sex. And there’s nothing to misinterpret, there’s no amorous subtext which could cause problems. Take for example the man who sends a friend a bouquet of yellow roses, thinking the color is safe. The florist runs out of yellow, and thinking to ;upgrade’ her customer, sends red roses instead, flowers which convey a very different message. With tulips, red, yellow, even green, the message is the same.
Although tulips are difficult to arrange in florists foam (they have very fleshy stems) they make a lovely display simply placed together in a vase of the right height. The stems have a natural curve which is very elegant.
White tulips are an underused wedding flower. White silk tulips can be tinted with watercolors to make a stunning and very subtle bridal bouquet, with just enough color to stand out from the dress, but not enough to spoil a very regal, ‘all white’ picture. White tulips give a room the same sophisticated air as white longifolium lilies, but as they lack the dangerous orange pollen, they are much easier to live with.
Silk flowers can be boring if you live with the same arrangement all year, however tulip flowers, like roses, open as they age and it is usually possible to mimic this with good quality silk flowers just by manipulating the petals. Have pink and white tulips, tightly closed in spring, and push them open as the summer progresses, then bring out yellow, orange and scarlet tulips to team with your fall decor, before returning to white, teamed with gilded fruit and sparkling frosted branches in your Christmas centerpiece.
The tulip is a flower of great beauty and versatility; it deserves pride of place in both your garden and your home.