I usually know that Spring is serious about sticking around when I see the tulip trees bloom. I know that shortly after the trees bloom, the tulips will bloom. This is my favorite thing about Spring here. The tulips bloom and stay bright and happy for weeks. This is because the tulip tends to thrive in places that have long, cool Springs and since it's been known to snow in May around here (crossing fingers that last year was a fluke), Kansas City is a good place for growing tulips. I was thrilled to see the little red buds of the first round of tulips pop up in the drive at work. Hand me a bouquet of roses, and I will politely say "thank you". Offer me an arrangement of wild flowers and I will proclaim an energetic "how lovely!". You great me with a bunch of tulips and you will own me. The word for tulip in Farsi, Bulgarian, Turkish and Arabic is lale. It's spelled with the same letters as those for Allah and is a holy symbol. You'll see tulips on tiles in mosques and temples. Tulip bulbs would become so coveted in the 1600 that they would be used as currency. One bulb would even sell for the equivalent of 10 to 11 million dollars today. There is just something so simple, yet incredibly complicated about that delicate bloom. The artistry and science that goes into creating all the varieties and colors is outstanding. And the tulip serves no other purpose than to be pretty. We don't eat them. They don't have any medicinal purposes. They exist only for their beauty.
All of my gardening efforts usually go into growing vegetables. When I plan out the season, I never plan for ornamentals. But I would make an exception for tulips. That house we considered buying had a grassy median in the center of the circle of the drive. I knew that if we bought that house, I would fill that spot with all the varieties of tulip bulbs I could get my hands on. Some day I will have a tulip spot, just not at that space. My mother had beds of irises as her signature flower. Mine will be tulips.
For now, I will enjoy the ones that are popping up around the city. I may even tip toe through them. Happy Love Thursday.