Tiptoe Through the Tulips

You may think you have come to the wrong website, you may even be right, but as a [dare I say - former] florist, now and again I get a deep longing for Holland and all things floral.

Hence the flowers mixed in with the social media and small business tips!

I was browsing Pinterest earlier and came across an image of the most stunning tulips, next thing I know, I am interweb-deep in Dutch floriculture sites and reminiscing about the ‘old days again’. Tulips are not even my favourite flower! It took me a while to learn to love them in all their Springtime glory.

This is the image that sparked the nostalgia:

Source: indulgy.com via Amanda on Pinterest


One of the things I love about tulips, aside from the VAST amount of different varieties available, is that to me they are a late winter and early spring flower (which is kind of weird now that I am in the Southern Hemisphere…). When they hit the market, their buds are still green and tight and they are sold in huge wraps of 50 which florists then split into smaller bunches.

10 Euros for 50 stems, that’s like R100! I certainly miss that!

Tulips - In bunches of 50

Most people don’t know that tulips continue to grow in water, which is why they often ‘bend’ over the side of the vase; they are also sensitive to taking up air which causes a ‘bubble’ at the top of the stem preventing water from getting to the flower and causing it to droop. Cut them immediately before you place them in water to prevent this, or for a quick (but not always successful) fix insert a needle horizontally through the top of the stem, just below the flower head, to release the air bubble.

Watching them grow towards the light is part of their appeal to me.


Here are some facts that you may not know:

  • The Netherlands is the largest exporter of flowers in the world.
  • The tulip was introduced to the Netherlands in 1593 by horticulturist Carolus Clusius.
  • The tulip is actually a native of central Asia.
  • The flowers sold to florists for displaying on your window sill are all grown inside green houses.
  • The tulips that you see flowering in the fields all over Holland bloom and are then decapitated to allow the green leaves to absorb the sun’s energy, nourishing the bulb. They are then dug up, packaged and sold on to gardeners.


Source: flickr.com via Amanda on Pinterest


Tulips are a wonderful flower to make unusual arrangements with, thanks to their bendy stems. Although in Cape Town, you rarely see long-stemmed tulips which are the easiest to work with. The tulip above is a Parrot tulip and when it opens fully, the petals are crinkly and textured.


I do feel a little better having immersed myself in tulips for a while, even taking a peek at some photos of work that I have done with them.

Pinterest does that to you…..invokes a creative longing. Or is that just me?

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