Like the coolest of cats, our flower of the week originated in Persia and the vibrant flowers of the tulip were first popularised during the days of the Ottoman empire. One sixteenth century ruler, Sultan Selim II was particularly obsessed with them, cultivating tulip bulbs in numbers that stretched into the hundreds of thousands - which goes someways towards illustrating why the flower was seen at the time as a symbol of abundance and indulgence. Indeed, the period in which the Ottoman Empire was at its most wealthy is often known as the Tulip Era.
The Tulip is still one of the most popular and well-loved flowers today, celebrated across the globe in various major cities with a strong Dutch heritage. The Dutch association with tulips is thought to have begun in earnest when the Flemish botanist Carolus Clusius began planting them towards the tail-end of the 1500s and discovered that they were surprisingly tolerant of the Low Countries’ conditions. Bursting with saturated colour in a way that few other European plants could match, they actually went on to inspire ‘Tulip Mania’ - a period in which the demand for bulbs reached such extraordinarily high levels that, during its peak of 1637, some tulip bulbs sold for more than ten times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. Eat your hearts out, Beatles Mania.
Thankfully nowadays, we don’t have to go to such extreme lengths to enjoy these welcome harbingers of the Spring! You can browse some of our tulip-featuring bouquets below.