The majority of the world's Dutch flowers bulbs are from Holland

The majority of the world’s Dutch flowers bulbs are from Holland

Dutch bulbs are literally that – flower bulbs from Holland.

Ogier Ghisenlin de Busbecq was an avid gardener. In the mid 1500s, he served as ambassador of the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I in what is now considered Turkey. On a trip to Istanbul (then called Constantinople) he saw a particular flower for the first time, which was a tulip. He fell in love. He sent the tulip bulbs to his friend Carolus Clusius, who was head of the Imperial Gardens in Vienna.

Clusius created a private tulip collection. He sold specimens for shockingly high prices. People wanted the flowers for themselves but couldn?t afford them so they took it upon themselves to break into the garden and swipe the tulips. This is how the Dutch bulb industry got its start. The original tulips were red and long-stemmed, depicted in an illustration by Konrad Gesner, a German naturalist, in 1559.

The majority of the world’s bulbs come from the Netherlands, which hosts more than 52,000 acres of bulbs, producing in excess of nine billion bulbs each year, including three billion tulips.

Interesting Tidbit

In the early 1660s, tulips were infected with a virus. The led to an unusual but pretty colored streak in the flowers, which were referred to as ?broken? tulips. Eventually, the broken tulips became prized and in demand. Today, the broken tulips are called Rembrandt tulips.


Flowers Galore!

The Netherlands are famous not only for their tulips but other flowers including narcissus, daffodils, iris and hyacinths. These are fall planting bulbs, which means you plant them in the autumn rather than in the spring because they need a cold period during which they form roots.

What to Look For

When selecting bulbs, avoid the mushy ones. This indicates they haven?t been contained in a cool place and will rot, failing to produce a flower. You want firm ones.

The biggest tulips come from bulbs that are 12 centimeters in size or larger. (There are 2.54 centimeters to an inch.) A big bulb produces bigger flowers and more blooms.

Plant in thick rows or clusters of at least four or five bulbs wide, rather than in a single line, for a better display.

Consider planting double tulips, which have extra petals. The double tulip is dense, fluffy, ruffled and very colorful.

Other Options

If you love the color blue, plant muscari bulbs along with the tulips. Plant a lot of muscari to get the full effect. Windflowers are lavender blue and white and considered a specialty bulb. They feature ferny foliage and look good with tulips and other spring flowers

Hyacinths are another popular flower. They bloom in the spring and look their best when planted in the front of a border in clusters. Take caution: These bulbs can irritate skin so wear gloves when handling them.

Even before the snow departs, crocus start to bloom. Plant in bunches. The goblet-shaped flower is an indicator that, yes, you have managed to survive another challenging winter. Do not mow over them until the leaves become yellow. If mowed down too early, the bulbs can?t store up needed energy and will fail to bloom the following year.

Daffodils are synonymous with spring. Usually yellow or white, they are also available in different sizes and shapes with contrasting colors such as pink or orange. One benefit of the daffodil is it contains a poison called lycorine which discourages rodents and deers from eating the flower. This is a durable and beautiful flower that comes back year after year after year.