In the Ottoman Empire the tulip was the emblem of true and perfect love. Today the tulip is loved and appreciated all over the world. They say that tulips are the world's third most popular flower after roses and chrysanthemums.
Tulips has been around for about 500 years, so they have a long and rich history, they are originally from the Middle East and usually found on rocky mountain slopes, hot and dusty in summer and bitter cold in winter.
The tulip was brought to Italy by the Romans in the sixteenth century and by the seventeenth century they had spread to Holland. The mania for tulips in Holland only lasted for three years, the price for a single bulb was very high. People made great fortunes but some also lost everything they owned. Many books have been written on the subject.
Today many billions of tulip bulbs are grown in Holland. Most of them are exported to the rest of the world and most cut flower tulips come from Holland.
Tulips are easy to find, cheep and easy to arrange. You need a medium size vase, condition the flowers when you get home and leave them for a while in water. They will keep growing in the vase so you can be quite generous when you cut the ends off.
What you do with the leaves is personal taste. You can strip all leaves off for a more minimalistic look or you can leave a few to contrast the colour of the flowers.
When making this arrangement I was looking for contrast and lots of patterns. I love the contrast between the purply-pink flowers and the deep dark blue colour of the floral vintage vase and the retro blue dotty fabric.
The broken bits of china is just for fun. No, don't worry I have not smashed any china! They are bits that I have found in the garden and on Hampstead Heath. I have never been able to find an explanation to why there is so much broken china in north London, maybe landfill from the Second World War, I really don't know.
I hope you have had a great start to 2012.
Take care and have a great Monday!