Who wouldn't love tulips?!
When you say "tulip", you say "Netherlands", of course - but also here in Scandinavia, we try to do our best. In these more or less drab and dark winter days, we just love to have them at home. I read somewhere that during these months over one million cut tulips are sold in Sweden every day, and that the Swedes, followed by the Finns and the Danes, would be the most tulip-loving and tulip-buying people in the world. 15 January is Sweden's national Day of the Tulip!
Of the tulips sold in Finland during January to April, more than 50 million are grown here, even though the bulbs come from the Netherlands. According to the today's newspaper, pink and yellow are the most popular colours and white is becoming more and more in vogue.
I'm good at buying tulips, but have little experience in growing them. In Italy, we had planted about two dozen bulbs of 'Queen of Night'. The plants, rather surprisingly, thrive despite the heavy, clay soil (improved using traditional methods). They seem to persist from year to year and even increase, slowly but steadily. The site, lining garden stairs, is sunny and warm and becomes dry (but baked dry!) in summer.
As to our garden in Finland, last autumn I planted bulbs of the following cultivars
(Well, unfortunately not in the mosaic below. The photos were taken yesterday, a thickly-clouded and dark day. I tried to edit the colour tones, result of the artificial light, but am not very happy with the outcome. Sorry!!)
PS Since I find many KEEP CALM posters really cool, I thought it would be time to finally start creating some of my own. On the website they say it's very easy. You just enter the saying of your choice, choose some simple options, and "before you can say 'coalition government' you'll have your very own Government-approved motivational slogan"... :)
Then, however, I found this lovely image (http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/keep-calm-and-love-tulips-4/). My LOVE TULIPS poster surely couldn't have been any prettier...