I wonder what they do with all those flowers.
The Netherlands in May
At first glance, it looks like a giant child armed with a box of crayons has been set loose upon the landscape. Yet far from being a child's sketchbook, this is, in fact, the northern Netherlands in the middle of tulip season. The Dutch landscape in May is a kaleidoscope of color as the tulips burst into life. The bulbs are planted in late October and early November. More than three billion tulips are grown each year and two-thirds of the vibrant blooms are exported, mostly to the U.S. and Germany .
After you enjoy these colorful pictures, check out this fabulous series by Philippa Gregory. If you like historical fiction or gardening, these are excellent books that
Tremendous historical novel of the early 1600s, as seen through the eyes of John Tradescant, gardener to the great men of the age. A traveller in a time of discovery, the greatest gardening pioneer of his day, yet a man of humble birth: John Tradescant's story is a mirror to the extraordinary age in which he lives. As gardener and confidante to Sir Robert Cecil, Tradescant is well placed to observe the social and political changes that are about to sweep through the kingdom. While his master conjures intrigues at Court, Tradescant designs for him the magnificent garden at Hatfield, scouring the known world for ever more wonderful plants: new varieties of fruit and flower, the first horse chestnuts to be cultivated in England, even larches from Russia. Moving to the household of the flamboyant Duke of Buckingham, Tradescant witnesses at first hand the growing division between Parliament and the people; and the most loyal of servants must find a way to become an independent squire.
Terrific, free-standing sequel to the historical bestseller EARTHLY JOYS, as John Tradescant the Younger witnesses the English Civil War and its aftermath from his position as royal gardener. John Tradescant the Younger has inherited his father's unique collection of plants along with his unerring ability to nurture them. But as gardener to Charles I, he confronts an unbearable dilemma when England descends into Civil War. Fleeing from the chaos, John travels to the Royalist colony of Virginia in America. But the virgin land is not uninhabited. John's plant hunting brings him to live with the native people, and he learns to love and respect their way of life just as it is threatened by the colonial settlers. In the new world and the old, the established order is breaking down and every family has to find its own way of surviving. For the Tradescants, through the upheavals of the Commonwealth and the Restoration, this means consolidating their reputations as the greatest gardeners in the country.
Their dazzling colors are thanks to the years in the 17th century when tulip mania swept the
globe and the most eye-catching specimens changed hands for a small fortune. But like a
Rainbow, this colorful landscape is a short-lived phenomenon. When the flowers are gone,
the land will be cultivated for a rather more mundane crop of vegetables. The Netherlands
produce more than nine million bulbs a year.