In this month’s magazine, James Wickham tiptoes through the tulip’s rich history and picks out some of his favourites
With all the natural elegance and poise of catwalk supermodels, tulips flirt their satiny head gear as spring gently nudges into early summer. The name tulip comes from the Turkish word for turban and gardeners have fallen under their spell since the first bulbs were introduced into western gardens over four hundred years ago. Initially prized by the Ottomans in their Turkish palaces, tulips found their way to Holland in the mid 16th century via Dutch merchants dealing in luxury items such as silks, spices and precious jewels. Within a few short decades, the tulip became the most esteemed and coveted flower among the wealthy classes.
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