Around this time of year, you see tulips sold at florists, in supermarkets, from stalls by the roadside — pretty much everywhere. The tulip is the kind of flower that you want to gracefully decorate a glass vase with.
In Germany, the tulip is often said to mean
Du bist zu keinen echten Gefühlen fähig. (“You are not capable of real feelings.”)
So, a bouquet of tulips isn't a good choice when confessing your love to someone. (Obviously, red roses are the more popular choice for that.)
And yet, tulips can be interpreted as
Ich bin im siebenten Himmel im meiner Liebe zu Dir. (“I am in seventh heaven in my love for you.”)
So, if you give someone you like a bouquet of seven tulips, they may interpret that rather well.
While the two interpretations conflict with each other, the colors of the flowers also have their own meanings, which can be helpful to know as well.
Red is for love, yellow for a smile like the sun, pink for feelings of compassion, white for lost love, purple for dignity and humility, and so on.
When you just want to make someone happy, I recommend a yellow bouquet. On the other hand, a bouquet in a variety of colors can mean "schöne Augen machen" ("making pretty eyes"). Unless it's someone that you know you are in favor with, it's safer not to send such a bouquet.
Taking Care of Flowers
Tulips can be pretty thirsty, and they tend to keep growing even after you put them in a vase, so here's how to make them keep longer:
1. Remove excess water.
2. Remove extra leaves that dip into the water. (You can trim the leaves that hang down with a diagonal cut from both sides to maintain the original shape for a pleasant appearance.)
3. Don't give them too much or too little water. (Spring bulbous flowers have soft, lush stems, and the stem tends to go bad if it stays submerged in water.)
4. Pierce the base of the bloom with a needle. (Tulips tend to grow toward the light, so, after a day, your carefully arranged blossoms can end up springing straight back up, or all turned in the same direction. Piercing the vascular bundle makes it harder to lose the shape of the arrangement.)
For people who want to enjoy a different style of tulip, try opening the petals to see how they look. This way, you only need a few stems to make a very attractive arrangement!
Cultivated in the Turkish Ottoman Empire, tulips migrated to Europe in the 16th century. Holland became well-known around the world, and the tulip became the national flower of Holland.
About 40 kilometers from Amsterdam is one of the Netherlands' famed flower fields: Keukenhof Park, the world's grandest flower paradise. It opens every year for only eight weeks from mid-March through early May, and hordes of people come from all over the world to take in the expansive, 32 hectare-wide view of tulips in bloom.
Even if you can't make it to the Netherlands, you can decorate your house with tulips, or enjoy this springtime seasonal charm at nearby parks and flower gardens.