Thursday, May 23, 2013

Someone Once Paid $500K For A Tulip (it was probably my husband in a past life)

Did you know the tulip was the first piece of horticulture ever purchased solely for its beauty?

During the Dutch Golden Age (in the 1630's), the desire to own these beautiful flowers was in such high demand that a "tulip-mania" was formed.  And, just like the housing bubble, the tulip bubble deflated, but at its peak, a unique species of tulip (which was later determined to actually be mutated) sold for 10 times the annual skilled labor yearly wage--or about $500,000 US today!!!

Wow!  Now that's really loving your garden.  If you're like me, and your thumb is stained with some off-color of grey or black, then you do not understand this notion.  In fact, if a plant does not serve some other function--household air quality, herbs for cooking, vegetables for eating, shade from the sun, or privacy--I just assume not plant it.

Then there are folk like my husband, who would choose (only in this circumstance) beauty over utility.

Thank goodness for him, because look what he's brought to my backyard (though no inexpensive endeavor ...then again, nothing with him ever is).

So, which are you?  Do you plant for beauty, or utility?

In the meantime, enjoy these pictures from our yard, and rent the amazing documentary "Botany of Desire" (available on Netflix). 

We scattered mint, rosemary, and other fast-spreading herbs throughout. idea!

The veggie and herb garden

Lilacs - so fragrant!!!

Violas - You can eat these!  Try them in salad!