Flowers have always been an important aspect of our society and we have placed great importance and significance on them over the course of history. We use them as symbols to express our love, friendship, or to congratulate and send condolences to our loved ones. We grow them in our gardens and parks, we keep them in pots or vases in our homes and we offer bouquets and arrangements on special occasions.
Flowers are here to adorn and beautify our lives and to remind us of the important things in life. Though we have no actual use for them, they are very important in our culture. Some religions use them as offerings for the gods, because in their cultures they represent what’s best and most beautiful our planet has to offer and that is what makes them worthy to offer to reconcile the gods. In Western culture, flowers used to be a privilege of the rich, as they scouted the world for new and more beautiful types that they would eventually bring home and impress their peers with their new and unique findings.
Such was the tulip mania in fifteenth century Holland, where a single tulip bulb made a whole country go crazy for this new and interesting flower. Prices for a single bulb had reached such a high level that it seems ridiculous even now. A single bulb of what was called “the Viceroy”, which was a white tulip with red stripes, would cost the equivalent of ten times the annual wages of a skilled craftsman. No wonder only the very rich could afford it. Fortunately, this craze only lasted for a short period in which fortunes were made and unmade and soon almost every household would own the much-coveted tulip, now the world-famous symbol of Holland.