Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tulips and gardens

As the strong winds of the storms bend the trees in the garden, I wander around not able to do much but have noticed that there are lots of tulips in various places their flower buds preparing to break. There was a time when I did'nt like tulips, sometimes their colours are harsh and matt but slowly over the years I have acquired a few, some deep red ones, a yellow mass in the front that always brings the sun to mind, a white one edged with green, a clump I hate that friends gave me years ago.
It brings to mind the story of 'tulip mania' in Holland in the 17th century. Tulip bulbs there developed a 'mosaic' virus and erupted into marvellous combinations of colours, they became prized possessions and took on enormous value, I believe they also caused a sort of stock market crash as people went bankrupt over them.
A story I had read as a child..... A Dutch man had one of these prized beautiful tulips, but he was very poor and very hungry, so sadly he ate his tulip bulb and forthwith expired. So he was buried and forgotten about, but the next year on his grave a beautiful tulip grew - the rational eye will see the flaws in that story, the dreamers will forget that he must have chewed the bulb...
Images of another garden below that also grows a lot of tulips, this is a large private garden at Malmesbury next to the Abbey church, the garden is open to the public and very beautiful, the owners garden with very little on, and I had gone there with friends and my oldest grandson on a very hot day in summer. I had taken several photos of Tom messing around, one as he knelt down and genuflected in front of some modern 'romanised' statues another under a 'green man' face.

part of the ruins of the old abbey

the gardens in full flower

'the green man' Actually I have mislabelled him, he is the goat-horned god Cernunnous by the look of him

Roy in cool shade

the lily pond with Tom's head 'nuisance child' as he jumped up in every photo

the rather good modern statue, reflecting the owners preferred mode of wear with a lizard precariously near.

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