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Fields of Joy

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  • How cool are these shots of fields in Leiden, south of Amsterdam in Holland. Pieced together like your nanas finest patchwork quilt, the flowers sprawl across the landscape in mass colour plantings. The colour stripes are made up of millions of different tulip bulbs.

    The history of Hollands’ romance with the tulip charts back to the 1600’s, when a horticulturist Carolus Clusius started cultivating tulips in the university grounds. Tulipmania was sweeping the globe and a huge variety of specimens were developed and changed hands for large sums of money.

    For a city of only 117,000 people, it’s remarkable to think that 10,000 hectares of prime Leiden agricultural land is devoted to the cultivation of tulips..... resulting in a harvest of an extraordinary 3 billion tulips each year, mostly for the German and U.S. markets.

    Planted in October and November, and harvested in the European Spring, the colourful fields revert to a more ordinary offseason planting of vegetables once the season is over.


    I’m loving the Birds eye view of the fields, the overlay of vibrant colours, and the impermanence of the whole landscape. Sounds like another good reason to visit Europe next Spring. We'll see you there. :)


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    References: The Daily Mail, UK, 8 May 2008