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My “perfect love” of spring
 

Amy Applegate   May 10, 2023

Much like Lorelai Gilmore’s iconic ability to “smell snow”, I smell spring
Tulips

Image courtesy of Ioann-Mark Kuznietsov on Unsplash

The four seasons are a beautiful concept. Nature takes control and meanders through the months of winter, spring, summer, and autumn- igniting the senses in its path. Whether that be the smell of fresh cut grass, the crunch of autumn leaves (lovely onomatopoeia there Amy), the smell of lavender in the spring, or the first sight of snow. Each season, each cycle of life, provides the backdrop to the way we operate as humans- emotionally and physically. 

 

Of the four seasons, I and many people around the world eagerly await the arrival of spring. Something about the spring air seems to unconsciously shift not only people’s moods, but the atmosphere of cities around seem to follow suit.

 

Take Holland Park in London, for example. During the winter season, the trees have lost their leaves, and are muted shades of green and grey. The park almost seems to hold this sense of anticipation for what will delight within the coming months.

 

Spring hits and the park begins to flourish in the colourful Kyoto Gardens, and fills with locals and tourists enjoying the spring sun, the 50 shades of green appear, and pops of colour arrive in the form of nature's spring flowers. 

Kyoto gardens waterfall

Now, for me, tulips are nature’s clear indication that spring has arrived, they signify this idea of new beginnings and rebirth. In fact, for me, tulips are the epitome of spring. the first blossom of tulips makes my heart warm with excitement.

 

The tulip is said to mean perfect love”, and whilst most attach this meaning of love to relationships with  a partner, friend, or family member, in my eyes the idea of “perfect love” is my relationship with spring. 

 

The “perfect love” that transitions the winter to summer outfits – long trousers and winter coats for flowy dresses, linen fabric, and sunglasses in the spring sun… The “perfect love” of picnics in the park with friends as the days start to brighten, and the days get longer… The “perfect love” of the fading seasonal affective disorder… The “perfect love” of afternoons spent in pub gardens and throwing on a jumper as the afternoon sun dissipates… The “perfect love” of making and anticipating summer plans … The “perfect love” that Spring brings.

What I am trying to get at here, that whilst the most known meaning of tulips is this idea of deep and perfect love in human relationships,  I would instead see tulips as a symbol of the “perfect love” of the small things in life.

Now please bear with me as I get economical in my love for tulips. Tulips have been loved by many for centuries, so much so that the Dutch tulip bulb market bubble, also known as “tulipmania” or “tulpenmanie” is one of the most famous economic bubbles and crashes in history. It occurred in Holland, during the early to mid-1600s, making it one of the first recorded economic bubbles in history. Speculation drove the value of tulip bulbs to unimaginable extremes. At the peak of the market, the rarest tulip bulbs would trade for as much as six times the average merchant’s annual salary. To put this into perspective, tulips would sell for approximately 10,000 guilders, which at the time was equal to the value of a mansion on Amsterdam’s Grand Canal.

Amsterdam flower market

 When the tulips first arrived in the Netherlands, they were perceived as a luxury item. They became an item of status, that was purchased for the sole purpose that it was expensive and would help them to demonstrate their wealth to their neighbours. 

 

Now, whilst I am sure you all enjoyed that little economic history lesson, what I am aiming to demonstrate is that tulips are so amazing (bias view I know), that they caused a market bubble and market crash – much like the 2008 financial crisis crash. Crazy, right? 

Though, I am sure that in a modern-day 21st century society, we would not place this much “economic” value on tulips. I, however, think that we should recognise the value that these flowers of “perfect love” have. 

 

So, my goal for you this week is to go and buy yourself a bouquet of tulips, there is a flower stall in the station.  I challenge you to channel your inner Miley Cyrus, because when you wake up to them every morning, I guarantee that they will bring you a new happiness and joy that you didn’t realise could be possible. So, start thinking about what “perfect love” a tulip brings to you… what “perfect love” signifies in your life?

Amy Applegate

About contributor: Amy Applegate

Applegate is a blogger for HerCampus, University of Nottingham. Her writing focusses on opinion pieces, feminism and juggling life in your early twenties. 

Find more of Applegate's writing here.

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