The Netherlands in May
first glance, it looks like a giant child armed with a
box of crayons has been
set loose upon the
landscape. Vivid stripes of purple, yellow, red, pink,
and green make up A
glorious patchwork. Yet far from being a child's
this is, in fact,
the northern Netherlands in the middle of tulip season.
landscape in May is
a kaleidoscope of color as the tulips burst into life.
are planted in late
October and early November. More than three billion
tulips are grown
each year and
two-thirds of the vibrant blooms are exported, mostly to
the U.S. and Germany.
Their dazzling colors are thanks to the
years in the 17th century when tulip mania
swept the globe and the most eye-catching specimens
changed hands for
a small fortune. But like a Rainbow, this colorful
landscape is a short-lived
phenomenon. When the flowers are gone, the land will be
cultivated for a
rather more mundane crop of vegetables. The Netherlands
produce more than nine million bulbs a year.
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