I continue to read the great book English Garden Eccentrics. The main idea is that…
History tell us that the flower garden as we know it did not appear until the later part of the seventeenth century.
That meant that people, especially the English, began to collect flowers to display them in the landscape.
A perod of marketing came along with such blooms necessary for the right look.
Brent Elliott wrote a wonderful book about the history of the flower garden called Flora: An Illustrated History of the Garden Flower.
He says, “The first great wave of plant introductions to reach western Europe arrived in the sixteenth century from the Turkish empire, which at the time encompassed much of Eastern Europe.
“Tulips were the first plants to be the subject of marketing and commerical exploitation on a large scale.”
People were willing to pay extraordinary sums of money for the latest tulip on the market.
They of course wanted to show them off in their own flower garden.
James Vick’s Nineteenth-Century Seed Business
In the late nineteenth century James Vick, seed company owner from Rochester, New York, jumped on the bandwagon and included in his flowers for sale the tulip
Here is an illustration of his tulips from his magazine Vick’s Illustrated Monthly of 1879. You can see why people have loved tulips. And since that time they have become a must for the garden.
The recent White Flower Farm catalog says the same thing in this Forget February collection. [below]