Easier than Tulips in Southern California
A friend emailed-me the following outstanding photos of Keukenhof Garden.
(Special Thanks to Diana from False Bay, SA for the link!
For these blogger's eyes, the Keukenhof is alien in some ways. The garden is very much a human creation, and obviously so. No solitary gardener did this--it takes many, many people working full time to plant, design, and care to create this botanical showcase that lasts for a few weeks. The flowers themselves, the tulips at least, are hybrids developed over decades by commercial growers. Flower bulbs are a major export of the Netherlands, so this garden is both a garden and an advertisement promoting a national industry.
I recently read 'Second Nature' by Michael Pollan. The book points out that no garden is completely apart from nature, because gardens are created by humans, and we, just as tulips created by the hand of a hybridizer, are no less a part of nature than is a species tulip. The
searing, intense fields of saturated tulip color arranged in geometric patterns,
apparently entirely artificial, express some of the most ancient
portions of our DNA--for our distant ancestors, bright color meant ripe
fruit, and ripe fruit meant food. The more "natural" gardens, say Piet Oudolf's Lurie Garden in Chicago are as artificial as the Keukenhof.
There's more to an eyeful of color than--meets the eye.