Flower fans, as a whole, find much to unite over: the beauty, the nature-niceness, the joy of colorful petals that brighten any room or yard.
But people who pick peonies or roses as their most-loved flower are as distinctive in their tastes as someone who is all about tulips. Flowers boast oodles of individual character, any gardener will vow, and the tulip is tops in this character-filled category.
One of Holland's most famous symbols, the tulips is very much about symmetry, rich hues, and a stem-firm uprightness not shared by many other buds. Even when it leans, it still has some of the best posture in any plot.
A quick jaunt to Holland to admire such qualities may not be in the cards for we tulip lovers, but California is home to Tulipmania — a February happening at Pier 39 in San Francisco — and tulip growers like Modesto's own Dutch Hollow Farms. And, yes, oversized faux tulips are ever-present inside "it's a small world" at Disneyland.
And one of the shining stars of real-live-honest-to-bulb-ness tulip-o-sity, at least 'round Southern California, is now making its colorful stand: The flowers are doing their whole be-brilliant-in-the-sunshine thing at Descanso Gardens, where there's currently "(a) sea of tulips on the Promenade."
Tulips in wines, reds, and pinks, no less. Aren't tulips both attention-grabbing and charmingly prim, all at the same time? Perennials don't come more complex. (Sorry other perennials; we feel you'll agree.)
The lilacs and cherry trees are going to town — er, gardens — around the La Cañada Flintridge tree-packed spread, too. And you thought Descanso was principally about its most famous flower, that belle of the wintertime, the camellia.
Oh, we're elbowing you. Of course you know the expansive nature park is about more than camellias. But when the tulips top out, it can be hard to admire any other flowers in the vicinity.
No one is ever into spotlight-stealers, but tulips in March? We say, when they appear in profusion, they can steal all the spotlights they like.