News: Rembrandt Tulips


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Rembrandt Tulips

Checking my local forecast sunshine is set to return from this afternoon. After all the recent rain the lawn needs cutting but given the forecast, I am going to raise the cut height. Enough on random lawn thoughts.

 I have noticed recently companies pushing the sale of Rembrandt tulips on the internet. Real Rembrandt tulips are not commercially available for sale. I again defer to my father’s 2006 writings on the subject. 

These tulips are named after the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt (1606 - 1669), who lived and worked in Holland at about the same time tulips first became enormously popular. The tulips were called "Rembrandts," stemming from the abundance of tulips in famous Dutch Masters paintings during this era, known as the Golden Age of Dutch Painting. Curiously, tulips were not a prominent theme in Rembrandt's own work. 

We now know that the unusual markings and broken colours in Rembrandt tulips were actually caused by a virus, carried by an aphid prominent in the fruit gardens where tulips were popularly grown. This virus attacked the colour palette of the flowers but also eventually caused damage to the tulip bulbs. Because of this, the original Rembrandt tulips are no longer sold commercially. However, there are quite a few modern, virus-free, Rembrandt "look-alike" tulips available. Ones to look out for including Flaming Baltic, Helmar, Banja Luka, Marilyn, Rems’s Favourite and Sorbet.

Enjoy your garden,
Chris Blom

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