Spring flowers bring color and joy to gardeners and home owners when winter is waning. Spring bulbs are also a popular commercial potted plant sales product. Holland is an exporter of millions of spring bulbs each year. Surprisingly, none of the favored spring flowers so closely associated with Holland are native to the country, officially called the Netherlands.
Tulips that grew from bulbs were discovered growing wild in Central Asia. The daffodil and jonquil originated from Spain and Portugal. The tulip was introduced to the Netherlands by Carolus Clusius, a 17th century biologist at the University of Leiden. The flower was used for decorative and medicinal purposes. The Albus plenus odoratus, a snow white daffodil was included in Clusius' list of flowers as early as 1601. Tulips became very popular in the Netherlands in the 1630's, according to the Dutch Tourism Board. They sold for astronomical prices and were a garden flower for the wealthy. They became a major trade commodity with prices higher than the cost of a house at the peak of "Tulipmania."
Tulips, hyacinth, jonquils, narcissus and daffodils are hybrid bulbs and cut flowers grown in Holland and exported across the world. The climate and professional interest in growing flowers has continuously produced high-quality floral products for generations. The wild flowers have been developed, cross between species and hybridized until they look very little like the original blooms, according to The Embassy of the Netherlands. The cut flowers are short-lived and must be handled with care.
Spring bulbs are planted in gardens, borders and flower beds in the fall. The bulbs are hardy enough to winter over in the ground. When the soil warms up in the spring the stems and greenery begin to emerge from the ground. The true bulb has nutrition reserves stored within. The entire plant, including the flower, is housed within the rounded bulb.
Spring bulbs from Holland are planted in the early fall before the ground freezes for winter. Bulbs come in varying sizes from small field run to the larger high quality bulb. Holland bulbs have been developed to grow producing new colors and shaped petals or blossoms. Bulbs are planted in beds, in furrows or groups, and covered with soil. Compost or bulb booster may be added to soil that lacks the proper nutrients for each type of flowering plant for future seasons of growth.
Plants that are grown from spring bulbs from Holland can be used for cut flowers. Tulips are best cut when the bud is fully colored. The buds will blossom out in floral arrangements. Green buds will wilt and die without blossoming if harvested. Daffodils, jonquils and narcissus blossoms grow on a stem that has a hollow opening in it. They are ideal for a spring vase arrangement, according to University of Massachusetts Extension.