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A craze transcendent in fashion, Tulips at RHS Wisley by Sabatino Urzo

Posted by Sara Draycott on 21 May 2013 at 04:52 PM

Let me tell you something; I have an ever-growing passion for European culture, art, history, literature, flavours, gardens and above all, beauty! In the last few years I have been travelling around this continent many times and one of my much-loved destinations has been Holland. The Dutch like give to the world a taste of their agricultural excellence and tulips are a proof of that! Originating from the Ottoman Empire, now Turkey, tulips were imported to Holland in the 16th century and they are only associated with the Dutch because of Carolus Clusius a Dutch gardener born in 1526. Clusius was head gardener at the University of Lieden in Holland, where his work in botany and medicine was well-known.


Fig.1 Laying out of the tulips Fig.2 Sabatino Urzo cutting winter stems

At RHS Garden Wisley this year I have planned a formal bedding scheme baptized Reflection arranged by clay pots to create a ceremonial display alongside four noticeable rectangular borders. Generally pots in winter time are empty if you only wish to plant bulbs in them. In order to give a theatrical view and original prospective I have developed a display of colourful winter stems to create structure with a classic arrangement, something that I have previously fashioned for the first time in the container model gardens at Wisley.


Fig. 3 & 4 Terracotta Container display in winter time

Passion is an emotion that powerfully is seducing me and Beauty is regularly captivating my appeal with its Geometry and relations of points. Those components inspired me to arrange a layout of the display, colours and phase of growth for a repeated succession of bloom throughout the season. The display started to come into flower with the most impressive of the colours and radiant energy, difficult to get a sense of with a photo, screaming out to grab the visitors' attention to make them aware of the desire of supremacy and authority.


Fig 5 & 6 Succession of the colours – red for two weeks - two weeks later aureolin creamy yellow - two weeks afterwards white.

After having so much power showing off with the most imposing of the colours for nearly two weeks a second stage of short size tulips came into life trying to compete and stimulate enthusiasm and creativity with an aureolin creamy yellow to resemble the optimism, cheerfulness and fun for almost two weeks yet again. All this uncontrollable ardency and desire of ambition is intended to be smashed away by the purest of the visual perceptions that gradually will rise up a succession of fine snowy tulips over the previous generations of hungry inflamed flowers. The purpose is to renovate a sense of harmony, serenity and perfection almost at the end of their perseverance and life.


Fig 7 & 8 Final blooming with tulip 'Happy Generation' to close the ceremony.

It will be the tulip 'Happy Generation' indeed to evoke the contemplative and eternal closure of this ceremony joining the two extremities of chromatic perception, red and white, that have strongly supported this flower arrangement in order to enhance the 2013 spring of flavours here at the Royal Horticulture Society Garden, Wisley.


Fig.9 A visitor enjoying and drawing the tulips ceremony.

Throughout the blooming performance the joy of a gardener is to appreciate the authority of this sensational ceremony, and more rewarding is watching someone spending a sunny afternoon drawing and loving the flower arrangement brought to life with help of mother nature. I very much hope to have refreshed your intention of growing tulips next year, sharing and celebrating them with the Royal Horticultural Society and myself.

If you wish to know the cultivar of the tulips used, please get in contact with me I will interact with you personally.

Happy gardening!


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