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In the Netherlands province of Holland in April and early May, almost every field in is covered in brightly coloured flowers. These are the bulb flowers most often associated with spring. There are deep blue hyacinths, white and golden yellow daffodils and narcissi, but mostly brash, bold and colourful tulips.

 

Tulips come in a wide range of colours. They can be the purest white through yellow, orange and red to the deepest purple ... sometimes almost black. ‘Broken’ tulips are bi-coloured, usually with a streak of a contrasting hue. ‘Self-coloured’ varieties are of one solid colour.

 

There’s no such thing as a true blue tulip, or a pure black one. It’s said, however, that fabulous rewards await the grower who can produce one. Botanists and horticulturists say it can’t be done. But, in a country two-fifths of which has been reclaimed from the sea, the word "impossible" isn’t used very often!

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