Video: Exhibition Of Flower Mosaics In Holland
In the midst of the bulbous season in Holland, there are usually many interesting events dedicated to this event. Their purpose, of course, is to familiarize potential buyers with new products in this area of business, and all visitors - with local customs and culture, and, of course, to attract many tourists who are willing to spend their vacation savings. We have already written about the Parade, or a cortege of flowers, which took place in 9 most beautiful settlements in the north-west of the country at the end of April. And exactly ten days later, already in the north of Holland, an exhibition of flower panels or mosaics, as well as flower compositions made from buds and petals of various spring flowers, began.
I was fortunate enough to travel to almost all local farmsteads and see a large number of works exhibited for all to see. I must say that almost all the inhabitants of the town, from the smallest to the oldest, experienced old people, take part in this event, and sometimes even whole families create such masterpieces. Participation in this exhibition is considered a very honorable and responsible business among the local population. Tens of thousands of small fragrant hyacinth flowers are used, a little less often - the buds of tulips, daffodils and some other bulbous crops.
Festive flower garlands are traditionally mostly made from daffodil flowers. And everything else is left to the mercy of the participants. There can be two-dimensional flower panels, voluminous flower arrangements, and improvisations on a free theme. Local craftsmen often use motorcycle parts or electric drives to give movement to individual exhibits.
Here you can see very unpretentious small children's applications of junior schoolchildren, as we say, first-graders, and huge, quite mature and talented works that claim to be real works of art. This is how, for example, flower compositions that reproduce scenes from classic Disney cartoons, scenes from modern or classical literature, or, say, a portrait of everyone's beloved La Gioconda. Many of the panels are quite large, several meters in width and height. La Gioconda, for example, is more than two and a half meters high, i.e. noticeably taller than the tallest person. All this looks very natural, because it is made entirely of natural materials.
As a rule, the exhibition takes place at a time when the bulk of the hyacinths has long faded, and a huge mass of tulips and daffodils are in bloom. Naturally, you ask, where do the authors get the source material from? The answer is quite simple - hyacinth flowers are stored all this time in coolers - large refrigerators, at temperatures close to zero. As a matter of fact, the assembled structures and finished compositions are also stored there. At the same time, all streets and courtyards are thoroughly cleaned and nearby front gardens are prepped. After all, there will soon be crowds of tourists in the city! Although, however, in Holland it is always and everywhere very clean. The Dutch love their country and their city so much that they cannot afford to keep them in disarray even for a short period of time. This is especially true for small settlements.
In the midst of the holiday, there is a brisk trade in all kinds of products and souvenirs of local production, and first of all, of course, all kinds of rhizomes, small conifers and bulbous plants. They are mostly sold in pots, but they can also be in bulk. In stock, of course, there are all possible related products and the necessary special literature. Here you can also buy bee products or delicious Dutch cheeses, as well as freshly cut tulips and daffodils straight from the fields or a nearby garden. Flowers by the standards of the European Union are quite inexpensive, about 30-50 Euro cents, and are displayed directly on special tables sheltered from the sun. The purchase procedure for cut flowers often involves self-service in terms of their selection and further payment. And of courseit is here that you can buy the latest novelties or varieties of bulbous and perennials you are interested in.
It is quite obvious that on the eve of the holiday, all local hotels are filled to capacity, and the owners of restaurants and small cafes rub their hands with enthusiasm in anticipation of good money. Cafes and hotels for every taste and budget, so that no one will be left hungry or homeless. Here you will surely be treated to superbly cooked local eels, which are found in numerous channels and canals, or delicious seafood caught nearby in the Atlantic Ocean. Individual and group excursions to the flower fields are organized for those who wish. They can be on foot, on horseback, on buses and bicycles, very popular in Holland.
But the most popular and exciting are the excursions on boats and steamers along the local shipping canals. Yes, it is understandable: you can calmly sip a cool beer or aromatic coffee on the upper deck, take a morning or lunch meal, or just sunbathe in the sun, slightly blown by a light coastal breeze. And the view of the nearby flower fields from the upper deck of a large steamer is, of course, much more extensive and colorful than from the ground or any other means of transport. And the climate here is quite temperate, there is no stuffiness and strong scorching sun that we hate.
For cycling enthusiasts, special bike rental and orienteering registration points are organized, indicated on special large-scale maps. Here you can easily combine business with pleasure - admire the exuberantly blooming tulips, muscari, fritillaria, often still exotic for us small bulbous, and, of course, fragrant daffodils and hyacinths, as well as do your favorite sport on fresh air. The variety of flowering plant varieties that you can see when traveling in the north of Holland naturally depends on the time and duration of the visit to these lands.
Only in places where tulips are traditionally grown can you find cows and sheep grazing among the tulips. No, of course, they do not eat them, there is quite enough beautiful juicy grass, but it looks very touching and funny. You will not see this in any other country in the world! And everything turns out to be very simple. Local large farmers are forced to rent a couple of dozen large fields annually to grow their bulbous plants in order to provide them with the correct agricultural technology and crop rotation. Buying land for permanent use is very expensive and doesn't make much sense. So tulips move annually from field to field, and in their place they grow daffodils, fritillaria, or simply sow them with clover or a mixture of special herbs. This is done both for resting the soil and for organizing pastures for livestock,which, in addition, fertilizes this land very well with its waste products. Since tulip, hyacinth or daffodil bulbs are very difficult to choose during harvesting, they often bloom to the delight of local cows and, of course, numerous tourists.
Mass flowering of the earliest bulbs in Holland begins around the second week of April and ends in mid-May. Naturally, you need to make a small correction for the possible vagaries of the weather and the speed of the arrival of spring and in advance ask your friends or local growers about the readiness of certain plants for flowering via the Internet or by phone. And if you also want to see the exhibition of flower panels in the city of Anna Pavlovna, then you should plan a trip for the first weekend in May.
Yes, yes, the events described take place around a small town under the name Anna Pavlovna, which is euphonious for a Russian person. The city is named after the Queen of the Netherlands Anna Pavlovna (1795-1865), the sixth daughter of Emperor Paul I and Empress Maria Feodorovna, who used to be called Zeipe. She was the sister of the future Russian Emperor Alexander I. Anna turned out to be another unnecessary diamond in the already quite rich necklace of young ladies, but it was she who was destined to play a significant role in the history of the small country of shipbuilders, which her great-grandfather Peter I revered so much.
But here's the bad luck - apparently one of the officials once illegibly wrote or simply mistook the letter “v” for “u” and the city began to be called Anna Paulowna. But, nevertheless, it is nevertheless nice that in such a distant and beautiful country there is a town with a completely Russian name and a rich interesting history associated with our Motherland. Now, in this area, bulbous crops are mainly grown, which are successfully sold all over the world, and in those distant times, the population was mainly engaged in fishing and meat and dairy farming. Here, bulbous plants began to be grown much later than the northwestern regions, so local bulb growers often do not yet have much experience in supplying their products for export and therefore are still mainly focused on the domestic sale of their products to larger exporters in the northwest of the country.
When Alexander I ascended the Russian throne in 1801, his sister became a desirable bride for a number of European courts. She was only 15 years old, when in 1809 Napoleon I, at that time already divorcing Josephine (Beauharnais), asked for Anna Pavlovna's hand. But Emperor Alexander I gave Napoleon an evasive answer and actually refused him. Perhaps, by the way, this was one of the reasons for Napoleon's future war with Russia.
Anna Pavlovna and Wilhelm of Orange
But be that as it may, in December 1815, Crown Prince William of Orange arrived in St. Petersburg to marry Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna. The betrothal and marriage of the young couple took place in 1816 in the church of the Winter Palace. Having settled in her new homeland, the young princess zealously began to study local history and the Dutch language, which quickly earned the love and devotion of her subjects. But, at the same time, she continued to remain faithful to Orthodoxy. Soon after Anna Pavlovna moved to Holland, the construction of several Orthodox churches began in The Hague and some other cities. In addition, having become queen, Anna Pavlovna in every possible way supported ties between Russia and the Netherlands, doing a lot of good and useful for both countries.
In August 1830, the Belgian Revolution began, which led to the separation of Belgium from Holland and the formation of a separate Belgian state. King William I of the Netherlands did everything possible to prevent the division of the country into two states. But in the end, he had to come to terms with the loss of Belgium, and in 1840 he abdicated the throne in favor of his son William II, and the Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna became Queen of the Netherlands.
Anna Pavlovna was very worried about the hardships that befell her new homeland. For all the soldiers and invalids wounded on the battlefields, she founded a hospital and an invalid home, which she often visited personally, using her own funds. In fact, she became the decoration and support of the new throne. In addition, in her kingdom, she founded about 50 shelters for poor and homeless children and supported their exemplary wealth from her own funds.
At the request of Anna Pavlovna, her brother, Emperor Alexander I, allocated significant funds to help the Dutch people to fight the consequences of a severe flood in the north of the country. In 1847, the Grand Duchess persuaded her husband to make a number of changes in the country's tax system in order to somehow ease the burden of a crop failure on her population. With part of her Russian dowry, she bought from the treasury, after the death of her husband, the palace in Sustdeyk, turning it into a famous gallery of national art.
Anna Pavlovna, Queen of Holland
Anna Pavlovna lived for 71 years and was buried in Amsterdam, in the Orthodox Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr, built at the expense of her brother, Emperor Nicholas I. The life of Anna Pavlovna, the Grand Duchess and Queen of the Netherlands, is truly unique. She tied the blood ties of the two great Monarchies, continuing the great work of her great great-grandfather Emperor Peter I, who laid the foundation for the great and strong friendship of the two great peoples more than 300 years ago.
The Russian princess has always enjoyed great love of the inhabitants of the whole country. They remember and warmly remember the Russian queen here and now. The name of Anna Pavlovna was given not only to a city in the north of the country, but also to a square and one of the streets in The Hague. There are many monuments to their beloved queen in the country, some of which were designed by Alexander Taratynov. And the current Queen Beatrix, on especially solemn days, travels to parliament and the royal palace Lange-Voorthout in an old golden carriage. This is a dowry from the Russian great-great-grandmother Anna and a wedding gift from her brother, the Russian Emperor Alexander the First.
The carriage is harnessed by six horses and is always greeted at the gate by an honorary palace guard. Nobody is going to break the norms of the old court etiquette. And the Dutch willingly forgive their beloved queen for this little weakness - adherence to tradition. Otherwise, what kind of kingdom is it without ancient traditions? The Dutch call Queen Anna Pavlovna herself here an amazing Russian tulip, which was transplanted from Russia into the Dutch soil and which immediately blossomed here in all its glory!
Photo by the author
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