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Gift of Val St. Lambert Crystal Vase with Tulips + Memories

Updated on December 13, 2017
Peggy W profile image

My grandpa loved gardening. I learned much from him. To this day, I enjoy puttering around in our garden growing plants for beauty & food.

Side view of tulip against a black mat
Side view of tulip against a black mat | Source

Tulips

A good friend of ours gifted us with a beautiful arrangement of blooming tulips when she and her husband recently came to have dinner at our home. She has been known to bring the same flowers in the past and she knows that tulips are among my husband's most favorite of flowers.

The memories of this latest gift will linger longer than most because in addition to photos that I took of them, the tulips were in a vase of Val St. Lambert crystal.

The crystal vase did look prettier than normal and it was heavier, but no further thought was given to the container of tulips as we had additional company that night and it was simply placed on the buffet in the dining room adding much to the décor for that special evening of dining, friendship and fun.

Interior photo of tulip - Gorgeous tulip...thank you Pat!
Interior photo of tulip - Gorgeous tulip...thank you Pat! | Source

Of course I had to fill the vase each day as cut tulips are thirsty drinkers of water. As the tulips continued to open and droop such as is their fashion, they became even prettier as the days passed.

The photos pictured here are those very same same tulips.

The 18 tulips in the Val Saint Lambert vase
The 18 tulips in the Val Saint Lambert vase | Source

Val Saint Lambert

Finally the day had come to put the tulips onto our compost pile and wash the vase. It was then that I discovered the additional gift of that evening...the fact of the vase being an expensive crystal Val Saint Lambert creation. Thank you Pat!

Val Saint Lambert is a well known crystal manufacturer which originated in 1826 in Belgium and which has been creating beautiful crystal pieces ever since that time. It got its name of Val Saint Lambert due to the fact of it first being created in an abandoned abbey of that same name.

The abbey was undoubtedly named after St. Lambert who was a bishop in the City of Maastricht in The Netherlands and who was killed in the year 705. Maastricht is only a couple of miles from the border of Belgium. So much for that brief history lesson!

This post commemorates that most thoughtful of beautiful gifts and will offer lasting views of the tulips for a much longer length of time than their brief sojourn from bulb to plant to glorious bloom would otherwise entail because of these photos taken in the days following that most generous of gifts.

Closeup of the inside of a tulip flower
Closeup of the inside of a tulip flower | Source

Tulip Memories

For one period of our lives, my husband and I attended many different fundraising balls and gala occasions in Houston.

On several occasions I could not attend one of those festive events and we had several good friends who were "approved dates" for my husband. We have kidded about the "approved date" list for years. Several friends happily volunteered to be on that special roster.

One time our dear friend Pat who was widowed at the time accompanied my husband to a Symphony Ball. The flowers adorning all the elaborately decorated tables that particular year were tulips which was when she first learned of my husband's fondness for that flower. She never forgot and has subsequently gifted us with those flowers numerous times.

My paternal grandmother as a young girl
My paternal grandmother as a young girl | Source

Going Back Further...

The youthful lady pictured above was my paternal grandmother as a young girl. This was her confirmation picture.

From the time I first remember her she lived in a home on a lake in Okauchee, Wisconsin. Her husband had built that home for her as well as a string of cottages that were utilized for rental properties.

My grandparents had terraced the hillside going down to the lake with rocks and had many perennial plants sowed into the ground there and also up around the house. Apparently in its day, it was quite the showplace as viewed from the lake.

Needless to say tulips and other bulb plants like iris were among the mixture of plants.

Tulips in northern climates like Wisconsin bloom in the Spring of the year. In fact sometimes their foliage peeks through some lingering snow on the ground and they are often some of the first bright colors forecasting the end of a blustery winter and warmer days ahead. Thus, they are not only welcomed for their unique beauty but also as a harbinger of other flowering plants that eventually brightened the landscape.

My mother tells me that her parents also always grew tulips at their home in Milwaukee. She often proudly took the first big bouquet of tulips to her school teacher in the Spring of the year from cuttings in her parent's yard.

Children often took bouquets to their teachers back then and they would adorn the teacher's desk at the front of the classroom. It cheered up the classroom and of course the teacher would profusely thank the child bringing the bouquet to her (most teachers back then were female) which would make the child feel good.

Closeup of tulip petals
Closeup of tulip petals | Source

Wisconsin to Texas and Back

I had grown up until the age of just turning 13 in Wisconsin before my parents moved our family to Texas.

After getting married my husband was promoted and it necessitated moving from Houston to central Wisconsin where we lived for about 4 years before getting transferred back to Houston, Texas. He was in the paper distribution business at the time and Wisconsin happened to house the home office for the company. He returned to Houston to run the local division of the paper company after having been on the corporate marketing team.

What does this have to do with tulips?

My grandmother shared some of her tulip bulbs with us and we planted about 75 to 100 of them which became a bright red spot of color in our backyard each Spring.

Our home in Wisconsin Rapids
Our home in Wisconsin Rapids | Source

Tulips are bulbous plants that rapidly spread in the ground and need to be thinned out every so often or the blooms get smaller as the bulbs become crowded. Prior to leaving Wisconsin, we had shared hundreds of these tulip bulbs from my grandmother with neighbors and friends.

By now there should literally be thousands of tulips in the Wisconsin Rapids area of the country that stemmed from my grandmother's home on Okauchee Lake.

Unfortunately where we now live in Texas, tulip bulbs do not naturalize and spread with the resulting new blooms each year without a great deal of effort. One would have to dig them up after they bloom, store them and refrigerate them for several months prior to planting each year to give them that dormant period that they require.

For us it is simply easier to purchase blooming pots of tulips or bouquets each year and enjoy the brief but brilliant splash of their colorful company.

Tulips in Pella, Iowa

When my husband lived in Iowa as a youth, he and his family often visited Pella each Spring as there was an annual Tulip Festival held there.

Pella, Iowa is a cute little town that also features some windmills.

A markerPella, Iowa -
Pella, IA 50219, USA
get directions

Holland Tulips

Most people associate the country of Holland with tulips and for good reason. Millions and millions of tulips are raised commercially in Holland and exported all around the globe. It must be quite a sight to be visiting there when the fields are ablaze with blooming tulips of various sizes, shapes and hues.

Tulips actually originated in Asia before spreading to other countries in Europe and beyond. They come in many different species and sizes as well as colors.

Tulips can be found almost year round as the bulbs can be forced to grow by simulating the natural growing environment which includes periods of cold and dormancy in addition to the correct fertile soil conditions, moisture and light.

Hope you liked this tribute to our friend Pat who gave us these gorgeous tulips in a Val St. Lambert crystal vase pictured in this post and which also generated some memories for us of the near and distant past.

Which are your favorite flowers?

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Photos of tulips

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Additional tulip gift from Pat and JohnTulip gift from Pat and JohnCloseup photo of tulipCloseup photo of tulipCloseup photo of tulipCloseup photo of tulip
Additional tulip gift from Pat and John
Additional tulip gift from Pat and John | Source
Tulip gift from Pat and John
Tulip gift from Pat and John | Source
Closeup photo of tulip
Closeup photo of tulip | Source
Closeup photo of tulip
Closeup photo of tulip | Source
Closeup photo of tulip
Closeup photo of tulip | Source
Closeup photo of tulip
Closeup photo of tulip | Source

© 2009 Peggy Woods

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    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Oh Pat...such a sweet comment! Thanks for our latest gift of your beautiful tulips and even more, thank you for being such a good and dear friend for many years. We very much enjoyed our latest visit with you and John.

    • profile image

      Patricia Long 6 years ago

      I began reading your blog because it was about tulips which I adore and know you adore. I also adore giving them to you and Bruce, so I was stunned when I learned your referral to "Pat" was your referral to me. Thank you for honoring me as your friend. That I am, and you and Bruce are my friends - special now and always. Your blogs are wonderful; you write so elequently and passionately about your interests and passions, it makes me want to check out all the places you've been. The people whom you write about should hire you as their pr person becaue you are so good.

      We go back many years; I loved you then, and I love you now. Wish everyone on your blog could know you as I do. This world would be a much better place.

      Love, Pat

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Denise,

      So glad that you enjoyed this hub regarding tulips, Val St. Lambert Crystal and some memories. The last photos in this hub were just taken in the past few days! Thanks for your comment.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Beautiful hub that went on and on with info! Loved it-rated it up. Very cool time lapse video and the music went well with it.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello frogyfish,

      Glad you enjoyed reading about the many memories associated with tulips in this hub.

      As to the "approved date list", Pat is now happily remarried and our other friend has entered the next life so I am afraid that the list has been curtailed sharply. Ha! Actually on a scale of 1 to 100, the trust that I have in my husband is about 120. He is a jewel and I am blessed by being able to share his life for the last many decades.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America

      Your 'date list' speaks trustworthy volumes! Your tulip pix were pretty and interesting. The tulip video looked as though they were having constant conversation-wow!

      And I had to vote 'other', but would have picked 'rose' if possible too! Thank you, and blessings for Pat also...

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello kiran8,

      Very happy to hear that you enjoyed these memories tied to tulips in our lives. Thank you for the comment.

    • kiran8 profile image

      kiran8 7 years ago from Mangalore, India

      Fantastic hub as always Peggy, love going through your hubs :)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello HubCrafter,

      So very happy that this hub about tulips brought on a flood of memories for you. We also had all those lovely plants growing in Wisconsin. Who could hope for a better scented bouquet than one of lilacs? Mmmmmm...wish they grew in the South. Thanks for the comment.

    • HubCrafter profile image

      HubCrafter 7 years ago from Arizona

      Hi Peggy:

      Thanks for the memories. Of tulips in my own upstate New York garden, of the Lilacs, the forsythia, the little crocus blooms in Spring, my childhood home, and the neighbors from my school days.

      Your beautiful pictures and the friendship you write about...they brought on this shower of remembrance.

      Thank you Peggy. Love to you and yours.

      HubCrafter

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Candie,

      Those tulip fields would be beautiful to see when they are all in bloom. Seems like many people celebrate the tulip with festivals and such. Interesting to hear that you have a tulip festival in your "neck of the woods." Always learn something here! Thanks for your comment.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Hey Peggy! Love /89*y(oops.. kitten on the keyboard!) the tulips!! We have a community north of us an hour in the Skagit Valley that has HUGE bulb fields and every year there is a gigantic "Tulip" Festival, as well. Spectacular!! Rivals anything in Holland (on a smaller scale). I adore the look, the fragrances and the varieties of bulbs and this makes me want to order crates of them for next year! Thank you!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi RTalloni,

      Cute comment. Let's see...should it be tulips? Daisies? Peonies? Mixed bouquet? Lilacs? I loved the lilac hedge in Wisconsin when I was growing up and the bouquets of those were so fragrant when picked and brought into the house. They do not grow down here. :-( So that's it! Can you make it lilacs? Hahaha!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      I may have to buy you flowers.

      Lovely hub!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Truth From Truth,

      It is nice that you seem to be carrying on a tradition in your family of not only liking tulips but planting tulips as well. Such a little thing can create not only beauty but lasting memories of your own as well. Thanks for the comment.

    • Truth From Truth profile image

      Truth From Truth 7 years ago from Michigan

      I'm not much of a gardener in my own lawn, and I still find time to plant Tulip bulbs, my grandmother loved them and my mother likes them also. This was a beautiful hub, in many ways. Thanks.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello loveroflife,

      I couldn't have said it any better! Whether admiring tulips or smelling roses...there is much in nature and life to enjoy. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Lady Guinevere,

      No problem. Actually we all learn from each other and sometimes the comments are every bit as interesting (sometimes even more so!) than the hub itself. This is a very interactive site. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

    • profile image

      loveroflife 7 years ago

      Your hub reminded me that it is good to take time to admire the beauty of tulips just as we should often take time to smell the roses. Slow down and enjoy the beauty of nature.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 7 years ago from West By God

      When I lived in Virginia, I had a large Tulip garden and also planted Daffodils for naturalizing. We were in the woods then, but there was a drainfield so they too down most of the trees on our lot and we got alot more sun then we do here. We aren't allowed to cut any trees down unless they are dead or dying or too close to the house. Sorry for answering her before you did. That was your call not mine.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Lady Guinevere,

      I see you answered agusfanani's query about black tulips already. Yes...they are a very deep purple. You obviously know your tulips! Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi agusfanani,

      Thanks for reading and commenting about my tulips and memories hub. The black tulip is actually a very deep purple in color but almost seems black in certain lights.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 7 years ago from West By God

      agustanani, There is a Black Tulip. I used to grow them. Actually they are a very, very deep purple but they are very beautiful and they look like velvet.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 7 years ago from Indonesia

      Hi Peggy W, reading your hub about tulip also reminds me to a story about black tulip which I think doesn't exist in reality. I didn't know this flower originally comes from Asia, thank you for sharing this hub.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Lady Guinevere,

      Too bad about the iris not having enough light to normally bloom...but your place sounds lovely. Guess we can't have everything...right?

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 7 years ago from West By God

      Nah, we have too many trees as we are in a forest. I chose that spot because they are supposed to bloom before the trees get all their leaves.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Lady Guinevere,

      Thanks for commenting on my tulips and memories hub. I also really like perennials and it is fun sharing them with others as they multiply. Too bad about your iris not blooming. Can you find a sunnier spot? As to the zinnias...bugs seem drawn to attacking them but it can be used to advantage if planted in a garden where they may attract the bugs that would otherwise attack your vegetables. I used that combination when I had a garden up in Wisconsin.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 7 years ago from West By God

      I love Tulips and all kinds of flowers except zinnias. Anyway we have some tall bearded iris that we got from one of my husband's co workers and they have divided for us. We can onkly get two to blook though because they are in a partially shaded area. It's hard to get those kinds of plants to grow here in this shale soil and in the forest on a mountain. I love perrenials because they don't need to be planted every year and if they divide that is even better. Your story is a nice one and I love the way that you bring out the beauty in everything and especially to the memories these flowers will give on a continual basis. My favorite color is red and I just love your Tulips.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Kathy Rimel,

      Glad that you enjoyed the pictures taken of this latest gift of tulips from our friend Pat. When they are massed together they make really beautiful bouquets and are quite long lasting. Which ones make your "top 10" list out of curiosity? Thanks for the comment.

    • Kathy Rimel profile image

      Kathy Rimel 7 years ago

      Love your pictures. I have always been a flower person and tulips are not on my top 10 hit parade. After reading your article I see I will have to revise my list.

      Thanks

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Money Glitch,

      So happy that you liked this story of tulips and memories associated with them. We, like you, also like roses. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Georgiakevin,

      Your last sentence is so poetic..."The perfume of memories and flowers stay with us forever." Love it! Thank you!

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      Wow, this is a beautiful hub! What a great idea to reflect on beautiful memories as well as the flower itself. I love the mystic and beauty of both tulips and roses. Thanks for sharing!

    • Georgiakevin profile image

      Georgiakevin 7 years ago from Central Georgia

      This is a wonderful hub, one that I will enjoy going to back to visit often. Memories are like flowers. The perfume of memories and flowers stay with us forever.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi The Old Hack,

      What color are your tulips to start with and what color do they turn in the second year? Do you keep the separate colors segregated from one another? Have you spoken to someone about the soil conditions? Just wondering... I seem to remember my grandmother keeping the reds away from the yellows, etc. Thanks for the comment.

    • The Old Hack profile image

      The Old Hack 7 years ago

      Nice hub. I love tulips, though something about my soil makes them change colour in the second year.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ethel,

      Happy to have shared these tulips and memories with you Ethel. The flowers that grace us in Springtime are always a welcomed sight. Thanks for commenting.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks for sharing these great memories. Also this glimpse of Spring to come is much needed just now

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello itakins,

      Dahlias are also gorgeous. When we lived in Wisconsin and had our tulips and other flowering plants from my grandmother, we also got many other perennials given to us by an older lady friend whose garden was filled with them. Dahlias were some that she shared with us. We only enjoyed them for 1 year before we got transferred back to Houston.

      I can see why they are a favorite of yours. Thanks for the comment.

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 7 years ago from Irl

      A lovely hub-I do love tulips ,and when they go, I wait for the dahlias-my first love.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Little Nell,

      Wow! A years' wages for a tulip bulb! That is amazing! Thank you for adding this bit of information to this hub about tulips and memories. Very interesting.

    • Little Nell profile image

      Little Nell 7 years ago from Somerset, UK

      Another lovely hub. I am very fond of tulips and have read that they were highly prized as status symbols in Britain during the middle ages. Also that a single bulb could be exchanged for the equivalent of a years’ wages, for the sailor who was lucky enough to obtain one from Holland.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello DiamondRN,

      Thanks for including the link for people to see the many tulips and other sights for "Tulip Time" in Holland, Michigan. It must be quite a sight and celebration to see so many blooming tulips in one place. Maybe you'll have to take your wife back up there during tulip time next year? Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • DiamondRN profile image

      Bob Diamond RPh 7 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      My wife Carla is from Holland, Michigan where "Tulip Time" is celebrated every year. When we first came to North Carolina a few years ago she didn't want to see another tulip. Now she is suffering from tulip withdrawal. The attraction is just too strong to deny for any length of time. http://www.tuliptime.com/gallery

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Albertttt,

      It was fun taking different shots of these tulips. Flowers of all types make good subject matter for the camera. Of course taking pictures also captures what will become memories. I'm enjoying my latest digital camera. Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi LoveEarthAlways,

      I would agree that flowers (whether they be tulips or any other) certainly brighten the insides of homes and buildings especially when there is snow on the ground outside. Hooray for nurseries and hothouses! Thanks for the comment. Stay warm up there!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Micky Dee,

      Haha! You are referring to my avatar, obviously. Not a tulip, but it will do! :-)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Greetings Hello, hello,

      Like you, I love all kinds of flowers. There is just a little more meaning attached to the tulips for obvious reasons. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • Albertttt profile image

      Albertttt 7 years ago

      I love shooting flowers.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello habee,

      We also grew iris in Wisconsin along with the tulips. Down here we have a different kind of iris called the Louisianna iris. Likes to grow in wet, marshy areas. Perfect for the clay soil found so much in our area. Thanks for the comment.

    • LoveEarthAlways profile image

      LoveEarthAlways 7 years ago from Burlington, Vermont, USA

      Flowers are a joy this time of year in the north country. Thank you.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      You're a pretty nice flower yourself.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      I love any flower but that doesn't mean to say tulips are not outstanding and very eye-catching in your garden. Thank you for a lovely hub.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      What a lovely hub! I love tulips, also, but my favorite flower is the iris.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Greetings jessicab,

      Happy that you enjoyed this bit about tulips and memories. Thanks for the comment. I would agree with you that tulips are beautiful.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Dohn,

      Thanks for the holiday greetings and wishes for the new year. The same is wished for you and those you love. I am hoping that my friend Pat will appreciate this more than the usual thank you note. That note could not have captured the photos included along with the memories in this hub. She is part and parcel of those recent memories and we love her dearly. Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      jessicab 7 years ago

      Beautiful, beautiful I just love these kind of flowers, great hub.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I'm sure that your friend Pat will like and appreciate this tribute. I think it wonderful that you wrote this and share in your appreciation for tulips.

      I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday and a happy New Year, Peggy W! Cheers!