Van Gogh had his way with sunflowers, but in Holland tulips steal the show. I start buying bulbs at the Bloemenmarkt, Amsterdam's floating Flower Market on Singel Canal, in late September. For under €10, I can buy a bag of 100 in assorted colors. After a deep sleep over the long Dutch winter, they emerge like beacons of hope and better weather ahead in late March or early April.
By the time temps hit double digits, Nature's miracles are showing off in all their glory on my terrace. They're gem-like in their gaudy brilliance, a reminder there's always light at the end of a cold, dark tunnel. In the Netherlands, you just have to wait for it!