Tulipa 'Henry Hudson' Photo: Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center
Prince and Princess of the Netherlands at the White House
WASHINGTON (DP) There are budding rumors about the Dutch royals' recent visit to the White House.
Although the meeting was ostensibly a social call, informed sources report that Prince Willem-Alexander offered economic advice to President Obama, drawing parallels between the recession in the U.S. and the problems suffered in 17th century Holland after the collapse of Tulipomania.
Oddly, the Prince may have proposed a modified version of Tulipomania as a financial cure--suggesting a U.S. stimulus package that would encourage American gardeners to invest in tulip bulbs.
The rumored stimulus package would offer tax credits for households buying over 1,000 tulip bulbs in 2009 and 2010. The Netherlands is the premium wholesale source for tulip bulbs and would benefit from increased sales here.
Agitation is growing in garden centers across the United States, with anxious gardeners demanding to know if there will be a tulip tax credit. American bulb catalogs could not be reached for comment, as their telephone lines are swamped with calls from buyers.
Last week in New York the Dutch Princess christened a new tulip 'Henry Hudson'. The orange species tulip, with its ruffled foliage, is a popular arrival on the garden scene, fueling speculation that the Dutch are using 'Henry Hudson' to stir up American consumer support for the tulip stimulus package.
Pressure is on the White House to confirm or deny the stimulus package during this prime time for ordering tulip bulbs. If the question is not resolved promptly the Oval Office faces a near riot when the Garden Writers Association meets for its annual conference next week.
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