Tulips certainly have an interesting history as items of investment. If you’ve never read about the 16th century Dutch phenomenon known as tulip mania, I highly recommend the tulip chapter in Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire. Or read the Wikipedia entry for a shorter version. But even if you’re not forming an irrational speculative bubble, planting tulips is always about investment. You trudge out in the cold in late fall or early winter and dig holes and drop in these knobby bulbs, and then months later your efforts are rewarded with beautiful, colorful blooms on elegant stalks.
I mostly grow vegetables, but a few flowers can be nice. These five bulbs were gleaned from the dozens of bulbs I helped my mom plant at Thanksgiving back in Olympia. So this spring I’ll have a little slice of home in the corner of my garden.