Tulips!
A scientific experiment in beauty.

 

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Today I’m in the mood for a philosophical discussion.

Is there any truth to the widely accepted theory that “Less is More”?

Let us examine this in the context of oxygen.  If given the option of receiving either less or more oxygen, which would you choose?  Let’s see … no oxygen or lots of oxygen?  You don’t have to be a scuba diver to know lots of oxygen is the right answer.

What about pizza?  Would I be happier after eating one bite of pizza?  Or an entire pizza?  The answer is obvious.  Entire pizza please.

And finally, sloths.  Do I want one sloth?  Or many sloths?  Hundreds of sloths?   I want the most amount of sloths possible, thank you.

So clearly, this theory about “less is more” is somewhat flawed.  It is a fallacy possibly perpetuated by a diminutive phallus.  That’s my guess anyway.

However … are there any circumstances where less really IS more?

Let us turn to the examination of tulips.  I have 3 control groups for you to consider.  The $1, $7 and $40 arrangement of tulips.

The $1 tulip.

The $1 tulip will be representing the “less” group.

 

small tulips

 

The $7 tulips.

The $7 tulips will be representing the mama bear group.

medium tulips

The $40 tulips.

The $40 tulips will be representing the “more” group.

large tulips

 

So.  Now that you have the information and visuals, it’s time to collect the data.  What do you think?  In the case of orange tulips arranged for pleasing the eye, is the widely accepted theory true?  Is less, more?

Or … is MORE more?

 
 

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179 Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    The sloth thing totally cracks me UP.

    Tulips are my all time favorite flower. Heck, I even like to just say, “tulip. Tulip. Tulip.”

    I think any amount of tulips is great but that $40 bunch was WOW for sure.

  2. Sherri says:

    More is better without a doubt! I know that it might squeeze most budgets to spend $40 for one fresh flower arrangement, but one could always give up one or two restaurant meals to make it happen. Or eat Ramen Noodles for every lunch and supper. Or tattoo a company logo on your body and collect your monthly check from said company. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

  3. Robbin says:

    Loved the bunch so much I pinned it!

  4. Robbin Caskenette says:

    WOW orange!!!! More!

  5. BGrigg says:

    I think less or more is directly related to the household budget, and the vase and/or room in which they are to be displayed.

    Unless you grow your own tulips, that is. Then more more is the most more it can be.

  6. Natalie says:

    Wow, great photos! I like that the orange pillow matches the tulips. I think they are all beautiful in their own way, but just one on its own can be beautiful too.

  7. Darlene says:

    Actually I am going for this theory —

    The less ——————– The More
    fewer calories for the more you eat!

    I would vote for the biggest bunch – in fact this bunch of tulips might be too small even….

  8. Patra says:

    They are all beautiful. Since the diminutive phallus, er, vase can only hold one – then it’s beautiful with one – so less it better. The medium and large, er, vases need MORE. What’s important isn’t how big or small it is, it’s where you use it.
    *sorry, couldn’t resist* :-)

  9. Keith says:

    The color choice of your tulips is spot-on! As for pondering whether less is more, I think the question could be rephrased, when is enough enough? All three floral arrangements are beautiful in their own right on different levels. The dollar arrangement adds a punch of cheery color and balances your small vignette of the picture frame and books. If you placed the $40 dollar tulip arrangement next to them, the frame and books are overpowered – too much. The $40 arrangement is bold and beautiful enough to stand on its own and needs open space to do so. The $7 arrangement needs to have that number of tulips to visually balance itself in the silver urn and tree end table. If it had only one or two tulips, it would be too little.

    So, I would summarize by saying have enough for the effect you’re going for – be Goldilocks. It’ll help you develop an eye for the right thing. With the pizza, I’d ask myself if the pizza is a snack (small amount)or have enough for an all-night party for sloths. (Do sloths like pizza?)

    In the end it’s all relative.

  10. Alicia Herron says:

    Tulips are just gorgeous! I don’t care how many but the $4o arrangement is gorgeous. I think more is more BUT I love tulips (and all flowers EXCEPT CARNATIONS!!!!) so much that I would put them all over my apartment so I can see them all the time. My husband bought greenery for Christmas time since we can’t have a real tree and he put it all over the apartment and decorated it with ornaments. SO SO lovely except he has to do it every year now and the greenery was on sale! :)
    I love your house. I would like to live in it. if an opening comes let me know… we’re not big people so we don’t take up much space.

  11. Emily says:

    I must say…. I am a trunk fan, and the trunks you have in the mama bear picture are fabuloso. Mine look a bit more trashed because I inherited from a fabulous uncle who dragged them around drag queen shows, so they are a bit banged up and glittered inside.

    Wait, this post was about tulips…. sorry. I am normally a less is more person, but tulips after one day get rather droopy, and so I vote more is more… one dripping over by itself just looks a little pathetic (maybe in an artsy way that is okay?)

  12. Lynne says:

    I’m embarrassed to say I really prefer the $40 arrangement – going in I thought for sure it would be “less” (the $7 one) but what the hell – go for the big bucks and enjoy !!

  13. Deb says:

    make that CHRISTMAS!!

  14. Deb says:

    All….I want them all! I’d have to go with the $40 bunch and as they slowly go to the big flower bed in the sky…they become the mama bear bunch who then becomes the $1 version…or several $1 versions. I can have them everywhere…taking over all my containers, here…there…everywhere. But that just applies to tulips. Hyperbaric chambers, not so much. Unless you hide Crhistmas gifts in them.

  15. Claudia says:

    Middle please. Can you ship it to Mexico? Log table and suitcases included.

    Claudia

  16. Nancy says:

    hmmmm…totally depends on the state of my home and the mood I’m in.
    At this particular moment, I’ll go for the $1.
    I’ll check back in a couple of hours…

  17. Sari says:

    While you have so many tulips (they are ALL lovely, no matter the number), please experiment with the penny-in-the-water trick to determine if a penny really can perk up a drooping tulip. Is a Canadian penny more or less effective than an American penny? Inquiring minds want to know….

  18. Emily says:

    Mama bear, for sure! The MORE group looks like you’re in a Martha Stuart house that’s a little over the top. Moderation, moderation.

  19. Sara says:

    Oh for SURE more is more in this case. They look so so lovely. Having flowers around makes me feel rich for some reason. Like I maybe have a butler wandering about (about my townhouse, lol).

    On the other hand, I have NO problem thinking of things that fall into the less is more category. Cold sores. Time on the treadmill. Leaves in my yard. Legos underfoot. Credit card debt. And as I realized on one particularly brutal morning, cosmopolitans.

  20. Lisa says:

    When it comes to tulips, I believe the $40 arrangement is what I would go for, especially since spring is on its way and I’m so tired of seeing gray outside. I can’t have enough color this time of year!

  21. JamieK says:

    I would have to splurge and go with the $40 arrangement; stunning!

    Also, this is great incentive to follow through on my plan for next Fall/Spring: Plant a whole bed of tulips for cutting purposes only.

  22. Terri-Lynn says:

    More is always the answer!
    Like money. I want more.

  23. Melody Madden says:

    Definitely the biggest grouping … just cause it makes me feel all springy and happy inside..

  24. Pat says:

    The “most” looks stunning. I love tulips but have never had a bouquet that big. Frankly, never thought of displaying tulips in such large quantitiies. Leave it to you!

    P.S. I have similar suitcases from my deceased Aunt. They’re storing stuff in my crawl space.

    • Karen says:

      Pat – If you have room, you should take them out and display them! You can still use them for storage but it’s more convenient. Mine are currently holding sewing supplies, extra sheets and hidden Christmas/birthday gifts. Oops. ~ karen

  25. Laura says:

    All are beautiful but I’d say Mamma size…only cause my budget wouldn’t allow for MORE! What is your secret to keeping them beautiful for as long as possible?!

    • Karen says:

      Laura – I don’t have a secret. Half the time I don’t even use flower preservative. I change the water maybe once over the course of the week and just leave them alone. The *real* trick to making them last long for tulips is buying them when they’re still tightly closed. NOT open and pretty already. ~ karen

  26. Karyn says:

    I’m all about the More please…just not so much about the price tag. Although I do have many tulips growing in the yard so maybe I could get that many and save the cash! Lovely arrangements though, all of them.

  27. Blandine says:

    Tulips are like oxygen. So yeah, definitely the $40 bouquet.

  28. Sally says:

    More! More! More! And soooo worth the $40 dollars.

  29. Pam says:

    I’m all for the more is more… Love them in grand proportions. Of course, it’s still 0 degrees here and I’m jonesin’ for a color other than dirty end of the season snow… Ask this question again in August and my more is more stance might have changed…

    Signed,
    Cold in Canada

  30. Karen O. says:

    Everything in moderation, even tulips. The “less” group is just as underwhelming as the “more” group is overwhelming. For me, it’s all about having just enough, but not going overboard. So, my vote is for the mama bear group. :)

    • Karen O. says:

      On a side note… today is my birthday and my boyfriend got me a mama bear group of pink tulips. So, I might be a little biased…

  31. Suzi says:

    It really depends on what you are trying to achieve. They are all beautiful in their own right. I love tulips and if my husband were to bring me some I would go for the $40 arrangement. However one is a simple statement of beauty as well as the $7.

  32. Did you really go out and spend $40 on tulips? For a survey?

    I’m with the middle people. Or even less, if not just sticking out one side of the vase (I like symmetry)

    • Karen says:

      Mimi – Well I had the blog as an excuse to do it. The blog is my business, so I have to invest in it for posts quite often! This was just a lucky opportunity. Usually I have to invest in stuff like printer ink, new hard drives and upgraded servers. :) ~ karen

  33. Kim says:

    The $40 arrangement is stunning. Made me gasp! Definitely more for me, although, I’d take one vinyl album over 40 CD’s any day!!
    The mama bear group is a very close second :-)

  34. Maureen says:

    I’m in the middle on this one. When the arrangement gets too big, I’m feeling funeral or wedding. Same thing, actually.

  35. I am not normally a “middle of the road” kind of person on anything, but I like the $7 bunch the best. Enough there to not look lonely or cheap, not so much that it looks like you were trying too hard. The poor $1 arrangement needed a mirror to find a friend. Also, the middle arrangement has an ikebana sort of feel that I really like. I am a sucker for a Japanese influence.

  36. Ahnnie says:

    More. The floppy orange color block speaks to the car mitt. Tulips are so flaccid as cut flowers though. It’s almost as if you take their souls when you cut them and they droop in response.

    • Deb J. says:

      I knew I had read this somewhere so I went through my books and apparently tulips (especially store-bought tulips) can get air in their stems which makes them flop. If you want to minimize this, cut the bottom with a sharp knife on the diagonal, then take a pin and poke the stem through just under the flower. Then wrap them in paper to keep them upright and put them in cool water for a few hours. They will hydrate and stand up better. Never tried it but … Maybe search on conditioning flowers. Worth a try. Plus I know I read (and have observed) that tulips continue to grow after they are cut I.e. get taller. Kinda weird but …

  37. julie says:

    Each of those BEAUTIFUL arrangements is absolutely lovely, each is perfect for its location…so clearly, MORE KAREN is the key….no matter what else is goin’ on.

  38. MORE! MORE!MORE!
    Fresh flowers make me happy!!!

  39. Becca says:

    I’m going with mama bear… just right. The extra $33 will be used to buy the bottle of wine, pork tenderloin and asparagus to consume in the gentle glow of the tulips.

  40. AmieM says:

    Wow, those are A LOT of tulips! I guess that makes me a middle to less person.

  41. MC says:

    The more bunch packs a punch and makes a big statement! Two tulips look slightly lonely to me.That being said, with another type of flower, say a really lovely rose or peony, sometimes one is enough.

  42. Sarah Neely says:

    One is lovely, the Mama Bear bunch is lovely but the MORE… extravagant, decadent, spoiling yourself with tulips. Go for the More.

  43. Tara says:

    My birthday and Valentine’s Day are in the same week and those who love me (okay, 2 people) always give me tulips (my favorite). I end up with one of each arrangement as you did in your pictures… but I think my favorite… hard choice… would be the $7. It has the look of “homegrown” to it, like “I just picked these from my yard” — a bit of whimsy. And, in the case of whimsy, less is more.

  44. Langela says:

    Every one of the options is beautiful! I look at each and think, “WOW! That’s perfect. I choose that one.” Then I see the next photo and think the same thing. I guess when it comes to tulips, it just doesn’t matter.

  45. paula says:

    love mama bear tulips best + jug, but the absolute best image of all is Paul Weller and the Style Council – awesome taste in music.

  46. Tracie says:

    I say more is definitely better. I just love how you’ve arranged them all. My mother has a silver jug exactly like yours and I almost fell off my chair when she said she picked it up at her thrift store for $5! Really? I never find deals like you guys! She had a bunch of white tulips in it and I’m telling ya, it was all I could do to leave it there when I went home. I’m still coveting it.

  47. Ellen says:

    More! More! More! I’m a tightwad $1 girl, & my neighbour is a $40 girl, & I always looooove her flowers…..

  48. Sue Hyde says:

    love the bunch…….

  49. blake says:

    All 3…I love love love an orange tulip in any arrangement and quantity~

  50. Deb J. says:

    I would have to say I am in the mama bear group – just right! But I do adore orange tulips – my favourite by far. My bunch ($7 for a pot – will go in the garden this spring) have just gone over the top and are dropping petals all over the place. Still love them.

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