Tiptoe through the tulips

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					                                                                                                    DOLLARS AND SCENTS

                                                                                                 ENGLISH-STYLE GARDENS PLANTED THROUGHOUT THE

Tiptoe through the tulips                                                                        PROPERTY PROVIDE LIVING COLOR AT POST RIVERSIDE,
                                                                                                 THE 527-UNIT NEO-TRADITIONAL COMMUNITY POST
                                                                                                 PROPERTIES COMPLETED IN 1998 IN ATLANTA.

                                                                                                 son in 1983 shortly after earning a degree in
 The outdoor centerpiece of Post Properties’ multi-                                              agriculture. A product of the promote-from-
                                                                                                 within policy of Post’s in-house landscape
         sensory branding bouquet is the tulip, long-                                            division, he rose to middle-management,
                                                                                                 then landscape VP and, in 2003 attained
stemmed and elegant. Prominent in the multifamily                                                his current position as senior VP of proper-
                                                                                                 ty services, overseeing all of the REIT’s
  REIT’s gardens in late winter and early spring, the                                            landscape and building maintenance.
                                                                                                    Post landscapers fell in love with the
   tulip decorates Post’s logo all year long, comple-                                            tulip when few others in the South were
                                                                                                 willing to consider it because it was general-
 menting the company’s tag line, “Quality Shows.”                                                ly thought that there were no heat tolerant
                                                                                                 varieties that could thrive in the Sunbelt
                                                                                                 and Southwest. So Post’s landscaping
   “There’s no finer ambassador of quality       development of suburban garden-style            experts began doing their own tulip
than the tulip,” Todd Tibbitts, senior VP of     apartments and quickly realized the impor-      research, buying a few and trying them and
property services at Post Properties, said       tance of curb appeal.                           then a few more, in the search for cultivars
recently, adding that the blossom has long         Because Atlanta experiences distinct sea-     best suited for the warmer soils and hotter
been a symbol of opulence and excellence         sonal weather changes, Post launched an in-     temperatures of the South, finally settling
worldwide, making it the perfect reflection of   house landscape division in the late 1970s      on the Darwin hybrids, which are the size
the company’s upscale communities’ qualities.    to make certain that prospective and cur-       and shape most commonly associated with
   Founded in Atlanta in 1971 as a local real    rent residents would be greeted by flowers in   tulips. Within the Darwin hybrids is a series
estate development and management com-           bloom year-round, said Tibbits, who joined      called Oxford that is very popular at Post
pany, Post Properties was a pioneer in the       the company as an entry-level grounds per-      because it is as red as the blossom on the

WWW.MULTIHOUSINGPRO.COM                                                                 MAY JUNE 2008    MULTIHOUSING PROFESSIONAL            35
company’s logo.                                   inches apart, is between 250 and 500 sq. ft.,      resemblance to the condomania that spread
   “We love red tulips, so I’d say more than      with between one and two thousand bulbs in         across this country a few years back.
half of the tulips we use are red and we strive   any one display area in Post’s garden-style           “Three and a half centuries ago, the
to use them around our entryways to corre-        communities. If a community has ten flower         tulip, still fairly new to the West,
spond with the red tulip on the logo of the       beds on a property, for example, three may be      unleashed a brief, collective madness that
sign at the front of the property,” said          planted with tulips that bloom early in the        shook a whole nation and nearly brought
Tibbits, explaining that a wide variety of        season, another three beds with mid-season         its economy to ruin,” wrote Michael Pollan
other tulips may be found in common areas         varieties and the remaining beds with late         in The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View
further into the apartment communities’           season bloomers providing a color concert          of the World. “Never before or since has a
property and in courtyard gardens, where          that lasts from a month to six weeks.              flower—a flower!—taken a star turn on
the big, fat-blossomed peony-types and the           With the size of Post’s current portfolio       history’s main stage as it did in Holland
pointy-petaled lily flower types often bloom.     and flower bed square footages around and          between 1634 and 1637.
   Post receives bulbs from Holland in            between the company’s suburban garden-                “Semper Augustus was the intricately
November, and as soon as they arrive, they        style apartments, and courtyards, raised           feathered red-and-white tulip, one bulb of
are planted in the flower beds, where they        planters and pots and rooftop terraces at its      which changed hands for ten thousand
lie dormant for a few months. They start          urban properties, the company plants               guilders at the height of the mania, a sum
emerging with a big crescendo of spring           around half a million tulips a year.               that at the time would have bought one of
flowers in February with the daffodils and           It would be less expensive to plant some-       the grandest canal houses in Amsterdam,”
then in March and April with the tulips.          thing like the daffodil that comes back year       Pollan wrote, explaining the Semper
   Once the April show is over, landscapers       after year rather than the tulip hybrids that      Augustus type of tulip has since become
pull the tulip bulbs up along with the pan-       last just one season, but, because the cup-        extinct because tulips, like apples, don’t
sies, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus and orna-      shaped flowers are such an important part of       come true from seed and their bulbs don’t
mental kale, cabbage and snapdragons that         Post’s image, the REIT is certain it’s worth       reliably come back every year, so a strain
are part of Post’s cool weather symphony of       the added expense.                                 won’t last unless it is regularly replanted,
color, leaving a clean bed ready to put in the       Today tulip bulbs that Post buys cost           otherwise the chain of genetic continuity
summer crop of begonias, geraniums,               between 10 cents and 50 cents each,                can be broken in a single generation.
marigolds, impatiens and other warm               depending on variety. While not exactly               Comparing tulipomania to a medieval
weather flora.                                    cheap, that’s a mere fraction of a fraction of     carnival, when paupers could take on the
   The company gets about two weeks of            what a single tulip bulb cost 350 years ago in     personae of kings and craziness was sanc-
color from a single bed of tulips. An average     Holland when tulipomania gripped the               tioned, he notes that, “as with society, so
bed, where tulip bulbs are planted about six      country with a force that bears a striking         with capitalism in the throes of a speculative

                                                                                     A LIVELY TOWN SQUARE, THE CENTER OF ACTIVITY AT
                                                                                     POST RIVERSIDE, IS ENHANCED BY A FOUNTAIN AND
                                                                                     FLOWERS THAT PROVIDE A RIOT OF COLOR YEAR-
                                                                                     ROUND AND, IN THE COOLER MONTHS OF THE YEAR,
                                                                                     FEATURE A FESTIVAL OF TULIPS TO PLEASE THE EYES
                                                                                     OF RESIDENTS OF THE STUDIOS, BUNGALOWS,
                                                                                     LOFTS, TOWNHOMES, PENTHOUSES AND TRADITION-
                                                                                     AL APARTMENTS THAT MAKE UP THE COMMUNITY.

36   MULTIHOUSING PROFESSIONAL          MAY JUNE 2008                                                              WWW.MULTIHOUSINGPRO.COM
                                                                                                         DOLLARS AND SCENTS

mania: all of its values are turned on their     in a hot market,” Stewart wrote.                     1,100 guilders and then 1,000 guilders result
head – thrift, patience, value for money,           But, bubbles are bound to burst and,              in any response and suddenly everyone in
reward for effort. For as long as the carnival   Pollan tells us in his book on botany, the           the room understood that the bottom had
of capitalism lasts, the rules of logic are      death of the tulip frenzy gave birth to the          just fallen out of the market. As Pollan tells
repealed, or rather recast along new lines,      “greater fool theory,” which is just as appli-       it, “Haarlem was the capital of the bulb
ones that will appear absurd in the cold light   cable to the modern single-family                    trade, and the news that there were no buy-
of the morning after, but make impeccable        home/condo bubble and the subprime lend-             ers to be found there ricocheted across the
sense within the fevered space of the specu-     ing spree that ended abruptly last summer as         country. Within days tulip bulbs were
lative bubble,” bringing to mind, again, the     it was when it was born on February 2, 1637          unsellable at any price. In all of Holland, a
incredible prices paid by eager speculators at   in one of Haarlem’s tavern “colleges,” where         greater fool was no longer to be found.”
the height of the condo carnival.                tulip auctions were conducted.                          According to Stewart, bankruptcies and
   The tulip is believed to have been intro-        On that fateful day, bidding started at           charges of fraud followed and court cases
duced to Europe around 1554 by Ogier             1,250 guilders for a bunch of bulbs. No one          dragged on for years, but, just as the condo
Ghislain de Busbecq, ambassador of the           bid. Nor did reduction of the bid price to           and single-family home industries are
Austrian Hapsburgs to the court of                                                                    expected to return to normalcy, the price of
Suleyman         the      Magnificent       in                                                        a tulip bulb stabilized at about one guilder
Constantinople, probably gaining initial                                                              and Holland’s flower industry managed to
eminence because of its trip from one court                                                           stay alive and flourish, albeit without the
to another, bearing the royal favor that                                                              huge profits and eventual huge losses the
helped to insure its popularity.                                                                      17th Century craze wrought.
   Amy Stewart tells us, in her recently pub-                                                            Production in that land of dikes and wind-
lished New York Times bestseller Flower                                                               mills now has reached over 10 billion bulbs
Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the                                                              that also include hyacinths, irises and daf-
Beautiful, which focuses mainly on the cut                                                            fodils. Today 50,000 acres of Holland produce
flower trade, “It was the height of French                                                            around 65 percent of the world market’s bulbs
fashion around 1610 for a woman to wear a                                                             and the country’s bulb industry is worth about
tulip the way she might wear a jewel.”                                                                a billion dollars annually, said Stewart.
   By the middle of the 17th century, the                                                                But it’s not necessary to know anything
tulip business in Holland had morphed from       EXUBERANT ARRAYS OF TULIPS ENHANCE THE               about the tulip’s illustrious history to be as
the sale of actual bulbs to paper trades and     EUROPEAN-STYLE COURTYARDS AT POST RIVERSIDE,         captivated by the mystique of the cool,
                                                 WHICH INCLUDES RETAIL SPACE, OFFICE SPACE AND LUX-
contracts and “Dutch merchants outbid            URY APARTMENTS TO CREATE A PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY       unscented blossom as were the Dutch were
each other at auctions, knowing that they        COMMUNITY    NESTLED  ON THE BANKS OF THE            400 years ago, Tibbitts agreed. “When
                                                 CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER  RECREATION AREA JUST MIN-
could buy a bulb one day and flip it for a       UTES AWAY FROM HISTORIC VININGS, DOWNTOWN
                                                                                                      there’s a mass planting of tulips in bloom,
quick profit, the way people flip real estate    ATLANTA AND THE UPSCALE SUBMARKET OF BUCKHEAD.       they’re just spectacular,” he said.

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Description: On tiptoe this seemingly simple little movement, can stretch to the brain can also eliminate the long time excessive use of the brain to solve problems, with brain transition induced vertigo.