Keukenhof: Land of Tulips

While the Netherlands attracts tourists all year round, never is it more popular than during tulip season.  And who can blame them?  In a country where it persistently rains and is often rather gloomy, the (one) upside is how green everything is.  And in the springtime, that green is accompanied by the color of millions of flowers in bloom.  There is no better place to view this spectacular beauty than at Keukenhof Gardens (at least that I know of at this time…but then we’ve only lived here a few months!).

With my friend Brenda visiting from Barcelona, we hit the road early in the morning on Friday to make our way to Keukenhof, about a 40 minute drive from where we live.  What started out as a sunny day, soon became cloudy and cold – typical of weather here in the Netherlands (the irony of which is that after Keukenhof the sun came out again).  But that didn’t stop us from enjoying the beauty and scent of 7 million flowers that are planted each year here at Keukenhof.

We took the long way in that had us winding around some of the many tulip fields in this area.  I’ve heard there are several driving routes and bike rides you can do in the Netherlands that gives you a close up look at the tulips.  I haven’t had a chance to research them much yet and with 2 more visitors coming over the next two weeks along with both kids’ birthdays, that might be something that will have to wait until next year.  In the meantime, as we drove in, we rolled down the windows of the car and breathed in the magical scent of not just the tulips but also the hyacinths growing close by.  I can’t imagine how lovely it would be to live close to these fields and get to breathe their perfume in every day.

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This windmill is actually at the back of Keukenhof Gardens.

This windmill is actually at the back of Keukenhof Gardens.

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Keukenhof is the 2nd largest flower garden in the world and contains approximately 7 million flowers which are replanted each and every year.  Can you imagine having to be the ones that dig up the bulbs at the ends of each season and then have to meticulously replant them in the fall?   The name itself actually means “kitchen garden” and it was originally established as part of the grounds of the Keukenhof Castle which is situated across the street from the gardens.  However, the gardens as they are known today were only established in 1949, making them just over 60 years old – in the eyes of Europe, talk about new!   In case you are curious about more information about the history, you can check out the Keukenhof website.

We took almost 300 pictures during our time at Keukenhof and we easily could have taken hundreds more.  Unlike most places that I visit where it’s not so hard to narrow down the pictures because they are of different places, this one was hard – 300 pictures of flowers – how do you narrow that down to choose favorites?  I tried and this is what I’ve got…

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Van Gogh was the inspiration for this year's gardens.

Van Gogh was the inspiration for this year’s gardens.

Inspiration from Van Gogh

Inspiration from Van Gogh

Inspiration from Van Gogh

Inspiration from Van Gogh

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Not all the tulips were in bloom as you can see, which is partly why you don’t see very many wide angle garden shots and more close ups.  But as we have more company coming this week and the following week, I have no doubt we will be seeing Keukenhof in a variety of blossoming stages.  I know, I for one, am looking forward to it… the kids, well that’s another story 😉

Knuffels en kussen,

Julie

2 thoughts on “Keukenhof: Land of Tulips

  1. Pingback: Another Perspective of Keukenhof | The Expat Chronicles

  2. Pingback: The (Tulip) Road Less Traveled: Noordoostpolder | The Expat Chronicles

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