Romancing the tulip in the gardens at Keukenhof

The show gardens of Keukenhof open March 22nd, 2018 and close again on May 13th. That’s barely eight weeks… but what an eight-week slot. Each year the gardens receive well over 1 million visitors in that short period of time. There can be few tourist attractions where visitor numbers are that high in just under two months.

Tulips inside the entrance to Keukenhof
The new entrance to the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse

Keukenhof was not always a show garden. In the 15th century, the area was still a piece of untouched nature, used only for hunting and to gather herbs for the castle’s kitchen, which is where the name Keukenhof originally comes from. In 1857, during the Romantic Period, the current English landscape garden was created. In 1949 it was chosen as the location for a showcase for the bulb-growing industry.

Masses of tulips in the gardens of Keukenhof
Keukenhof, as we know it today, was opened in 1950 as a showcase for bulb growers

Every year the 7 million bulbs are planted according to a theme. In 2018 the theme is Romance in Flowers. Flowers and romance have gone hand-in-hand for generations so it is an ideal theme. Also, the gardens were originally landscaped in the Middle of the Romantic period. As usual, there will be a floral mosaic on the theme using 50,000 bulbs planted in two layers to extend the flowering season.

I have made several visits to Keukenhof and I never tire of the displays. It’s not only tulips but narcissi and other spring flowering bulbs as well. The displays change each year so you can visit and never see the same things twice.

Keukenhof is set against the backdrop of the colourful bulbfields © NBTC

Keukenhof is set against a backdrop of the Bollenstreek or bulbfields district. Fields of eye-searing colour stripes stretch into the distance. These are the spring flowering bulbs of the bulb growers and industry that ensures that the iconic tulip will forever be associated with Holland despite originating in Turkey.

Red and yellow tulip bed in the gardens at Keukenhof
The glorious spectacle of the tulip, the iconic flower of Holland, planted en masse

Here then are some photographs to whet your appetite.

Children among the tulips at Keukenhof
Children enjoy Keukenhof too and there are several activities aimed at them
Tulips at Keukenhof
Tulips at Keukenhof
Keukenhof bulbs
A stream of grape hyacinths stretches off into the woodlands
Close up of tulips in the gardens at Keukenhf
Masses of tulips, over 7 million bulbs, are used for the spring spectacle in Keukenhof

Lisse, the town close to Keukenhof, is easily reached from Amsterdam by car or train. Amsterdam itself is well served by numerous airlines and and is just a short drive from several ferryports.

The beds are redesigned each year
A great deal of interest is crammed into the eight weeks Keukenhof is open


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
More to explore
Where in the World featured image

Where in the World (402)

Answer to edition 401 The church is the most significant clue in last week’s “Where in the World…” Its architecture

Read More »
Where in the World 401

Where in the World (401)

Answer to edition 400 The wedding cake style tower is probably the leading clue although in its distorted format it

Read More »
Where in the World 400

Where in the World (400)

Where in the World milestone Where in the World has reached its 400th edition. The first distorted image didn’t even

Read More »
About Travel Unpacked

Travel Unpacked is all about travel; from luxury to adventure travel and all related topics. There are reviews of accommodation, eateries, airlines,  ferries, books and much more. You will find stories, lists, hints and tips as well as experiences you might want replicate on your travels. It’s about travel as you want it

%d bloggers like this: