KEUKENHOF – The Planet’s Edengarden
Keukenhof? That’s the place to see spring blossom. The park is unique, world famous, and has been one of the most popular destinations in the Netherlands for sixty years now. Haven’t seen Keukenhof? Then you haven’t seen the Netherlands. You won’t find such an abundance of colours and fragrances anywhere else. More than seven million flowers form a glorious decor for the most beautiful photos.
Each year over 7,000,000 bulbs are hand-planted to create the world’s largest flower garden in the small town of Lisse (about 15 miles south of Amsterdam in the Netherlands). The mere mention of Keukenhof makes the hearts of gardeners (such as me) skip a beat.
Timing is everything when it comes to visiting the world’s largest bulb garden because it is only open for 8 weeks in the Spring of each year.
The peak bloom time for the spectacular display varies slightly based on the weather conditions such as temperature and amount of rain, but visiting in mid-April is usually the best bet.
In 1949, the mayor of Lisse along with some leading bulb exporters and flower growers created an open air flower exhibition on today’s site of Keukenhof Park. Over the years, the size of the park, number and variety of bulbs, and the number of visitors has grown into the infamous garden that is loved by millions today.
Keukenhof literally means ‘kitchen garden’ and was so named because it was the herb garden outside the castle kitchen of Jacoba van Beieren. The herb garden along with a vast hunting area around that castle now comprise the modern Keukenhof Park grounds.
The Dutch ornamental bulb industry shows off its best bulbs during the annual park exhibit as well as in the indoor shows where they present their most beautiful cut flowers. Each year, 93 local growers and exporters supply Keukenhof with their ‘cream of the crop’ bulbs for planting within the garden.
Five of these suppliers have bulb sales points within the park where you can order spring blooming flowers that will be mailed to you for planting in Autumn. They also sell the large Amaryllis bulbs, cut flowers, and summer bulbs that you can purchase and carry home with you. If you have a garden, what better way to increase its beauty than with tulips direct from the Netherlands!