I hope you enjoy this colourful blog - which is more photographs than information. It is intended to be bright and cheery, and make us look forward to the onset of spring.
Keukenhoff (which means Kitchen garden), is one of the world's most famous flower gardens - also known as the Garden of Europe. Keukenhoff is in the province of South Holland, southwest of Amsterdam, in an area known as the "Dune and Bulb Region".
Keukenhoff Park is situated in ancient hunting grounds; after 1641 a large manor house was constructed, which is now known as Castle Keukenhof and the park area was used as the castle’s kitchen garden - providing fruit and vegetables for its residents.
Countesses, Barons, Captains and Governors have all resided at Keukenhoff. In 1857, Baron and Baroness Van Pallandt, commissioned landscape architects Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher, to restructure the park and grounds around the castle.
Keukenhoff, as the park as is now known, was established in 1949 by a consortium of bulb growers and flower exporters, from where they could showcase their products. The garden opened to the public the following year, and received 200,000 visitors in its first year – increasing to 1.5 million in 2019.
The Park covers an area of approximately seventy nine acres with more than seven million flower bulbs planted there every autumn. Forty gardeners plant these bulbs, which are donated by over hundred different growers. The planting normally commences in early October and is usually completed by the beginning of December. The flowerbed planting is synchronized with different bulb flowerings, this ensures that the flowers bloom continually throughout the park's eight-week opening.
To ensure this continuation of colour, three bulbs are planted in each location. The shallowest bulb flowers first for three weeks, followed by the subsequent bulbs in deeper layers. In addition to the tulip gardens, Keukenhoff has a variety of other types of gardens.
The English landscape garden with its streams and winding paths, the Nature Garden with its shrubs and perennials – still with bulbs planted everywhere ; and the Japanese Country Garden.
Although the grounds are open throughout the year for festivals and concerts; Keukenhoff is only open to the general public for its World-famous eight-week tulip display. This runs from the middle of March to the middle of May each year - with the equivalent of 26,000 visitors each day. The busiest time is normally the middle of April, depending on how the growing season is going – and on the weather, which varies constantly.
There are several pavilions containing different displays and flower exhibitions. Although Keukenhoff is widely known for its tulips, it also has numerous other plants and flowers, including hyacinths, daffodils, lilies, roses, carnations, and irises.
There is also a traditional windmill that you can go inside (as I would have to) and have a fabulous view of the multi-coloured fields that surround the park – what a spectacle that is!
You cannot help but want to capture the vibrant colours for yourself – it is a photographer’s delight; and you can also buy some of the plants too.
It is the most colourful garden I have ever visited - with a glorious spectacle around every corner. The flowers are a blaze of vibrant colour, growing in between trees full of spring blossom; either along the edges of the trickling waterways or in shaped flowerbeds inside neatly cut lawns.
My mum and I had such a memorable day at Keukenhoff - I hope you have enjoyed sharing it too.