Every year, millions of visitors pour into the Netherlands to visit Keukenhof Holland, also known as the Garden of Europe.
Keukenhof is one of the world's largest flower gardens, located in Lisse, Netherlands. According to their official website, an approximate seven million flower bulbs are planted every year in the park, which covers an area of thirty-two hectares (seventy-nine acres).
As a lover of the Dutch Spring, visiting Keukenhof in that time of the year to observe the "garden" in its full bloom is actually one of the best things anyone could do. Keukenhof boasts of being the largest flower garden in the world with seven million flower bulbs planted each season, and is one of the most beautiful attractions in the Netherlands. Keukenhof opens up from 22nd March to May 13th 2018.
"Keukenhof" was a concept that came into being when twenty Dutch bulb growers, led by the then Mayor of Lisse, decided to use Keukenhof as an exhibition ground for the Netherlands’ spring bulbs in 1949. This turned out, without doubt to be a great idea that would positively impact the history of the country in many ways. The park which opened up to 236,000 visitors in 1950, has a history that dates back even further. It goes back to the time of Countess Jacoba van Beieren or as the French know her, Jacqueline de Bavière, who was the Duchess of Bavaria-Straubing, Countess of Holland and Zeeland and Countess of Hainaut from 1417 to 1433. Keukenhof provided herbs for her kitchen and as a result, became known as “Keuken-Hof” or “Kitchen Garden.”
At the beginning of each fall, the gardeners at Keukenhof plant the bulbs by hand, in a completely unique design. Planting takes up to three months, and the bulbs are carefully selected to bloom throughout the eight-week opening period. In addition to the tulip gardens, Keukenhof also houses an English landscape garden, a Japanese landscape garden, a spring meadow, a natural garden, a historic garden, a garden maze, and seven inspiration gardens that are planted in unique fashion each year.
Keukenhof 2018 will be the 69th edition of the Keukenhof gardens with the theme ‘Romanticism in Flowers’. Romanticism, because romance and flowers are intertwined. Keukenhof also hosts the world’s largest lily show. This show takes place during the last ten days of the opening season and visitors get to enjoy the funfair and the colourful scenery.
For tickets, check out the official website of Keukenhof Holland.
The striped tulips, which were very popular in the 17th century, got their colouring from a virus. This virus which was discovered in 1931 was found to be transferred by aphids. Aphids are known to spread tulip breaking virus as they feed on plants. Nowadays, multi-coloured tulips are artificially bred to look the way they look now and people, worldwide have come to love these tulips that are the result of breeding and not virus infection.
Despite its long association with the Netherlands, the tulip actually originates in the Tian Shan mountain region of the Himalaya. They were brought to the Netherlands in the 16th century via Turkey and were made popular by Sultans who organised tulip parties every Spring.
Keukenhof will forever remain one of Europe's (and the world's) most beautiful Spring gardens and this year's edition will seek to bring out the romantic side in every visitor. Come Spring 2018, some of the world's most beautiful and uniquely planted tulip bulbs will be unveiled for all to see and marvel at. It wouldn't come as a surprise if the visitors decided to take their relationships to the "next level" right there on the grounds of the "Garden of Europe."
So please come, and enjoy the tour!