Springtime in Holland

Day 2 - Keukenhof Gardens


The showcase of the Dutch bulb growing industry and one of the largest gardens in the world


The gardens are set in the grounds of a C15th hunting lodge and originally provided herbs for the kitchen.  They were redesigned in the late C19th in the English parkland style, with ponds, canals, fountains and trees, which still form the basic framework.

Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof Gardens

Day 2 - Keukenhof Gardens

Day 2 - Keukenhof Gardens

In 1949, a group of 20 bulb exporters came up with a plan for a permanent display garden. It was an instant success and now over 100 companies exhibit their bulbs every year with over 500 flower growers providing cut flowers and pot plants.

The gardens just open for eight weeks each year and are a major tourist attraction, with 700,000-800,000 visitors in that time. 

Plantings are redesigned each year with a different theme. Approximately seven million flower bulbs are supplied free by growers and planted annually in the park. There are over 800 varieties of tulip flowering over several weeks and each bed is labelled with the variety and the grower’s name.

Day 2 - Keukenhof Gardens

Day 2 - Keukenhof Gardens

There are also crocuses, daffodils, narcissi, hyacinths, crown imperials...

Day 2 - Keukenhof Gardens

Day 2 - Keukenhof Gardens

Day 2 - Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof Gardens

Some beds are planted with two or three different varieties, so that when the early blooms start to fade, they are replaced by a fresh display.  At the end of the flowering season, the bulbs are dug up and destroyed, with most being used as food for livestock.

Day 2 - Keukenhof Gardens

Day 2 - Keukenhof Gardens
 
The windmill dates from 1892 and was originally used to pump water out of the polders. It was moved to Keukenhof in 1957. The grinding mechanism has been removed and stairs lead to a viewing area with good views of Keukenhof Gardens and neighbouring bulb fields. The boat trips leave from here.

Day 2 - Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof Gardens

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