Many years ago, when for me overseas travel was but a dream, a dear friend gave me some very good advice. “When it is your turn to visit other countries don’t just choose a time when flights are at their cheapest, choose the time of year when the things you most want to visit are at their peak.”
In 2012 I took her at her word and my cousin and I commenced our European adventure with a visit to the Netherlands when these amazing gardens were at their finest. We were delighted at the beauty we enjoyed on this never to be forgotten flower-filled day.
From my PARK GUIDE I will quote the words of those directly involved at Keukenhof and try to cull my photographs to a number that will “tempt” you to explore for yourself this most beautiful spring park (or perhaps you can just enjoy it from my recollections).
“Thanks to our ‘royal suppliers’ – All the flowering bulbs you see at Keukenhof are provided free of charge by our eighty-seven ‘royal suppliers’; these are the very best bulb growers and exporters in the Netherlands. Without their collaboration there would be no Keukenhof. Every year we receive the bulbs and set to work with our entire team of gardeners – comprising thirty people – to plant them. When Keukenhof closes at the end of the season, all the bulbs are dug up. These will not be used again. In the autumn we start again with fresh bulbs and a new growing and flowering season begins.”
“The Making of Keukenhof – An autumn holiday is out of the question, as this is the busiest time of year for us at Keukenhof. We take around two months to plant no fewer than seven million flower bulbs – always a really enjoyable task. During the period between the closing of the park and the start of the new season there is also plenty of maintenance work for me to get on with, which varies from repairing the gardening equipment and garden furniture, gates, doors and locks, to painting and repairing the valuable chess pieces. And before you know it the park is opening again for a new season.”
“Beech Lane – for me the most beautiful part of Keukenhof has to be the beech lane. When the beeches are in blossom they provide a spectacle of colour as far as the eye can see. The beech lane was designed by landscape gardener Zocher around 1850 which means that some of these majestic trees are more than 160 years old. …. Keukenhof is of course home to many more beautiful trees – no fewer than ninety different species – making the park a true arboretum”.
“DID YOU KNOW? WIST U DAT?
The sultans of the Ottoman Empire wore a tulip on their turban as a symbol. The name tulip comes from the Persian word for turban, tulipan.
A single hundred-year-old beech, such as those in beech lane absorbs 9400 litres of carbon dioxide daily and converts it into enough oxygen for 10 people to live on!
Every year Keukenhof gives dozens of artists the opportunity to exhibit their work in the park and as visitors come to the park from all over the world these artists often gain international fame.
That tulips and crocuses flower at different times! Plant these bulbs in layers, first the tulips and then the crocuses in a shallower layer to enjoy long-lasting colour in your spring garden.
In the olden days people also used the windmill to send messages. The miller could send a message by changing the position of the sails. Everyone knew what the different positions stood for.”
“Het mooiste lentepark ter wereld ……….The most beautiful spring garden in the world.”