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Coming to the Netherlands in spring, I expected to see tulips everywhere and I was not disappointed. The biggest display however is at the Keukenhof (which translates to Kitchen Garden), the second biggest flower garden in the world; and also known as the Garden of Europe.
The garden opens during only eight weeks every year, from mid-March to Mid-May. It attracts visitors from all over the world who come to see this colourful extravaganza. According to the official site, 7 million tulips are planted yearly in the 32 hectares of the park; plus they also hold exhibits of other flower varieties.
Back in the day, the garden was used to provide for herbs for a nearby castle, hence the name Keukenhof. In 1949, the garden was established as a flower exhibit to promote the Dutch flower industry. By the way, did you know that the Netherlands is the biggest world exporter of flowers?
At the Keukenhof, flowers are arranged in different gardens, each with their own particular style. I was really impressed by the sheer variety of tulips there is, I never thought they’d exist so many different kinds! It is said that the best time to see the flowers is in mid-April when they’re in full bloom.
This year was a bit different, however. It turns out that March was exceptionally warm and the tulips bloomed earlier than usual. So by the time I visited, in early May, the tulip fields near the Keukenhof, which are usually full of flowers this time of the year, were totally empty. That was my only disappointment during my visit.
Thankfully, I quickly forgot about that when I enter into the orchid exhibition. What an amazing display of colours and shapes! I love orchids and take any opportunity to admire them. It was a really impressive collection, with some varieties that I had never seen before, like these green orchids below.
Overall, I had a really nice time at the Keukenhof. I was lucky with the weather and enjoyed a gorgeous day outside taking photos of beautiful flowers in good company. If you’re in the Netherlands, you still have a few days to visit before the garden closes for the season. The Keukenhof remains open until next Sunday, May 18th; so hurry up! For more information and to plan your visit, go to their website.
And if you still feel like looking at more flower photos, have a look at my gallery.
Do you like to visit flower gardens when you travel? Which one is your favourite and why? Leave a comment, I’d love to know!