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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?
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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.
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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.
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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!
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