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The magic of Dutch tulips in Keukenhof

The opportunity to visit the world attraction Keukenhof, the most beautiful spring park, cannot be missed - even if accompanied by cloudy weather with rain and a maximum air temperature of only 8°C at the beginning of May.

Keukenhof is a park-exhibition of Dutch floriculture, which extends over 200 hectares. From the last week of March to mid-May (March 20 to May 17, 2015) the main focus of this park are more than 7 million spring bulbs, which in this time of the year shines in their most beautiful stage of development - flowering.

The name Keukenhof means "kitchen garden" and dates back to the 15th century, when the Countess Jacqueline of Bavaria (1401-1436) in this area, 35 kilometres southwest of Amsterdam, has collected fruits and vegetables for the kitchen of a nearby castle. In 1949, a group of 20 gardeners and exporters of flowers came up with the idea to use this property for the permanent exhibition of the spring bulbs, which resulted that Keukenhof became the spring garden. The park was opened in 1950 and already gained great popularity and success in the first year with even 236,000 visitors.

The main garden designer makes sure of the full splendour of the garden every spring. He studies flowering bulbs and makes a plan of even better garden landscaping for the next year. He must take into account a wide range of colour combinations, as well as the length of individual flowers. After closing the park, the old bulbs are removed from the earth and destroyed, but to this point the main designer has already completed plans for next year planting. Then the new bulbs are manually planted, which takes about three months of work by a team of 30 gardeners. Preparations for the next season are already completed by the half of September.

In 2015, the 66th edition of Keukenhof takes place on the subject of life and work of the painter Vince Van Gogh (1853-1890) on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of his birth. On that occasion, the Van Gogh floral mosaic, measuring 250 square meters, was made up of thousands of tulips and horsetail. In a special pavilion, an exhibition of his paintings and combinations of thousands of flower arrangements was shown. The novelty this year is the so-called "Garden of self-portraits" which was inspired by Van Gogh portraits.

In Keukenhof the largest exhibition of lilies in the world is taking place, and in the pavilions orchids, gerberas, and flamingo flowers are also exposed. In addition, in Keukenhof visitors can learn more about the history of tulips, which are passed from Turkey to the Netherlands, and also learn the manner of their breeding, obtaining various types, giving names according to the celebrities, and learn about the story of the black tulip. For those who want to have a part of Keukenhof in their gardens, there are gardeners-advisors who help those interested how to reach the most beautiful and longest results of planting flower bulbs in just one square meter of their yard. At the same time they warn out to the emergence of the frost, as the greatest threat to the bulbs, and how to keep the bulbs in that case.

Ivana Tomašević, dipl. ing.

 Translated: Petra Sviličić, mag. phys.-geophys.


Keukenhof, the Netherlands, May 3, 2015.

HAgMD @ 2014.