The best spring garden show in the world, Keukenhof, has just opened in Lisse, Netherlands and runs through mid-May. If you’ve never been and you love flowers and gardens and springtime, you’ll love this annual event.
Keukenhof is turning into my most blogged-about topic, aside from the London Tube closures (which I post mostly to keep up the illusion that I need to know because I might just go to London soon). If you’ve ever been to this extravagant Dutch festival, it makes perfect sense.
This sprawling outdoor garden has a fantastic setting with huge old trees anchoring the panoramas while providing some protection from the wind. The beds are laid out in all sorts of configurations, containing both new and old varieties. Every hue imaginable is here and not just in tulips, though there are more varieties of them than other types of plants; safe to say that if perennial flowers are a plant’s main product, it’s on display at Keukenhof. Tiny cottages are placed all over the grounds, allowing visitors to order some of the bulbs for delivery in time for the next year’s planting. Unfortunately, not every variety is available for purchase and, even more unfortunately, Americans can only buy bulbs marked inspected for import to the USA – which limits the selection even more. Oh well.
In addition to the vast outdoor displays, both naturalized and formal, there are indoor exhibits; tidy bowls and pots of color dot the paths and brighten up the eating areas and bulb-ordering kiosks. All kinds of outdoor art are scattered around this sprawling park of lawns, paths, trees and flower beds all anchored by the central pond and the beds are constantly renewed; fading plants are dug up and replaced with masses of bulbs just about to pop. The photos are from my visit to Keukenhof last year. It should push this most glorious of outdoor flower festivals onto your bucket list if it isn’t already there and, if it is, move it closer to the top!
The slide show is a bit long and I could probably have trimmed the number of images, but this way you can experience just how over-the-top this spring celebration feels. You should go!