Monday, April 14, 2014

Tulip Time in Holland!

Guests are finally here!  We welcome brother-in-law Gary and his lovely wife Bonnie from Pennsylvania. They've had a rough winter, so it was time for a quick trip to the tulip fields of Holland.

I rave about this trip to anyone who will listen.  We've gone multiple times and never failed to be stunned by the beauty of this little country.

The place to go for breathtaking beauty is Keukenhof Gardens.  Northwest of Leiden, it lies in the middle of one of the major bulb-producing regions in the Netherlands.  Bulb growers plant their new varieties in the fall for a stunning display every spring.  

It's far more crowded here now than it used to be ten years ago when we would visit, but it's still an amazing place.  We arrived at 10:00.  Parking was right outside the park and was well-organized (think Disneyland, but instead of cartoon characters to remember our row, Keukenhof has flags from different nations.  We parked at South Korea.)

The park has lakes, fountains, meandering paths, birds, and of course, food concessions and souvenir shops.

And flowers.  Holy cow, the flowers.
Purple and orange, anyone?  Yes, please!

Purple and red?  I'll take some of that, too!

The sun was dodging in and out of clouds all morning.  I caught its bright rays shining through these beauties.

 The visitors were generally well-behaved.  Not too many flowers were being trampled, and the gardens wisely provide little walkways so you can go and crouch next to a bed for photos.
Bundled up in the 50-degree morning.  These tulips were ENORMOUS.

Keukenhof also has the obligatory Dutch windmill, although it's for show only.  (We saw real windmills, in action, at a different stop.  Blog post to follow!)

Amongst the gardens are pavilions displaying flowers in other ways.  Check out the size of this hydrangea!

And here's a low-cost idea for floral displays.  The sticks were wedged into a shelf unit.  Flowers inserted into bags of water got ribbon necklaces and were wired to the sticks.  Could this bag-o'-flowers idea be adapted for inexpensive table decorations?  Say, at a wedding?

After leaving the gardens, we took a drive in the area.  Fields of bulb flowers around every corner.  Those with more time can rent bicyles or take walks along the paths next to the fields.  Those of us on a tighter time schedule enjoy the drive-by flower fields.

This field was ALL HYACINTHS.  Pink, purple, white, and the smell was AMAZING.

I hope your spring is full of beauty, too.


  1. Simply beautiful! Some of this looks like our tulip festival just north of Seattle :)

  2. Whoops - should tell you who posted! This is Kris Schennum Cromwell :)

  3. Hi Kris! My sister-in-law has raved about the tulips up there for years. Small German village, yes? I can't remember the name; please share.