Springtime at one of the world’s largest flower garden, the Keukenhof, is a spectacular showcase of the Netherlands tulip, the country’s iconic flower.
We visited on a Wednesday, after a quiet day strolling through Leiden, and were disheartened to find the park crowded with visitors posing and taking photos, many carrying selfie sticks.
However, the rainbow of colours immediately captivated us and before long, we started doing the same. And, as we moved away from the entrance the overwhelming crowds thinned out.
Every year, the historic Keukenhof park is redesigned and planted with more than 7 million tulips bulbs across 32 hectares (79 acres), that come to life in the spring, blooming in a kaleidoscope of colours. In addition to tulips, the superb gardens showcase a variety of flowering bulbs and plants such as hyacinths, daffodils and freesia.
The vast grounds feature different gardening styles from English to Japanese, with landscaped gardens, manicured borders, winding paths, and naturalistic woodlands settings.
A pavilion featured several floral displays inspired by his still-life artwork.
Throughout the park, various sculptures dot the landscape.
Over 400 varieties of blooming tulips are on display: soft pastels, vivid hues, solid, striped, fringed, ruffled and single or double blooms.
Our favourite sections were the colourful mixed flower beds, such as this one of hot pinks, bright yellows, creamy whites and rich lavender.
These borders displayed a variety of colour combinations, each more inspiring than the next.
Another pavilion features a romantic kitschy display of orchids, celebrating love in every shade of pink and purple imaginable.
From the top of the traditional Dutch windmill, you can see the immense fields of tulips surrounding the park, planted in rows by colour and variety.
We benefited from a great package that included express bus transportation from Leiden Centraal to the Keukenhof, entrance to the park, and a return bus that brought us to the airport–all for 23.50 euros! The ease allowed to fully enjoy our day, strolling around for over 4 hours, without worrying about making it to the airport on time for our flight that evening.
Ginette and the girls