Keukenhof is, essentially, a colourful treasure-trove for tulip-lovers. Or, as the official website proclaims: “The Garden of Europe”. Introductions aside, it’s a pleasant escape from the city centre and well worth a trip if you’re fortunate enough to be in Amsterdam at the right time – with a strong emphasis on time, as Keukenhof is only open for the two months a year when the tulips are in bloom (roughly speaking, late March to mid-May).
After breakfast on Sunday, we checked out of the hotel and made our way to Keukenhof; the sight of a windmill and a field of tulips only heightened the excitement as we neared the gardens. Unfortunately, we were rather time-limited, and whilst I could happily have spent several hours wandering around we only had one. A whistle-stop tour of Keukenhof ensued, taking in as many varieties of tulip as was feasibly possible – though we barely made a dent in the 800 varieties on show at this all-round floral-fest!
Once inside the park, we split up and set off to explore the park – though trying to dodge the dawdlers in order to see a reasonable amount of the park in the limited time we had became an immense challenge! Besides the gorgeous array of tulips, Keukenhof also displayed daffodils and hyacinths, amongst more exotic flowers such as fritillaria meleagris, which also goes by the name snake’s head (refer to the orange flower below).
As we made our way towards the lake the displays became more extravagant, with tulips in every colour of the rainbow . . . and every tourist and his dog perching amongst the tulips for that Instagram-worthy photo.
I particularly liked the two-toned tulips – aptly named parrot hybrids – with their bold, contrasting colours!
There were also beautifully landscaped sections with swathes of tulips all immaculately arranged in colour-coordinated rows. The precision-planting of all these tulips made these displays look like miniature tulip fields!
We then wandered towards Willem-Alexander before looping down via Oranje-Nassau, sadly missing out the giant human-sized clog. Maybe one day I’ll make it back there to realise that dream . . .
After our (all too) quick trip round Keukenhof, we just had time for a bite to eat before heading to the airport . . . where, in true
tourist Dutch style, my sister and I tried on wooden clogs in all shapes and sizes!