Keukenhof – Flower Paradise

Keukenhof ( in Dutch, “Kitchen garden“), situated in Lisse, the Netherlands ( halfway between Amsterdam and The Hague), is also known as the Garden of Europe, which is the world’s second largest flower garden following the Dubai Miracle Garden.

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Short History

The origins of the garden goes back to the 15th century, when Countess Jacqueline of Bavaria, Jacoba van Beieren, gathered fruit and vegtables from the woods and dunes around, for her Castle kitchen.

keukenhof_treesLater on, in the 1850’s, the landscape architects Jan David Zocher and his son, Louis Paul Zocher, were asked to redesigned the castle’s gardens, which became the basis of Keukenhof, as we know it today.

Only in 1949 the idea of a permanent exhibition of spring-flowering bulbs, appeared, and this is the moment when Keukenhof became a spring park, opened every year, for 3 months only.

With approximately 7 million flower bulbs planted annually, on an area of 32 hectares, Keukenhof is a fascinating place for spring flower lovers.

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The Origin of the Famous Tulip 

As we learn something new everyday, I think it’s important to mention that contrary to my belief, the first cultivation of the tulip began not in Netherlands, but in Asia.

The Tulip was originally a wild flower growing in Central Asia, cultivated first, by the Turks, around 1,000 AD. The flower was introduced in the Netherlands in the 17th century by Carolus Clusius, a famous biologist from Vienna.

The flower is called tulip, after the Turkish word for turban!

Because he was hired by the University of Leiden to research medicinal plants, he brought back some bulbs from Turkey, for his garden in Leiden. This was the start of the amazing flower fields we can see today.

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In the 17th century, the tulips were used both as a garden decoration and medicinal purposes and soon became a trading product, being sold for unbelievable high prices. The traders made large amounts of money, to the point where people started to sell their businesses,homes, farm and animals, only to participate.

The over-supply led slowly to lower prices and dealers went bankrupt, moment known as the “Tulip Crash”, when the government introduced special trading restrictions for the flower.

The flower became so popular because of the bright colors,which was a way to impress among the wealthy.

Visiting Keukenhof

If you visit Keukenhof by public transport, I recommend taking the Keukenhof Express bus 858, from Schiphol, or the 854 from Leiden Central Station, as there’s no direct connection from Amsterdam to the garden.

If you plan to visit by car, make sure you leave early and get ready for a long and frustrating traffic jam. Because the garden is open for only a short period of time every year, it attracts a large number of tourists from all around the world, which makes the area very busy.

The best part about visiting a new place is always the company, so I want to thank my blogger friend, Gin, for the wonderful opportunity of meeting her, in person, at Keukenhof. What really makes a place beautiful, is the wonderful people you travel with, so I would say the tulip adventure was just perfect!


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47 thoughts on “Keukenhof – Flower Paradise

  1. What a nice background story ! Beautiful shots, especially the tulips “macro”. I love the shot from below (I haven’t looked at mine yet ;-))

    When I see your pictures, it looks like we had the place to ourselves, haha !

    I would add something, If you plan to visit by car, make sure to not stop in the middle of the road. Chaos will always follow 😉

    I also had a great time !! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m happy you enjoyed the pictures. It was indeed beautiful. They put so much work into that garden! Every flower combination is different and gorgeous. The flower fields from around the gardens were the best part though 🙂 Also, less busy.
      Thank you for stopping by! x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha Lucy, a sniff of Holland at my breakfast table! How enjoyable! You were very lucky, Keukenhof at a sunny day! My parents had a summer house at the Dutch coast and we always enjoyed the bulb fields…but I have never been to the Keukenhof ;0)
    And your story is interesting and correct! You do have the gift of telling a good story!That trading for crazy prices was because 1: The Dutch were very rich at that time with East Indian Company and the colonies and 2: since they were so Protestant they could not display their wealth in clothing, jewelry or glamorous homes…they displayed their wealth in their collection of bulbs. ( doll houses were a favorite too and still life paintings) At one point the tulip market even crashed, like the internet bubble in the nineties…leaving many falilies with no money at all. Ah…greed comes before fall;0) Thank you for this wonderful post!!! xo Johanna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment and for all the information! It’s very fascinating to find out something new about a certain place. Also, I had no idea about the origin of tulips, so it’s great that I’ve found out through the blog 🙂 You’re very lucky to have spent a lot of time close to the fields. They look very impressive and cheerful!
      I’m happy I could send a piece of NL all the way to USA, for you! It’s great to know you also enjoyed the story 🙂 I’m doing my best to keep it short but informative.
      Have a lovely day, and thank you once again for your kind words! xo ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful photos! I’m heading there in a few weeks, hopefully the blooms will be just as beautiful then! Thanks for the background info too, it’s really interesting to learn the history behind the beautiful flowers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure, Amanda! I hope you found out something new. I, for sure did! Very fascinating history.
      I can’t wait to hear what you think of the garden, once you get there. Make sure you also visit the fields around it. Those are the best part 🙂 Have a lovely day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading, Sarah! I hope you will manage to see them soon. It’s definitely something worth seeing. Any place is better when we have it for ourselves, but we can’t really complain, as we’re all tourists 🙂 Still, my favorite part were the fields. It’s unique to see the earth colored so beautifully! Have a great day! x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Tulips are one of my favorite flowers, even more they have a sense of mystery since I read the novel “the black tulip” I didn’t now that they had also a taste of oriental tales, wonderful story, thanks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure, Francis! I’m happy to know you enjoyed the story. I have the same thing with tulips. They are one of my favorite flowers, and this is mainly because I see them only for a short time during the year. I didn’t read the book though. Sounds interesting so, I’ll write it down 🙂 Thank you!
      Have a lovely day!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a stunning garden Lucy. I had not heard about Keukenhof before, I’ll have to remember it when I move back to Europe. It definitely looks like it is well worth a visit. The water canals are beautiful. And the flowers off course! 🙂 A great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading! It’s a beautiful garden indeed. I was amazed by the amount of work which goes into the flower combinations. They take such good care of them! And the flower fields around it, are absolutely gorgeous! I love the way grass is replaces by colors 🙂 My only problem with it, was the large number of tourists. But yet again, I was in the same position, so I shouldn’t complain about it haha. I hope you will get to see it. When do you plan to move back? Have a lovely day! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • It looked lovely so I can understand the crowds:) We are hoping to cling on to the expat life as long as we can so not moving back anytime soon, but it will happen for sure, maybe in a few years or so:)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Same here 🙂 Definitely worth a visit. But again, I’m a crazy flower person haha.
        I wish you good luck then! I hope you choose the best location, to make you happy! Have a great weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. It is a delight to see such a lovely garden, and top of it you happen to meet another blogger friend in the real world. It is indeed fascinating to meet in such a beautiful setting. Flowers by nature are harbinger of love and joy. Very special gifts of nature, the colour, the smell and it takes us into a different world of imagination.
    I didn’t know that it is the second largest flower garden and it is the Garden of Europe, tulips are always so mesmerizing, we have it here in Kashmir and it is open to public viewing during this month…larger number of visitors come to enjoy the beauty of Kashmir with Tulip Flowers.
    Thank you so much Lucy for sharing such a beautiful post.
    Cheers to the beauty of nature..
    😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your wonderful comment! It’s always a pleasure to read such beautiful thoughts you send my way!
      I’m happy to know you read about something new in my article. The garden is an amazing place! I know how hrad it is to keep a small lawn looking nice, so I can only imagine how much constant effort that garden needs, in order to look so pretty.
      I had no idea you can visit tulip fields in Kashmir! Thank you for that information. I browsed it on the internet and it looks amazing!
      Mother Nature rewards us with such beauty during spring. It was amazing to see all the fascinating colors and also share the experience with a good friend.
      Have a lovely weekend, my friend! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tulip 1000 AD, sometime we just over look the history something and it is indeed amazing to know about such rich history. 7 million flower bulb planted in Keukenhof, that is mindbogglingly high.
        It is always a lovely feeling to keep knowing new things in life and from friends you have visited and experienced it, it does make huge difference, we almost see through your eyes.
        Indeed mother nature, has so many things to offer and it does so year after year, season after season, and we reflect in amusement the beauty and bounty of nature.

        Kashmir is a also beauty personified…such a wonderful place, it is place of beautiful gardens and each with its own range of lovely flowers…

        You too have a great weekend. Yes, weekend we should have time for ourselves plus we should spare a little more time with nature and nurturing it.
        😀

        Like

      • I’m just like you. The more you read, the more you learn. We can’t go everywhere, but we can do this through the eyes of another person. Learning something new is always fun!
        Mother Nature surprised me this weekend with 5 lovely wild ducks, which stopped by my yard. I just fed them and spent some time outside with them. Such gorgeous creatures 🙂
        Flowers, animals, sunshine, all great gifts, we should enjoy everyday!
        Have a relaxing weekend, full of wonders! All the best!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I must admit you have such lovely thoughts and it is always a pleasure exchanging ideas and interacting with you…I keep learning and there is something new in each of such interactions, perhaps that’s the essence of a good conversations and I am really having a wonderful conversation with you…thank you for it.

        Oh! 5 lovely ducks, it is indeed a serendipitous moments, they are just beautiful and getting a chance to feed them and spent some time with them, is something everybody don’t get a chance…I am happy for you.

        You are right, we should try to enjoy every day by doing something which is inspiring and which keeps us meaningfully engaged…

        You too have a lovely weekend…let the mind rest and come with more brilliant ideas which we can exchange and engage, and have another wonderful series of discussion.
        😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you! It’s always a pleasure to talk to you as well. I love to learn from the people around me, and I feel like our conversations always teaches me something new.
        My new buddies left and came back not very long ago, for another meal. It’s great to have them around. I’m very lucky to get so close to them, without spooking them. Now they are camping in the front yard 🙂 Quite adorable to see.
        Cheers to brilliant ideas and a wonderful weekend! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh! lovely they are back…it is such a nice feeling when we are able to interact and engage with birds and animals, they are so affectionate and they do so without any expectation. When they are back and you don’t expect it adds to the real pleasure of life…
        You should capture in your lens and share with us…these are beautiful moments of life we either ignore or just take it for granted.
        Indeed life is in these little things of life which we should know how to engage with, and hence it well said that art of living is different and we should all learn the art which makes life and living with bliss and joy.
        Indeed cheers to our lovely exchange of thoughts…
        😀

        Like

      • Just saw the pictures, they are so beautiful and very loving.
        by the way where from they have come, did you see them earlier or is it a complete surprise visit by them.
        Thanks for sharing…
        😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • My pleasure! They are totally adorable, that’s for sure. I first saw them on our street 2 days ago, and today they finally decided to check out our yard 🙂 Pretty neat!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by! Yes, I was there was week, and most flowers bloomed already, so it was a great experience. Actually, 2 weeks ago I talked to someone who was there, and recommended I wait a bit longer, as most fields were green 😦 I hope next time you will be luckier! I will check out your post as well. Have a great day!

      Like

    • That’s wonderful! Is always nice to share our experiences with our loved ones. I hope you will have a lovely time. Thank you for stopping by! Keukenhof is a really beautiful place, but the flower fields are even nicer. Is so beautiful to see the land colorful! Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it was definitely wonderful to finally meet her! She’s very fun to have around, so I hope to see her again soon. I do hope to meet you one day! It would be super neat! 🙂

      Like

  7. Pingback: Keukenhof in White | Darwin on the rocks and around the world

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