For all you flowers lovers out there, the Netherlands is the place to be during spring. From wonderfully colorful flower fields, to tulip’s day, to flower gardens and parades, the Dutch really know how to celebrate their love for flowers.
The Flower Parade of the Bollenstreek is the biggest event happening during springtime, becoming more and more every year, the symbol of the start of warm season. No other event is so full of color, perfumes and joy!
The origins of this event go back all the way to the end of the 1940’s, just after World War II, when people needed a bit of color and happiness in their lives, right after the war. The very first procession consisted only of a couple of flower garlands and decorated trucks. Still, it was the beginning of a great event.
Willem Warmenhoven, an amaryllis grower from Hillegom, is the creator of the first float, which took the shape of a whale, built out of hyacinths. Hillegom invited back then Sassenheim and Lisse, to cooperate at this event, which set the base for the large-scale parade taking place nowadays.
Like every year, this year the Flower Parade of Bollenstreek (the bulbs area), started in Noordwijk, and traveled slowly through Voorhout, Lisse, Hillegom, all the way to Haarlem, enchanting the spectators waiting for the colorful vehicles. In total, over 40 km of color, happiness and festive atmosphere.
With over 20 floats and 40 richly decorated vehicles, all covered in flowers, the procession made its way through the thousand of visitors, and around 9 pm Saturday evening, the illuminated parade arrived in the centre of Haarlem, ready for receiving a wave of admirers, on the following day.
The entire Sunday, the parade floats were displayed in the beautiful old centre of Haarlem, the perfect time for seeing them closer, and clicking pictures with the million of flowers. Many activities were organized as well by the municipality, from music to street performances and food stalls.
And what better way to end such an amazing event, if not by sharing flowers with the spectators? Flowers sure put a smile on everyone’s faces 🙂
In the end, we have the appreciate the effort and dedication which are required in order to keep this beautiful tradition going. As every single flower, must be manually set in the right spot, you can only imagine how much time and patience it requires.
Happy Spring, from the bulb region!
Let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain-winds be free
To blow against thee
– William Wordsworth
It seems like just yesterday I posted the first few words on the process of starting the vegetable garden. Now, halfway through June, the first few vegetables are already ready!
One thing the vegetable garden taught me: patience. Being terribly impatient ever since I can remember, I went from excitement, to disappointment, to happiness, in just a few weeks. It looks like vegetables take ‘a little bit’ longer to grow, than I imagined they would. 🙂 Also, telling them apart from the weeds proved to be an almost impossible mission.
With the first radish making it on the plate, I must say, I was never more excited, than when I ate something I planted with my own hands! Very rewarding feeling!
Getting the garden ready for the warm season can be an interesting experience, especially when you have a lot of animals in the area. The more time we spend in nature, the more we see.
From all types of amazing birds, to frogs, to deer, to Jack rabbits, call the surroundings their home. Mother Nature surely provided the ultimate entertainment.
On top of all, the flowers are all blossomed now, and filled the garden with amazing colors, while the cherries and prunes are growing nicely.
Some of you might remember the post about planting white and purple tulips, from last autumn. Well, here they are. Absolutely gorgeous and I can’t be happier, considering that it was my first try at planting bulbs, and I succeeded!
Welcome back summer, we missed your warm colorful music!
Either in our gardens, the park, or flower fields, spring is the season when we see a large number of bees, flying from one flower to the other. It’s the right season to admire these beautiful insects, at work, and capture a few pictures.
Every now and then, we might meet a few exhausted bees, unable to fly back to their hive, which puts them at risk of being eaten by birds. We can help the bees though, by making a sugar and water mix which helps revive them.
To create the ‘energy drink’ you should mix two tablespoons of white, granulated sugar, with one tablespoon of water, and place the mix on a spoon. Even if it seems little, do not add more water, otherwise the bee could drown. Then, place the exhausted bee on the spoon, where it will hopefully have a drink and gather the energy to fly back to its hive.
I believe bees are essential for the planet, so every rescue matters. If we can do something to help, then why not? 🙂 Happy Bee Season!
Because the weather was so nice in the past few days, I spent some time in the garden, painting. I was inspired by all the beautiful colors of spring, to paint a happy butterfly, sitting on a sunflower.
Halfway to finishing the details of the flower, a bee landed on the paper. Should I take it as a compliment? 🙂
Best way to experience the new season? By going out for a walk and enjoying Mother Nature’s colorful new clothes.
The color spectrum goes from green, to yellow, to red, to purple, from one plant to the other. What can be more beautiful than this?
Another wonderful aspect of warmer weather is the presence of more and more creatures, coming out to celebrate the return to life of nature.
I love birds, and it’s a great feeling to hear them sing, in early spring. It feels like the entire nature comes back to live, mesmerized by their lovely song.
I was lucky enough to come very close to a few House Wrens, which were making a nest in the area. Extremely rapid, bubbling and full of live, just like the sounds they make, it was pure joy to see them build.
A few interesting facts about House Wrens:
When establishing a territory, a male fills all available cavities or nesting boxes in its domain with sticks, which seems to protect the nest sites from encroachment by other Wrens.
When it arrives, the female selects a nest site, throws out much of the material deposited by the male and builds another nest.
A male often attracts two mates. Males sometimes puncture other birds’ eggs, possibility in defense of their nesting territory.
~ Special thanks to my dear friend, Frances,
for the information provided ~
Gorgeous little creatures, aren’t they?
However, the best part of going out for a walk, is sharing it with a walk enthusiast. Who better for this job, than Lisa? 🙂
If you ever wondered how a graphic representation of ‘being happy’ looks like, in the left picture you can see it clearly (that’s also what I call the ‘There’s Mommy!’ face).
Spring is known for a very moody weather, and from time to time (most of the time), it decides to display all seasons in one day. When you get beautiful white ‘pearls’ racing down from the sky, followed shortly by snow, you tend to reconsider your walking plan of the day, or at least make it shorter 🙂
All in all, flowers in the sun, birds singing and a wagging tale. A perfect combination for a perfect spring day!
As a painter, my biggest inspiration is Mother Nature. It always has something beautiful to offer, all year round.
Spring finally arrived and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate it, than by painting a gorgeous cherry blossom tree, in a fresh mountain landscape.
Welcome back, Spring. I missed you!