Tulip Heaven at Keukenhof.
If you’ve ever seen pictures on the internet of incredible, massive, and colorful flower displays, chances are you were looking at pictures taken at Keukenhof Gardens just outside Amsterdam. The gardens are all they promise to be, and more.
Each year the show has a theme and this year was “Flower Power” a tribute to the hippie 70s to honor the 70th year of the show. Décor elements and some displays paid tribute to that colorful era.
Open for only eight weeks a year (during March & May) the grounds cover 70 acres and contain somewhere between 7-8 million flowers. Or I should say bulbs. The flowering bulbs are refreshed throughout the two-month show season so the garden always looks perfect. Crews work constantly deadheading blooms past their prime or removing and replacing plants. Tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils are supplied by local growers and discreet signs along the way to identify those sponsors. There are indoor pavilions with orchids and floral displays as well as a windmill, huge children’s play area, petting zoo, and aviary. There are gift shops, several places to grab a snack or coffee, and plenty of free restrooms (not the norm in the Netherlands).
It gets crowded, so go early and avoid weekends and holidays. www.keukenhof.nl
The Netherlands produces 70% of the world’s commercial flowers, sending mostly bulbs to the U.S. vs flowers.
Tip for tulip fans: don’t buy bulbs here, they may get confiscated before you get home, but even if you get them home they may be disappointing. Order your bulbs online and have them shipped. You will receive them in September when they are ready for planting and bloom next spring. I’m sure there are a lot of companies, this one was recommended by our guide: https://www.queenflowerbulbs.com/