The Extraordinary Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, The Netherlands

Keukenhof in the Netherlands is known worldwide as one of the largest flower gardens on the planet. This is an extraordinary garden steeped in history. In fact, what we know about the garden stems from the 15th century when Countess Jacqueline of Bavaria and Jacoba van Beieren once gathered fruit and veg there for use in the kitchen of the Teylingen Castle nearby (built in 1641). Hence the name ‘keukenhof’ was derived whereby ‘keuken’ means ‘kitchen’ in Dutch.

It is interesting to note that the same people who designed Amsterdam’s Vondelpark (family Zocher) were those who also once redesigned the Keukenhof Gardens in 1857. They did so, taking inspiration from English landscape gardens of the time. Much of this style remains very much a part of the Keukenhof we know today.

Additionally, it is interesting to note that it was only in 1949 that tulip bulb importers saw on opportunity for a permanent, annual Spring exhibition at Keukenhof. And it was this exhibition that has made the park what it is today – more than 60 years later. And for the record, the tulip is not originally a Dutch flower (as we are mostly led to believe) but instead it is actually imported from Turkey (and is also found in certain Asian countries and was later popularised in Europe).

Moreover, 7 million bulbs flower at Keukenhof during the Springtime and various events promoting the national flower and other flowers take place all over the country (such as the Bloemencorso or flower parade).

And if you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of tulip bulb ‘paintings’ such as this one below in praise of Mr Vincent van Gogh.

The Keukenhof Gardens are only open during spring and for a very limited time period so make sure you plan well in advance for your trip in 2017!