Keukenhof in Holland : the incredible flower power (travel story and updated guide to the Park)
Updated: Sep 17, 2019
Plan your trip for 2020 : Keukenhof will be open from March, 21 to May, 10
If you dream of tulip fields and narcissus undulating in the wind, if your heart is on fire at the sight of a delicate corolla that blooms in the sun, if you're moved by the scent of hyacinths, no doubt, like me, you're a spring lover!
Don't worry! It's only a benign and common infection, invading the body, heart and senses with positive and warm vibes.
To remedy, I invite you to discover or rediscover the flowered gardens of Keukenhof, located about 40 km from Amsterdam, in the small town of Lisse. From the tulip and narcissus season, this unique flowery park reveals its secrets and inspiring gardens, brandishing its flower power as a comforting and enchanting flag.
Follow me on this walk in the garden of Eden, where the magic of flowers will never cease to touch your soul and inspire your creativity. (Don't miss the useful information at the end of the article: when and how to get to the Keukenhof, what to see and do, tulip and daffodil fields, restaurants, etc... )
No matter whether the weather is sulky or radiant in our Dutch neighbours, the senses are in awe, from the entrance: beyond a narrow canal, the fields striped with hyacinths offer their pink and Purple shades, contrasting with the pearl grey of the sky; a little further on, the Japanese cherry trees are stealing the show at the foot of an old mill.
"Les fleurs du printemps sont les rêves de l'hiver racontés, le matin, à la table des anges." Khalil Gibran
Since 1950, Keukenhof has opened its doors to the public every year, for 8 consecutive weeks. It's a showcase for Dutch horticulture, and more particularly for bulbiculture. Unique in its surface area, which covers 32 hectares, and unique in the quantity and quality of flowers, the park undoubtedly deserves the international recognition it has acquired over the years.
In my opinion, no one can go through it without feeling positive emotions. Awe can be seen in the smiles and eyes of visitors who, in all the aisles, immortalize carpets of flowers, harmonies of colours or their own happiness.
The inspiration gardens of Keukenhof : so many ideas for garden lovers
Have you ever dreamed of recreating a hyacinth-covered undergrowth in your backyard? Have you ever thought of planting a huge bed of rare narcissus or tulips? I have!
Not far from the Keukenhof mill, the park's designers create small inspiring gardens every year, offering reasonable alternatives to those who, like me, have sometimes wild dreams...
During our visit in 2017, we could enjoy the "Blue Garden of Delft". This one featured the famous porcelain and tiles.
Another garden, of exotic and rather boho inspiration, also charmed us.
The incredible emotional power of flowers
"Changer les âmes, changer les coeurs, avec des bouquets de fleurs. La guerre au vent, l'amour devant, grâce à des fleurs des champs." Alain Souchon, Laurent Voulzy
When the sun appears, the tulips of Holland, the imperial narcissus, hyacinths and fritillaries are revealed in all their splendour and make our hearts beat a little more. Flowers have this incredible power to make us happier.
In the Keukenhof park, you can feel a wind of floral magic and a heady scent of simple joy.
All these photos that you take, all these names you whispered when reading the labels are pieces of joy you pick to make a bouquet full of hope, peace and serenity.
You can see how much I love Keukenhof! For the eyes pleasure, for the pleasure of a beautiful walk with family, friends or partner, for the perfume of hyacinths that I still feel when I close my eyes, for the ideas that are rushing in my head, for those precious moments that have no price tags, Keukenhof is pure bliss.
Tulip at the origin of the first stock market crash in our history
If flowers have the power to wrap us with their positive vibes, some have had, throughout history, less pleasant effects.
Indeed, at the end of the 16th century, Europe and the Dutch were on fire for tulips and between 1634 and 1637, some varieties were traded at a price 15 times higher than the annual income of a craftsman. Since orders were placed in the autumn and payment was made in the spring, speculation became completely unreasonable.
In February 1637, prices suddenly collapsed, making it impossible for buyers to honour their contracts. This event is considered to be the first "stock market crash" in our history.
Tulip, symbol of sincere love
In the language of flowers, the tulip symbolizes a promise of sincere love. Depending on the colour of the petals, this promise has a particular meaning.
Thus, a white tulip symbolizes extreme and pure love.
A red tulip symbolizes eternal love.
A yellow tulip means that you are desperately in love.
A multicoloured tulip expresses a crazy and extravagant love.
So, gentlemen, go and make your bouquets!
When to visit
In 2020, Keukenhof is open from March, 21 to May, 10. We think it is best to arrive no later than mid-morning. In terms of park visitation, we observed a significant increase in the number of visitors in the afternoon.
How to get to the Keukenhof
We strongly advise you to follow the instructions on the road signs carefully and limit your speed to the maximum allowed. The radar section located on the Amsterdam - Amersfoort motorway is pretty bad.
If you come by car, go to the car park next to the secondary entrance. This will give you a better chance of getting a spot. You will also have less difficulty leaving the site. We recommend that you leave before 4pm to limit the risk of being stuck in a traffic jam.
By any other means
What to see and how long does it take
It is possible to see everything in about 5 hours, lunch included.
The different pavilions have, for the most part, various floral arrangements (orchids, tulips, etc...). In our opinion, the Ghent Floralies surpass the Keukenhof exhibitions, but this remains a subjective opinion.
For us, Keukenhof is above all a huge flowered garden. Its main interest lies in its exterior layout, in the extraordinary design of the flower beds, in the colour palettes used, and in the presentation of exceptional varieties.
Where to eat
In all honesty, the few comments we were able to read on the web were not very good. So we made sandwiches....
That being said, as the temperature was only reaching 10° at noon, we went to the Willem-Alexander pavilion to warm up and have a drink. Tempted by the soup, we tried both types (Asian tomato soup and peanut soup). Verdict: First of all, it was cold; we had to ask for the bowls to be heated. Then, we stopped our tasting after two sips...
We obviously cannot generalize this bad experience to all the services offered by the park (other restaurants and food trucks) but we were happy to have our home made sandwiches.
The park's shops offer a multitude of items, such as clogs, magnets, wooden tulips, bulbs. For rarer flowers, it is best to contact the supplier of the variety you like - each flowerbed has a label that indicates the origin of the plants.
Where to stay
Rechercher un logement proche de Lisse ou à Amsterdam.
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Stéphane Bern, pour RTL)