Support our mission
 
Visitors walk the paths past the flowers of Keukenhof gardens. Besides the blooming flowers, Keukenhof has also become known for its outdoor art collection.
Visitors walk the paths past the flowers of Keukenhof gardens. Besides the blooming flowers, Keukenhof has also become known for its outdoor art collection. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Visitors walk the paths past the flowers of Keukenhof gardens. Besides the blooming flowers, Keukenhof has also become known for its outdoor art collection.
Visitors walk the paths past the flowers of Keukenhof gardens. Besides the blooming flowers, Keukenhof has also become known for its outdoor art collection. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Potted tulips bloom in front of Keukenhof's windmill. A lot of the plants were not in bloom when the park opened, but enough were to satisfy flower lovers' hearts. And more are on the way between now and May 20.
Potted tulips bloom in front of Keukenhof's windmill. A lot of the plants were not in bloom when the park opened, but enough were to satisfy flower lovers' hearts. And more are on the way between now and May 20. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
A daffodil in full bloom at Keukenhof, the famous garden that draws thousands of flower lovers to the Netherlands every spring.
A daffodil in full bloom at Keukenhof, the famous garden that draws thousands of flower lovers to the Netherlands every spring. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
The sun, shining from behind,  makes a group of pink tulips glow at Keukenhof.
The sun, shining from behind, makes a group of pink tulips glow at Keukenhof. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Although there was still a lot of green outside on opening day 2011, inside the Willem Alexander Pavilion thousands of colorful tulips and daffodils were abloom.
Although there was still a lot of green outside on opening day 2011, inside the Willem Alexander Pavilion thousands of colorful tulips and daffodils were abloom. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Visitors take photo of themselves in front of giant yellow tulips inside the Willem Alexander Pavilion.
Visitors take photo of themselves in front of giant yellow tulips inside the Willem Alexander Pavilion. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
A blooming tulip inside the Willem Alexander Pavilion is a swirl of colors.
A blooming tulip inside the Willem Alexander Pavilion is a swirl of colors. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
A visitor gets a closer look at a tulip inside the Willem Alexander Pavilion at Keukenhof.
A visitor gets a closer look at a tulip inside the Willem Alexander Pavilion at Keukenhof. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
A beautiful Purissima tulip, blooming at Keukenhof, truly deserves its name. The Purissima is fragrant with clear, white petals highlighted with a yellow center and base.
A beautiful Purissima tulip, blooming at Keukenhof, truly deserves its name. The Purissima is fragrant with clear, white petals highlighted with a yellow center and base. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
A group of tall red tulips appear to be reaching toward the spring sun.
A group of tall red tulips appear to be reaching toward the spring sun. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
A group of two colors of crocuses froms a tulip on a bed of grass.
A group of two colors of crocuses froms a tulip on a bed of grass. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Two pairs of swans swim past blooming flowers and a sculpture at Keukenhof, Holland's famous flower gardens.
Two pairs of swans swim past blooming flowers and a sculpture at Keukenhof, Holland's famous flower gardens. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)
Keukenhof is also know for art spread through its gardens. This sculpture shows just what the term "tree hugger" means.
Keukenhof is also know for art spread through its gardens. This sculpture shows just what the term "tree hugger" means. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

If it’s spring, it must be tulip time in the Netherlands. And indeed, Keukenhof, Holland’s famed flower garden, has again opened its gates.

Although green still prevailed on opening day last week, from now until May 20, beds of tulips, crocuses, amaryllises, hyacinths and more will be blooming in myriad colors.

Once upon a time, tulips were truly a treasure. Introduced to Europe from Turkey, the tulip first appeared in Holland in 1593. By the 1630s, “tulip mania” had gripped the Dutch. Supposedly, an Amsterdam canal house — worth more than $500,000 today — was traded for a single bulb.

The tulip bubble burst in 1637, costing many a fortune, and with the notable exception of World War II, when eating them saved the Dutch from starvation, the tulip went back to being a regular old bulb.

In 1949, 40 bulb growers from the Lisse area got together to create an open-air flower exhibit at nearby Keukenhof, once a royal hunting ground and garden for herbs and vegetables.

The rest, as they say, is history. More than twice the number of growers now plant about 7 million bulbs at Keukenhof, and judging by the crowds, tulip mania might be here again. About 800,000 visitors come to see the flowering spectacle annually.

Visitors can spend hours walking the paths through the gardens, past flowerbeds, ponds and fountains. Sculptures by various artists line the paths making it an art as well as flower exhibit.

A climb up Keukenhof’s windmill offers a different view of the gardens, and later in the season an outstanding view of the blooming tulip fields on the outside. For a better look at the flowering fields, you can take an hourlong boat ride through the canals or rent bikes and pedal along six routes through the fields.

There are four indoor pavilions at Keukenhof, one of which, the Queen Beatrix Pavilion, has a wonderful orchid exhibit. And while it might still be green outside, the Prince Willem Alexander Pavilion already has thousands of tulips in blooming color.

KNOW & GO• Getting there: The park is on the outskirts of Lisse, Netherlands, between The Hague (Den Haag) and Amsterdam.

From The Hague, take A44 toward Amsterdam, exit at Sassenheim and take N208 toward Lisse.

From Amsterdam, take A4 toward The Hague and exit at N207 toward Lisse.

Signs will direct you to Keukenhof.

By train, travel to Leiden and take bus line 54 to Keukenhof. Line 58 connects Schiphol Airport with Keukenhof, and bus 89 runs from The Hague central station to Keukenhof on weekdays.

• Hours: 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily. Ticket offices close at 6 p.m.

• Cost: 14.50 euros for adults and 7 euros for children 4 to 11. Parking costs 6 euros. The boat trip costs 7.50 euros; bike rentals cost 8.50 euros per day.

• When to go: Weekdays are best for a quiet visit. Easter weekend will be especially crowded. There is a 25-mile flower parade between Noordwijk and Haarlem on April 16. It passes Keukenhof at about 3:40 p.m.

• Food and drink: There are numerous restaurants and snack stands throughout the gardens offering affordable food. Also there are plenty of gift shops.

• For more information: Visit www.keukenhof.nl.

Migrated

Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up