At Keukenhof, tulips are the star of the show
One need not be particularly enamored of flowers to appreciate the color and creativity of Keukenhof, a sprawling Dutch park where more than 7 million bulbs are planted every year.
While hyacinths, daffodils, orchids, roses, carnations, irises, lilies and other blooms play supporting roles, the star of the show is undoubtedly the tulip, of which some 800 varieties are displayed.
Opening Friday for its annual eight-week run, the park’s theme for 2015 is “Van Gogh, 125 years of inspiration.” Thousands of tulips are arranged to create a floral mosaic based on a Van Gogh self-portrait. Also new this year is a “Selfie Garden,” where visitors can snap pictures of themselves to their hearts’ content. Activities for kids include a treasure hunt, petting farm, maze and a playground.
A highlight of the season comes April 25, when the annual Flower Parade makes its way from Noordwijk at 9:30 a.m., passes by Keukenhof at about 3:30 p.m. and finishes in Haarlem at about 9 p.m. The floats remain on view in Haarlem through 5 p.m. the following day.
Keukenhof is open daily through May 17. The garden is located at Stationsweg 166, 2161 AM, Lisse. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Adult admission costs 16 euros ($16.85); ages 4-11 pay 8 euros, and children up to age 3 enter free. Combination tickets including park entry and non-stop bus service from Amsterdam, Schiphol, Leiden and Haarlem are available, too. For details, see www.keukenhof.nl.