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February 25, 2019

Keukenhof Park gardens are not just tulips



7-MILLION BULBS MAKE FOR SOME GARDEN

David Ellis

IF you are off to Europe between mid-March and mid-May of this year and you're pretty keen on flower gardens, an absolute must should be a visit to Keukenhof Park at Lisse southwest of Amsterdam.

Because there you will find yourself amid an amazing 7-million flowering bulbs in the 32ha (79 acres) of one of the world's largest park gardens.

And it's differing gardens and garden styles include a spreading English landscape criss-crossed with picturesque winding pathways, a European garden with many older varieties of bulbs, a nature and water garden, a Japanese garden, and others ablaze with the rainbow colours of massed carnations, irises, daffodils, roses, lilies and orchids.

Situated on once 15th century hunting grounds that were also a source of herbs for the country house of Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut and later home to Castle Keukenhof that was built in 1641 (Keukenhof meaning 'kitchen garden,') opening the Park gardens every Spring was the idea in 1949 of the-then Mayor of Lisse and a group of Netherlands flower growers, to show-off their flowering bulbs and give a leg-up to exports.

Keukenhof's 7-million bulbs alone take forty gardeners three months to plant fresh each year, and amazingly are dug up and fed to local livestock at the end of their flowering season.

And over 500 flower growers show off countless thousands of fresh-cut blooms and pot plants at more than twenty huge indoor Flower Shows, while there is a 100-piece open-air sculpture garden as well.

This year's Keukenhof will be open from 8am to 7.30pm daily from March 21 to May 19, with something like 1.4m people expected to visit – nearly six-times the 236,000 who attended the first year's in 1950.

And those in the know, say the best time to see it all is mid-April; have a look at keukenhof.nl.

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IT may be in the centre of the Netherlands' tulip-growing region, but Keukenhof Park is more than just tulips, with 32ha (79 acres) of everything from carnations, irises and daffodils, to roses, lilies, orchids and an indoor flower show as well.  It will be open this year from mid-March to mid-May with over twenty huge indoor Flower Shows as well.


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