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  • Writer's pictureNina Melillo

Exploring the Enchanting Beauty of Keukenhof Tulip Festival

Yes, I am a gardener and yes, I love tulips. Currently boasting over 8 million tulips throughout their massive farm, Holland Ridge Farms in Cream Ridge, New Jersey is in full throttle, hosting u-pick tulips and tulip viewing sessions. It seems to be a trend because throughout my country, (USA), tulip farms are cropping up everywhere.


I have visited Holland Ridge Farms and it is absolutely beautiful. However, I was not satisfied with just viewing American replicas of tulip farms. I wanted to see and experience the most beautiful tulip farms in The Netherlands. I was able to convince my husband to take a European trip to The Netherlands and Belgium. Mostly to visit the famous Keukenhof Farm/Tulip Festival but, I have to admit, to also try all the delicious Belgian waffles, chocolates, and beers!


I'd like to share with you some interesting tidbits of knowledge I acquired while in Europe and also delight your eyes with beautiful pictures of this lovely farm, including a plethora of unusual varieties of tulips.


(Some of the links within this post are affiliate links on which I receive a small compensation from the sale of certain items with no extra cost to you.)

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Groups of hundreds of tulips
Keukenhof Garden

Interesting Tidbits of Information About the Tulip


  1. Tulip season officially begins on the third Saturday in January in The Netherlands, aptly called National Tulip Day. On this day people participate in a free flower picking experience. Then flowers are shipped throughout the world.

  2. This year the Tulip Festival in Keukenhof runs from March 21 through May 21, 2024.

  3. A diplomat from a northern European country encountered someone from the court of the ruler of Turkey. The man from Turkey was wearing a turban adorned with a picture of a tulip. They could not speak a common language. The European pointed to the symbol on the turban and asked what it was in his language. The Turkish person thought he meant the turban and replied turban. The European believed that he meant the picture of the tulip was called turban. As the terminology evolved, the Turkish word turban became tulip in western European languages.

  4. In the Netherlands tulips became so popular and rare that people put a very high value on them and they became an alternative currency. Eventually tulips depressed the value of the Dutch money.

  5. This craze for tulips was called tulip mania.

  6. The aristocrats in the Netherlands planted masses of tulips surrounding their homes to mask their body odor. You see, the Pope had said it was a sin to view the naked body. The people interpreted that to mean they were never to undress and hence, not to bathe! There were some very smelly people back in the day!

  7. Botanists created variations of the tulip that were considered very rare and thus a status symbol by the wealthy. One or a few bulbs of some of the varieties could cost more than a house in Amsterdam!

  8. Eventually people figured out they were extremely overvalued and that they could grow their own. As a result, the tulip economy crashed.


Keukenhof Gardens


Keukenhof Gardens are located in the small town of Lisse approximately 30 miles southwest of Amsterdam. You can take a bus trip from Amsterdam to the town and visit the gardens in one day. It's open for 8 weeks from mid March through mid May.


Thousands of red and yellow tulips next to a pond




Over 7 million flower bulbs donated from 100 growers, are planted annually. Forty gardeners take care of the gardens. These bulbs bloom in succession, so regardless of when you visit the gardens during this 8 week period, you will be dazzled by glorious blooms. After the tulips have bloomed, they are dug out of the ground and fed to livestock as per the request of the donors of the bulbs.


The park is huge. It covers around 32 hectares which is equivalent to 79+ acres! In addition to rows of flowering tulips in fields, the massive park is beautifully landscaped with flowers, trees, paths, rock formations, lakes, a windmill and sculptures fully integrated into the topography.


In addition to the outdoor gardens, there are enclosed buildings. One building features a massive array of orchids and other tropical flowers. The flowers are on display as small vignettes with themes varying from a London town with the iconic red phone box to an Alice in Wonderland theme.




Another building consists of hundreds of varieties of tulips on display. There is also a working windmill on the premises...great for pictures and selfies.


Nina and Bob selfie by windmill

Feast your eyes on some lovely sculptures, flowers, and settings from Keukenhof Gardens below.







Varieties of Tulips

I have never seen so many different varieties of tulips. Below is a grouping of tulips with their respected names. I hope you enjoy these pictures. Which one is your favorite?




Exploring the Enchanting Beauty of Keukenhof Tulip Festival

If you have never been to The Netherlands or Belgium, I highly recommend visiting these countries. All of the small towns are filled with beautiful flowers, lovely architecture, interesting history, and intriguing canals. This was truly a holiday of a lifetime.


If you go, I recommend that you check out not only Keukenhof Gardens, but also Amsterdam, Haarlem, The Hague, the North Sea area a short tram ride outside of The Hague, Delft, and Utrecht in The Netherlands and Bruges, Ghent, and Brussels in Belgium. You will not be disappointed!


I hope you enjoyed this post. Please share it with friends and family.


Happy Gardening,


Nina









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