Keukenhof Gardens Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof Gardens

The Keukenhof or the Garden of Europe is the world’s best known spring garden. It is famous for its stunning tulips and inspirational displays of colour as for its horticultural precision. Keukenhof is open to the public for three months each spring, it receives hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world.
The Garden of Europe is situated in the middle of tulip growing territory, between Leiden and Haarlem, in the village of Lisse - a small town at the center of Holland's (dune and bulb) region, which is named for its the floriculture and Holland's coastal sand dunes. Keukenhof is easily reached by a 20-minute train ride from Amsterdam, but those who plan to spend more than a day at the gardens will find a few accommodations within walking distance.
The largest bulb park in the world and covers over 30 hectares and 15 kilometres of footpaths with 7 million flower bulbs planted by hand every year. The result is simply awesome – even photos cannot quite do justice to the beauty of multi-colored tulips. Keukenhof is a must-see if you are visiting the Netherlands during the tulip season.
The name Keukenhof means kitchen yard or garden. In the 15th century, it served to provide herbs for the kitchen of the castle of Jacoba van Beieren. After the decease of Jacoba van Beieren Keukenhof fell into the hands baron and baroness Van Pallandt eho invited landscape architects Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher, who had also worked on the Vondelpark, to design the grounds around the castle. The garden was established in 1949 by the then-mayor of Lisse. The idea was to present a flower exhibit where flower bulb growers and exporters all over the country and Europe could show off their hybrids – and help the Dutch export industry.
Besides tulips, the Keukenhof celebrates other bulbous plants as well. There is a great display of stunning orchids, narcissus, lilies, hyacinths and daffodils. There are many garden sculptures and over 2,500 trees, many of which are very old.
The gardens are designed in the classic English landscape style mixed with many other garden styles; for example the Japanese country garden, the Historic Gardens which including culinary and medicinal herbs and very old tulip varieties, the Nature Gardens where can be found bulbous plants with perennials and shrubs. These spectacular gardens may only be explored on foot therefore cycling in the park is not permitted. But the breath-taking, colorful surroundings however can be explored by bicycle.  For only €10,00 per day you may enjoy the long swaths of brilliantly colored tulip fields. There are five signposted and marked routes, ranging from 5km to 35 km long. Also there is available a boat tour that lasts 50 to 75 minutes and guarantees you nice photographs; thea boats sail through the beautiful surrounding Dutch landscape.
Keukenhof is scheduled to be open from 22 March to 19 May 2012.The grounds of Castle Keukenhof are open all year long and are frequently used for festivals such as Castlefest, the Ladies Winternight, and Christmas Fair.
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