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Keukenhof Gardens in Holland

Updated on July 8, 2015

Keukenhof Gardens

Each year over 7,000,000 bulbs are hand-planted to create the world's largest flower garden in the small town of Lisse (about 15 miles south of Amsterdam in the Netherlands). The mere mention of Keukenhof makes the hearts of gardeners (such as me) skip a beat.

Timing is everything when it comes to visiting the world's largest bulb garden because it is only open for 8 weeks in the Spring of each year. In 2016, it will be open from March 24th - May 16th. The peak bloom time for the spectacular display varies slightly based on the weather conditions such as temperature and amount of rain, but visiting in mid-April is usually the best bet.

Fortunately my husband indulges my love of gardening and agreed to plan our 2008 trip to Europe specifically around the blooming tulips. So we spent a glorious day in mid April perusing the gardens of Keukenhof. It is a day we won't soon forget and as luck would have it, we got blue skies. For any of you that have visited Amsterdam in the Spring, you know that those kind of days are few and far between.

I hope that you enjoy browsing our garden photos as much as we enjoyed taking them!

Keukenhof Garden History

In 1949, the mayor of Lisse along with some leading bulb exporters and flower growers created an open air flower exhibition on today's site of Keukenhof Park. Over the years, the size of the park, number and variety of bulbs, and the number of visitors has grown into the infamous garden that is loved by millions today.

Keukenhof literally means 'kitchen garden' and was so named because it was the herb garden outside the castle kitchen of Jacoba van Beieren. The herb garden along with a vast hunting area around that castle now comprise the modern Keukenhof Park grounds.

The Dutch ornamental bulb industry shows off its best bulbs during the annual park exhibit as well as in the indoor shows where they present their most beautiful cut flowers. Each year, 93 local growers and exporters supply Keukenhof with their 'cream of the crop' bulbs for planting within the garden. For a complete list of these suppliers, visit the official website.

Five of these suppliers have bulb sales points within the park where you can order Spring blooming flowers that will be mailed to you for planting in Autumn. They also sell the large Amaryllis bulbs, cut flowers, and summer bulbs that you can purchase and carry home with you. If you have a garden, what better way to increase its beauty than with tulips direct from the Netherlands!

Yay! Purple Star Award Winner

This lens was awarded a purple star by the powers that be at Squidoo. Thanks to the person that nominated it. Gardening is one of my favorite past times so visiting Keukenhof was a truly memorable experience and I'm glad that I got to share it with others.

Visiting Keukenhof

Each year, nearly 1,000,000 people ranging from locals to presidents of foreign countries to tourists flock to Keukenhof to pay tribute to the best bulb garden in the world.

In 2009, Keukenhof is scheduled to be open from March 19th - May 21st. Getting to and from the park has been made easier with public buses running directly to the park from Schipol Airport (Amsterdam's main airport) and Lisse. In addition, many bus tour companies offer Keukenhof Garden tours from Amsterdam. There is also plenty of parking if you drive directly to the garden.

Handicapped access is excellent with paved walkways and accessible bathrooms and restaurants throughout the park. Baby changing facilities are also available. There are a number of restaurants throughout the park, but we honestly did not find the food all that appealing.

Finally, be sure to check out the gift shop, they have just about any souvenir you can think off including personalized shot glasses, beautiful postcards, keychain favor gifts, wall posters, dinner placemats, and much more. We bought a gorgeous wall calendar with beautiful flower photos.

My Tips - The park covers nearly 2 acres with many walking paths, garden rooms, and pavilions to peruse. We took one of those bus tours from Amsterdam which worked out great in terms of transportation and ease of getting in and out of the park. However, they allowed only 2 hours of actual time in the park. It was NOT nearly enough time to see everything so be sure to allow more time to relax and truly soak up the beauty of the park. Also, be sure to buy a map for your visit - the park is large and can be a bit confusing. And buy your souvenirs and gift baskets or bags of bulbs on your way out of the park so you don't have to tote them all over with you.

Keukenhof Pavilions & Shows

Four indoor pavilions stand on the grounds of Keukenhof Park - Oranje Nassau Pavilion, Beatrix Pavillion, Willem Alexander Pavilion, and Juliana. Throughout the park's eight week opening, the indoor exhibitions change weekly. Growers from across the Netherlands display their flowers in the exhibitions where they are competitively judged. The best of the best come out for these competitions where prizes are awarded for a wide range of categories such as best presentation or best flower quality.

During our visit we spent a good bit of time in the Willem Alexander Pavilion where tens of thousands of tulip blooms in every possible color and variety were on display. Daffodils, azaleas, hydrangea and other flowering bulbs and shrubs were also on display, but the tulips were the real show stoppers.

Apparently in May, the Willem Alexander Pavilion hosted the largest lily flower show in the world - over 30,000 lilies were displayed.

The Lake

As you enter Keukenhof, you will not only be greeted by millions of blooms, but also by the manmade lake and meandering streams that cover a large portion of the park. The lake is home to many swans and ducks that float along without a care in the world. Children feed them from a nearby dock and a bountiful array of flowers surround them and the lake. The lake provided a stunning backdrop for our pictures.

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The Woodland Garden

With nearly 1 million visitors descending on Keukenhof within an 8 week period each year, the gardens can get very crowded - especially around the lake. So if you are looking to escape the crowds, head for the woodland garden area just Southeast of the picturesque windmill. There are countless paths meandering through the woods featuring blooming bulbs and flowering shrubs.

Climbing the nearby windmill yields great views of the park and the nearby tulip fields, but it can be quite crowded with long lines.

Sculptures & Art at Keukenhof

More than 50 artists have created 150 pieces of artwork to make the largest sculpture park in the Netherlands. These works of art blend in seamlessly with the blooming flowers throughout the park. Galerie Noordeinde carefully selected the sculptures and many of the artworks are on display in the recently renovated Juliana pavilion. Some of the photos below were taken from Flickr.

Keukenhof Garden Videos

Here are some great videos of Keukenhof gardens from YouTube.

Need A Gift For A Gardener?

Birthday - Mother's Day - Just Because

If you have someone in your life that loves gardening as much as I do, then you can't go wrong with a beautiful cookie bouquet like the one featured in the photo. Sugar cookies are decorated to look like tulips and then artfully arranged in a container to form a beautiful bouquet of flower cookies. And best of all, they taste as good as they look. There is nothing better than working in the garden, grabbing a cup of tea and a cookie, and kicking back to check out your handy work. Take it from a gardener, this gift WILL BE a hit!

Another gift option is a gardening gift basket filled with all kinds of goodies designed for a gardener. Small garden tools, seed packets, gardening gloves, and some snacks are usually included.

Add Your Comments About Keukenhof Gardens!

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    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 3 years ago from Virginia

      Beautiful lens!! It'll be featured on our Facebook today! Come and check it out!

      "The Green Thumb: A Place For Gardeners To Gather"

    • john-doornkamp profile image

      john-doornkamp 3 years ago

      We are planning to go. This is a good introduction - so thank you for a helpful and well illustrated lens.

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 4 years ago

      They look beautiful. My daughter absolutely adores flowers at the moment and I would love to take her somewher like this.

    • girlfriendfactory profile image

      girlfriendfactory 4 years ago

      What a terrific and informative lens! Great insider tips! The pictures are just beautiful!

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Absolutely gorgeous! I would love to travel there one day. Your photos are beautiful!

    • profile image

      Echo Phoenix 4 years ago

      Beautiful lens! thanks for sharing this with us :)

    • profile image

      hmommers 4 years ago

      Beautiful pictures you have added!

    • LifestyleNetwork profile image

      LifestyleNetwork 4 years ago

      lovely place...do u know when is scheduled to be open in 2013?

    • craftycollector profile image

      craftycollector 4 years ago

      Fantastic flower pictures, and lovely to see Keukenhof looking so great. It is a fantastic place to visit. I would recommend it to anyone.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      I would want to stay in this garden for days. It is so very lovely. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely place and giving me a visual vacation. Blessed.

    • profile image

      Junevaa 4 years ago

      I love the flowers!! nice lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Like this. Beautiful pictures.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Beautiful pictures. I made a lens about the top 9 things to do in the Netherlands and one of this things is de Keukenhof. http://www.squidoo.com/top-8-things-to-do-in-the-n...

    • profile image

      RuralFloridaLiving 5 years ago

      Beautiful, beautiful flowers. Thank you for such a nice lens. My sister-in-law is from Holland and she always has photos from home. Looks like such a nice place to spend a spring day. Thanks again.

    • profile image

      jtay123 5 years ago

      Never visited this garden when I used to do a lot of plant buying from the auctions in the Westlandâs. I missed out! Great lens!!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I am there now. It is so glorious. I never imagined the effect all the color would have on my soul and mind. This is a very healing place. Thank you for your tips. They were useful.

    • Persephone Abbott profile image

      Persephone Abbott 5 years ago

      I had no idea this was Jacoba van Beieren's back garden -- really after living 20 years in Holland I have to visit the gardens sooner than later!

    • Vortrek Grafix profile image

      Vortrek Grafix 5 years ago

      Been there. Very impressive. Good idea for a lens. My compliments.

    • profile image

      Lindrus 5 years ago

      Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for brightening our day with these awesome photos!

    • profile image

      Amsterdam-Apartments 5 years ago

      Keukenhof is such a beautiful place to visit for the tourists. Good review on it!

    • gemjane profile image

      gemjane 5 years ago

      Very, very beautiful! So many colors, so many pretty designs!

    • DonD LM profile image

      DonD LM 5 years ago

      Such a great lense and beautiful garden, amazing flowers. I enjoyed watching the video and the photos of the garden. Excellent lense.

    • reflectionhaiku profile image

      reflectionhaiku 5 years ago

      Stunning lens! Though flowers last only for days and weeks; your lens has captured their beauty for good. Thanks for sharing -

    • profile image

      dessertlover 6 years ago

      Wow - stunning photos! Looks like an amazing place to visit.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Absolutely beautiful! Thank you.

    • WhiteOak50 profile image

      WhiteOak50 6 years ago

      I am traveling around Squidooville and just stopped by this neighborhood and noticed this fantastic page!! So for this Memorial Day Weekend Road Trip, I wanted to leave you with a Blessing from a SquidAngel Have a safe and beautiful Memorial Day!

    • Anahid LM profile image

      Anahid LM 6 years ago

      Hi It is beautiful my husband is Dutch but I haven't see Keukenhof yet I have seen Tulip garden near Portland . Very nice video thank you. I wish you a happy Easter. Anna

    • profile image

      mauihawaii 6 years ago

      Super! Very beautiful photographs of tulips!

    • profile image

      SandyPeaks 6 years ago

      Super pictures! Tulips do give a wonderful show!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Eye poppingly beautiful lens. Happy to join your fan club!

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 6 years ago

      This would be amazing to see in real life. I can only imagine how stunning it must be. Thank you for sharing these gorgeous images!

    • TeacherSerenia profile image

      TeacherSerenia 6 years ago

      I absolutely adore tulips. Thank you for making this lens and posting your beautiful photographs of Tulips. I must remember to visit these gardens if I ever get to Amsterdam.

    • KokoTravel profile image

      KokoTravel 6 years ago

      Enchanting colors in the gardens!

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 6 years ago

      Beautiful and delightful, thank you!! :)

    • ravi551854 profile image

      ravi551854 6 years ago

      great lens and nice pictures

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Fabulous. We have a similar display in Canberra. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust - Gardens

    • NickOng profile image

      NickOng 7 years ago

      Great lens! it will definitely make it to the top 100 1 day! love your pictures! Rock On!

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Blessed by a SquiAngel :)

    • mythphile profile image

      Ellen Brundige 7 years ago from California

      Oh, that's GORGEOUS! Where I grew up in Pennsylvania, my mother ordered about 100 bulbs a year from Holland, and we filled the forest and cleared area around our house with hundreds of beautiful tulips, crocuses and daffodils. I now live in the desert of the American Southwest -- so seeing these brilliant colors, that lushness, that woodland beauty is like visual chocolate! Gorgeous. Of course, our flowers were never even a fraction as beautiful. I would love to see this garden before I die. Wow.

      Ahem. Gushing aside, I'm going to feature this lens in the Geography section of my Squidoo Museum:

      http://www.squidoo.com/squidoo-museum

      Thanks for the gorgeous photography. :)

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 7 years ago

      This will be a definite visit on my next trip to Holland. There is life outside of Amsterdam!

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 7 years ago

      Beautiful lens, and I love all the photos.

    • profile image

      americancloggie 7 years ago

      I visited the Keukenhof for the first time in April 2009. I went with my parents while they were visiting and we had a wonderful time (although the weather could have been better). Just an absolutely gorgeous place and a must-see for anyone visiting or living in the Netherlands

    • LotusMalas profile image

      LotusMalas 7 years ago

      What a gorgeous lovely place - I would love to visit there. Thank you for sharing this with us!

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      Once again, this is a fantastic lens that made me travel without leaving the home! In addition, you feature one of the specialities of my fellow Dutches - my family is half Belgian, half Dutch so, I'm honored!

      Dom.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 7 years ago from USA

      What a lovely place! Thanks for sharing it with us!

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 7 years ago

      Great lens, but you knew that :) Just wanted to remind you that this is featured on the The Netherlands Headquarters

      https://hubpages.com/travel/groups-Netherlands

      It's now transformed into a lensography and I would love it if you could show your appreciation by featuring it here, or lensrolling it or something.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Just came back by to bless this lens. Excellent work!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      What beautiful pictures! What beautiful bulbs! What a beautiful lens! Blessed by an Angel today (squidoo.com/october-blessings)

    • NatureMaven profile image

      NatureMaven 7 years ago

      Your photos are great. I enjoyed my second trip to your page even more than the first time. Happy Gardening!

    • profile image

      frans240 8 years ago

      Looks very pretty!! well done.. I am originally from Amsterdam the netherlands...

    • profile image

      GrowWear 8 years ago

      Gorgeous! Stunning photos. Thanks for sharing.

    • x3xsolxdierx3x lm profile image

      x3xsolxdierx3x lm 8 years ago

      wow....hands-down, this lens has some of the most beautiful pictures of any lens Iv'e ever visited....not sure who gave you a 4 star rating, but, hopefully i can offset that a bit with a 5 star.....great job :)

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 8 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      You're officially blessed!

    • TopStyleTravel profile image

      TopStyleTravel 8 years ago

      Splendid lens on Keukenhof Gardens! Looks like a lovely place to visit. Travelers will benefit from your sharing. Congrats on the Top 100!

    • NatureMaven profile image

      NatureMaven 8 years ago

      Great Photography! I added you in my discovery tool for my Sherwood Gardens lens.(Not published quite yet.) Happy Spring!

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 8 years ago from Upstate, NY

      Amazingly beautiful! I lensrolled this to my lens on the Albany Tulip Festival.

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 8 years ago from Upstate, NY

      The Giant Squid Greeters are kicking off a fun team challenge. You are hereby formally invited to join my team: Kab's Fab Squid Squad. I think you'd be a great addition to the Squid Squad.

    • squid-janices7 profile image
      Author

      squid-janices7 8 years ago

      Me too:) Of course, right about now I'm hoping for any sign of ANYTHING green. The gray and brown is killing me here in MN!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      wow! I would love to have these tulips in my garden. =)

    • Sarunas profile image

      Sarunas 8 years ago

      wonderful lens

      I gave you 5 stars : )

      Your are doing great job. Keep it up :)

    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 8 years ago

      I love gardens. The pictures are just beautiful! Heaven must be filled with flowers like these!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

      Absolutely gorgeous, I want to go! I cannot wait for our tulips...that is a little while yet. I would be pleased if you added your lens to the links plexo on my new lens, The Canadian Tulip Festival".

      Brenda

    • profile image

      poutine 8 years ago

      I am so in love with the picture of The Woodland Garden . I hope

      to visit one day.

    • squid-janices7 profile image
      Author

      squid-janices7 8 years ago

      Hi Lizzy - I know what you mean. We lived in VA for 13 years where I couldn't grow tulips either, but daffodils were fabulous there. Now that we've moved back to MN, I'm enjoying the tulips again. Of course, here the daffodils don't do so well:)

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      I love tulips but they don't grow well down here. They look good the first year, pitiful the second, and die by the third. My mother (Minnesota) plants tulips and then doesn't have to mess with them again. They show up every spring and bloom so pretty.

      Great lens

      Lizzy

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great introduction & lovely pictures :)

    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 8 years ago from London

      Great lens - 5* plus your request to be added into my Great Gardens of the World Group is hereby approved! :)

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      Stunning... I have several photos from my own travels to Holland, but they're nothing like this! Welcome to All Things Travel. I'm also giving your gorgeous lens a Squid Angel Blessing.