My visit to Keukenhof started with an early, cold start to the day catching a bus over to the gardens. The queues were huge but moved really quickly and when I got to the garden my press pack and lunch vouchers (benefits hey) were waiting for me with the friendly staff at the information desk.
As I walked through the gates, there was a feast for the eyes immediately! There was no easing into this garden, there were no secret corners, or discoveries only some intrepid travellers find. Its ALL there, for everyone to see! Every pathway lined with Tulips, reflections in the water of Tulips, beds and borders of Tulips, containers with Tulips, shops with Tulips. Each variety planted on mass in rows, swathes, boxes, circles - you name it. Tulips are everywhere.
Of course thats what Keukenhof is famed for, but I still don't think you realise just how many Tulips we are talking about until you visit and see it for yourself. I mean, there are actually 7 million flowers there!! To break up the Tulips subtly in places there are trees and greener than green lawns, plus other spring bulbs such as Muscari, Narcissi, Camassia and in the buildings with restaurants and shops you can also find show exhibitions which included Alstromeria, Canna Lily, Hostas (probably the most perfect ones I have ever seen), Oriental Lilies and clearly a love for Kalanchoe, there were plenty to be seen with their pretty little colourful flowers.
Basically if you love Spring you should go. I took so many photos I don't even know what to do with them. I noted so many Tulip varieties I lost count and can't possibly decide which was my favourite and I am totally inspired to plant many many more at the allotment.
Someone asked me how Keukenhof manage to keep Tulips blooming for 8 weeks...well thats taking a layered approach so they plant in abundance early, mid and late season Tulips so there is always something in bloom when the garden is open. All of the earlier varieties had finished and been deadheaded when I was there but some of the mid season and all of the late season where stunningly colourful.
Around the Keukenhof and in the region of Lisse, the Tulip fields can also be discovered. You only need to instagram for photos to see how beautiful they are. When I arrived, most of the fields closer to the Keukenhof had been cut due to a few weeks of warm weather meaning the Tulips were all over by then...but I see that just as an excuse to go back!
So a few favourites - although very hard to choose are:
Tulipa 'Cummins', 'Rosy Diamond Pipi', 'Vancover', 'Holland Chic', 'Hocus Pocus', 'Menton', 'Black Hero', 'Vampire', 'Joop', 'Sonnet' - see I told you I couldn't choose!!
Flights with KLM were super easy and there are so many buses to the gardens and of course Uber, its easy peasy - you must go!