Exploring the beauty of Keukenhof Gardens

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The landscape beauty at the highest level, one of the wonders of color and nature that you cannot miss if you visit the Netherlands in spring.

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One of the ways these gardens are called is the Gardens of Europe or the most beautiful gardens in the world, all of these names show off what you will find if you visit Keukenhof. I would define it as beauty and good taste at the highest level. A floral spectacle of aromas, colors and landscape that will surely captivate you. 

These gardens are located in the Netherlands, in the city of Lisse. The area that the park occupies is about 32 hectares in the shape of a square, where you will find a lake, canals, forests with a great variety of trees, countless paths and trails that run through the area, so that you have an idea of more than 15 km, of which it is not necessary to travel all of them; also: bridges, walkways, museums, fountains, works of art... Above all, flowers of many varieties and colors: Roses, Narcissus, Jasmine, Gladioli, Orchids... and the queen of gardens, the Tulip.

 History of Keukenhof 

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The land where the park is currently located belonged to Countess Jacob of Bavaria in the 15th century, she used it for hunting, part of it was the kitchen garden of Teylingen Castle. These lands were purchased in 1641 by the captain of the Dutch East India Company, Adriaen Maertensz Block, on which he built Keukenhof Castle.

In 1857, Baron and Baroness Van Pallandt commissioned landscape architect Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher to redesign the park and grounds surrounding the castle. They designed them in the English style, being the design basis of the current gardens.

Keukenhof Gardens was founded in 1949 by a consortium of bulb growers and flower wholesalers to showcase their products and support the export industry. The garden was opened to the public in 1950, where it was a great success, receiving more than 200,000 visitors the first year.

 Current structure and description of the Keukenhof Gardens 

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The park is subdivided into four large areas, which are named after the Dutch royal family of the Oranje:

  • Oranje Nassau Pavilion, in this venue decoration experts present floral arrangements and decorations following the chosen theme of the year.
  • Willem Alexander Pavilion, with more than 6,000 m2, is the place where the “flower shows” are held each year.
  • Koningin Beatrix Pavilion, the largest exhibition of orchids in the world is on display, with more than 1,000 m2 of exhibition dedicated to these beautiful flowers. 
  • Koningin Juliana Pavilion, this venue explains the history of the tulip and how to grow it.

One of the busiest places in the gardens is the mill, which is more than 100 years old. If you go up to the viewpoint, you can enjoy the wonderful color of the fields that surround the gardens, full of tulips of different colors.

Throughout the park you will find different restaurants, bars and areas where you can have a picnic, nestled in beautiful corners, full of flowers and tulips that surround them. One of the best ways to visit the park is with a large barge that travels through the canals, they call it the “Whisper Walk”, to get a place you will have to go early, since there is no way to reserve it in advance. There are also areas designed for children: The petting zoo, the treasure hunt, the maze and the playground. For the little ones, Miffy's park.

Keukenhof Gardens are a true paradise for nature and photography lovers. The park offers a great diversity of landscapes, colors and aromas that change every week depending on the flowering. Each year a different theme is chosen and flower growers and designers are invited to create spectacular arrangements using tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and other varieties.

 When to visit the Keukenhof Gardens? 

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Keukenhof Gardens are only open to the public from mid-April to mid-May. There are, within this short visiting season, three different flowering periods:

  • First period: Since the first day of opening, the park has many blooming flowers. It has great shows inside the pavilions with many tulips in bloom. Outside the daffodils and crocuses are in bloom.
  • Second period: It is the time when the hyacinths and the first tulips bloom outside, which mingle with the daffodils and crocuses already in full bloom. Inside the color show continues.
  • Third period: In the last period, the tulips outside are at their highest point. The trees have green leaves in full splendor. Spectacular flowers are still found inside the pavilions.

My recommendation, the best days to visit it are the first days of May, if you can choose the visiting hours, the first hours of the morning or the last hours of the afternoon, it is when the sunlight offers us the best light, to enjoy this spectacle of colors. Opening and closing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Report sponsored by PICTOREM

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