LENTETUIN ('SPRING GARDEN') OF EUROPE
In the spring Keukenhof is naturally THE flower attraction of Holland. In the 32 ha park millions of bulb flowers bloom in all colors of the rainbow for eight weeks. This year marks the first time thousands of tulips and other bulb flowers can be admired in the new expansion area including the Oranje Nassau Pavilion.
The flower bulbs for Keukenhof are supplied by some one hundred companies. The bulbs are planted by about thirty gardeners from the end of September until the first frost. Keukenhof has been using layered planting for the past ten years to ensure that plenty of color can be seen throughout the entire park from March until May. This means that the bulbs are planted on top of each other. First come the late-blooming tulips, deepest in the ground, above them the early-blooming tulips, above them the crocuses. This way, colors show three times at the same spot in the park, from early in the season until late in the season. In addition to the millions of flower bulbs that are planted, more than 6,500 kilos of grass seed are sown each year in order to cultivate a fresh green lawn beside the colorful splendor of the flowers.
Art at Keukenhof
Art plays a prominent role in Keukenhof. It creates harmony between nature and culture. A permanent sculpture exhibit can be admired in the park, showing works of art like 'Het Ruiterbeeld' (The Horseman Statue) by P. Koning, 'Dynamisch Evenwicht' (Dynamic equilibrium) by C. van Kervel, also called 'Witte Bollen' (White bulbs), 'De Kangaroe' (The Kangaroo) by Vermeer, 'Het Dolfijntje' (The Little Dolphin) by B. De Clerq-Brinkgreve, 'Zesdelige Vorm' (Six-part Form) by G. Bruning and 'Gehurkte Vrouw' (Squatting Woman) by N. Jonk. There is also a sculpture trail in the park. In addition to the sculptures, painting and photo exhibits are shown in different pavilions.
The flower presentations in Keukenhof are not only there to be admired. They are also meant as a source of inspiration, so that people can start working with bulbs themselves. In different gardens the themes of color, smell, renaissance, abstract style, water and borders are each elaborated in a specific garden, on a small and simple scale that can be applied at home. Questions about planting spring and summer bulbs and perennials, and also about starting and maintaining a garden can be answered at the information stand. In the Nature garden, bulb and tuberous plants are combined with perennials in a natural setting. These bulbs and perennials run wild, creating a natural equilibrium. That also happens in the Music Garden, fit into the area between the old mill and the Koningin (Queen) Beatrix Pavilion, somewhat removed from the busy trails. In this garden which contains, among other things, some special bulb plants, music can be heard along the wood-chip trail and the pond. In the Historical Garden, through wooden doors, visitors step back into history to the time of the Middle Ages. In this 'secret' walled garden all types of special old bulb pants and kitchen herbs are cultivated. Sometimes it seems that Jacoba van Beieren herself may step into the garden with her entourage. Besides there is a maze at the expansion area. The Japanese Garden in Keukenhof, laid out in the vicinity of the mill. It is a modern garden, with a much more playful design then traditional Japanese gardens. The layout is done in close cooperation with the Hanakairo Park in Tottori, Japan and the garden is a symbol of the 400-year-old relationship between Japan and Holland. During Zomerhof 2000 the Japanese Garden has been officially opened.
Keukenhof features numerous attractions for children. The Bollebozen (clever clogs) route, takes the younger visitors on a fun-filled quest of questions and trivia that will make them true clever clogs. The route pamphlets are free and can be obtained at ticket or information counters. Children who return the questions to any of the information counters can pick up their surprise gift. There is also in the park a labyrinth, a play meadow and an animal pasture.
In the spring, an abundance of flowers is not only found outdoors at Keukenhof. In the different pavilions all types of flower exhibits can be admired, the Flower Parades. The permanent Orchid Exhibit in the Koningin Beatrix Pavilion where more species of bamboo can be found.
For more information go to: Spring Flower Parades
Six bulb outlets can be found in the park during spring, where visitors can order a bulb package they can put together themselves. These are automatically shipped in October. In addition, two flower shops offer a wide assortment of cut flowers. In the park there are also countless shops with an extended assortment of souvenirs of Keukenhof and Holland. Various photo accessories are also available here.
To take a moment to quietly enjoy all impressions of the spring show, visitors may go to one of our restaurants or several outdoor buffets in the park.
Flower Bulb Market
The 28th version of the National Flower Bulb Market will be held in the Oranje Nassau Pavilion and the expansion area of Keukenhof. In October these are transformed into a great market. Visitors can buy flower bulbs at old Dutch façades and they can get extensive information from the sales people, usually the growers themselves. Besides flower bulbs there is also a wide selection of unusual shrubs, perennials, houseplants and garden tools. In addition, there are various experts available to give advice on gardening and plants to those wishing to know more about gardens and gardening.
History of Keukenhof
In the 15th century, the area where Keukenhof is now located consisted of woods and dunes. Here game was hunted by the inhabitants of the Teylingen castle, the remains of which can still be seen. From 1401 to 1436 this estate belonged to the Countess of Holland, Jacoba van Beieren. It was her court to sojourn, to hunt and to gather herbs for the castle's kitchen. Hence the name Keukenhof (kitchen garden).
The park which forms the basis of the current Keukenhof was designed in 1840 by the horticultural architects Zochter, father and son. They also designed the Vondelpark in Amsterdam. The beautiful Beukenlaan (Beech Lane) with its majestic trees originates from this period. They are the oldest trees present in the Keukenhof. A lot of attention is paid to the trees in the park. For example, every 5 years a small airplane flies over the park to take infra-red pictures of the trees. This way, all of the trees in the park can be checked to see if they are still healthy.
The flower garden of Keukenhof was started in 1949 at the initiative of the mayor of Lisse at that time, Mr. Lambooy. He did this in cooperation with a dozen of prominent flower bulb growers and exporters from the area surrounding the village. Together they developed the idea for an open-air flower exhibition, in order to be able to show the consumer the wide range of flower bulbs. In the first year Keukenhof was open, more than 236,000 people visited the flower garden. In the past few years this number of annual visitors has grown at an exceptional rate of between 800,000 and 900,000, among them many 'VIPs'. Our own royal family, American president Eisenhower, British queen Elizabeth, and Hillary Clinton have visited the Keukenhof. Together, all these visitors ensure that Keukenhof is one of the top three most photographed sights in the world.
Not only a lot of flora, but also much fauna can be seen in Keukenhof. In addition to the pasture animals, more than 30 different kinds of breeding birds can be found. The swans in the pond are leased annually and return to their owner after the season.
Keukenhof is easily accessible for partially disabled persons (wheelchair accessible restrooms are available). Wheelchairs and strollers are available for free, but Keukenhof charges a sum of NLG 10.00 for electrical wheelchairs. Timely reservation is necessary, phone: +31-(0)252-465555.
Dogs are allowed at Keukenhof provided they are kept on a leash. Dogs are not allowed in the pavilions.
Keukenhof has four self-service restaurants and a poffertjes (a Dutch specialty) restaurant. In addition, there are five sunny terraces offering outside buffet dining. Keukenhof Restaurants offer various possibilities for every touring party, from coffee with pastries or a sandwich lunch to a three-course menu. Advanced reservations for groups are required. For further information: Keukenhof Restaurants, phone: +31-(0)252-465.555 or email@example.com
There is a bank building at each entrance of the park, where visitors can exchange foreign currency. Bills can be paid by Visa or Eurocard/Mastercard. In the center of the park a PIN cash machine is available. Foreign currency is accepted at the restaurants.
Information Centre and first-aid
All entrances of Keukenhof have an information desk. Here visitors can obtain information about the park as well as general tourist information. There is a first-aid station in the middle of the park
In the spring Keukenhof 2001 is open daily from March 22 through May 24 2001, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (admission booths open until 6:00 p.m.).
Adults NLG 20.00 per person
Children (ages 4-12) NLG 10.00 per person
65+ NLG 17.50 per person
Parking fee NLG 7.50 per car.
For more detailed information about group rates (minimum 20 persons) and restaurant facilities for groups: firstname.lastname@example.org
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