This week’s journey takes me back to one of the world’s most spectacular spring displays: Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands. Located in South Holland – south of Haarlem and southwest of Amsterdam – the so-called “Garden of Europe” is a bucket list destination not to be missed!
Keukenhof dates back to the 15th century, when Countess Jacoba van Beieren (Jacqueline of Bavaria) gathered herbs, fruits and vegetables from the Keukenduin (kitchen dunes) for the kitchen of Teylingen Castle. Keukenhof Castle was built in 1641 and the estate grew to encompass over 500 acres. The castle gardens were redesigned by father-son landscape architects Jan David and Louis Paul Zocher in 1857; those gardens, arranged in the English landscape style, still constitute the basis of Keukenhof Park.
In 1949, twenty leading flower bulb growers and exporters developed a plan to use the Keukenhof estate to exhibit spring-flowering bulbs. The park opened to the public in 1950 and became an instant success, with 236,000 visitors in its inaugural season alone.
During the last 68 years, the gardens of Keukenhof have become a world-famous attraction. Each spring, between mid-March and mid-May, 7 million bulbs from over 100 participating members of the Dutch floricultural sector come to life across nearly 80 acres. An additional 500 growers also display cut flowers and potted plants in over 20 flower shows throughout the park.
The images below were captured during my visit to the gardens with my beautiful friend Anna and her son Zach in mid-May 2017. The park was more lovely than I anticipated, even relatively late in the growing season! It is truly a journey worth making on a spring trip to Europe. Please enjoy a stroll in the gardens through my lens…
Thank you for joining me on this adventure in Holland! – B. June
Next week’s journey: Megalithic Temples – Malta