Dutch showcase is an antidote to winter weather





These photos show the magnificent gardens of Keukenhof, which are the showcase for the Dutch bulb industry.


Holland’s world-famous spring gardens, the Keukenhof, will be in full bloom again when it opens its gates officially on March 21, the first day of spring.

This year marks the third centenary of the birth of the Swedish physician and botanist Carolus Linnaeus. Keukenhof chose this theme to accentuate the vital role that Linnaeus played in the world of bulb cultivation. To this very day, tulips are named according to a classification system developed by Linnaeus in the 18th century.

The theme will be repeated through many different shapes and forms throughout the park. Blue and yellow will be the predominant tones in many of the plant arrangements. An inspirational garden based on Sweden’s national colours and exhibitions of Swedish art will also be on display. The theme was launched a few months ago when a group of children planted bulbs for the mosaic of Pippi Longstocking, the heroine from the children’s books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. The huge portrait of Pippi will blossom this spring.

The 80-acre park, located one hour from Amsterdam and renowned for the millions of tulips, narcissi, hyacinths and other bulb flowers, will be open daily to the public from March 22 to May 20, from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Entrance fee is 13 Euro (approx. CDN $20) for adults and 6 Euro (approx. CDN $9) for children.

Keukenhof can be reached by train and bus, or by car. E-tickets can be ordered via the website during certain times of the year. See www.keukenhof.com.