Make My Monday Pretty — Keukenhof Gardens of Netherlands

Monday, April 4, 2016

Hello again my Lovlies!  It's good to be back.  I was deathly sick last week and didn't feel like posting, but good news I'm back. 

My husband and I went for a walk yesterday afternoon and I noticed all beautiful spring gardens.  Right then I knew that's what I was going to post for Make My Monday Pretty. 

Keukenhof, The Most Beautiful Spring Gardens in the World (Story and photographs from

Spring hardly gets any prettier than in The Netherlands. Located amongst fragrant bulb fields, Keukenhof Gardens with their carpets of insanely gorgeous blooms are the most beautiful spring gardens in the world. 

Keukenhof is also known as the Garden of Europe, and they are the world's second largest flower gardens after Dubai Miracle Garden.

But Keukenhof is nothing short of a miracle either. It boasts a kaleidoscope of over 7 million bulbs, including tulips, daffodils and hyacinths over a 32 hectares area.
We had the pleasure to visit it this year and we were enchanted with all the beauty that filled our eyes. This is a flower lover's paradise!

Keukenhof Gardens only open to the public for 8 weeks per year - in spring - and during this time period, the epicenter of Netherlands moves here. Over 1 million people visited in 2014 alone!

Each year, the bulbs are planted following a unique design.

In 2014 the theme was 'Holland'. It was celebrated with a 60,000 tulip and muscaris mosaic depicting an Amsterdam canal scene with a tulip as large as a canal house. The tulip symbolised tulip mania - period in the Dutch Golden Age during which tulip bulb prices reached extraordinarily high levels and then suddenly collapsed.

The theme for 2015 will be Van Gogh, celebrating 125 years from the death of the famous Dutch painter.

Honestly, we were surprised to find out that all this planting, care-taking and harvesting work is done by only 30 gardeners!!

Keukenhof Gardens are made out of 7 inspirational gardens, including a Japanese country garden, a contemporary Spring Meadow and a historic garden, home to old tulip varieties.

The gardens are so large and so pretty, that we actually decided we needed to visit two days in a row to actually give our souls all the time they needed to soothe their hunger for spring and beauty.

As it happens when I love something very much, I had this urge to 'take it home with me'. And I'm not talking about photos here. 7 million bulbs, and believe me, I took a picture of each and every one of them! I'm rather talking about etching this images of beauty in my memory forever.

I can't imagine someone not loving it here. There are treasure hunts for kids and petting animals, artworks that blend with the rivers of flowers in bloom, boat cruises starting from the century old mill and through the nearby bulb fields, pavilions with incredible flower and plant shows that can easily inspire and stimulate creativity.

We had the chance to admire breathtaking orchids, stylish flower arrangements and cute designs carefully thought.

However, the most memorable encounter was with the intriguing rainbow rose. The rainbow roses have their petals artificially coloured by splitting their stem and dipping each part of it in different coloured water. The colours are then drawn into the petals resulting in a multicoloured rose.
And just outside the gardens, you can rent a bike and go explore the nearby bulb fields on your own. Just ask for the best routes to follow.

A brief history

The history of Keukenhof Gardens starts back in the 15th century, when the area was still a piece of untouched nature, used for hunting and herb gathering for the nearby castle's kitchen - hence the name Keukenhof ("Kitchen Garden").
Back then, these lands were owned by Countess Jacoba van Beieren, an interesting woman who lived a very turbulent life and not a moment of dullness. She married four times, spent a few years in prison, lived in England for some time in exile and had as favourite pastime the art of war. She died by 35 of tuberculosis, and though it seems she didn't have much in common with the delicate spring flowers that grow at Keukenhof today, she is still fondly remembered.

Four centuries passed until the countess successors decided to ask Zocher - the landscape architects responsible for the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, to design a garden around their castle. This is how the English landscape garden was born. 

Eventually, at the middle of the last century, ten flower bulb growers and exporters created a showcase for the flower industry here, on the gentle rolling grounds of Keukenhof Gardens, with the English landscape garden as a basis.

Nowadays, the seven million flower bulbs are supplied completely free of charge by 100 exhibitors.

How to get to Keukenhof Gardends from Amsterdam

There are various tour companies that will take you to Keukenhof Gardens and back, but they usually only let you enjoy the gardens for 3 hours or so. If you want to discover the gardens at your own peace, you can use the public transport. 

You can either take the bus 197 from Leidseplein to Schiphol Airport or take the train from the Central Station to Schiphol Airport.

From Shiphol, take the bus to Keukenhof from outside the terminal. At peak hour, the waiting line for taking this bus can be quite long. Buses leave from the airport to Keukenhof every few minutes, but they are in very high demand, so allowing yourself enough time to visit the gardens is a wise decision.
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Hello again Lovlies.  I love the aforementioned story so much I decided not to change a word of it (not even correct the spelling and grammatical errors [lol]). Hope you enjoyed it.

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