Keukenhof: a Springtime Showcase
As Susan J. Bissonette puts it, “An optimist is the human personification of spring.”
No other season excites me quite as springtime does—it’s like an occasion that we prepare for, there is excitement as we watch its beauty unfold, we cherish it as its splendor lingers. As soon as winter’s gloom dwindles away, we sense the smell of fragrant flowers as they bloom. We all know of flowers’ aesthetic and therapeutic effects; men give it to women as gifts of affection, we decorate our homes and gardens with it, we bring them to the sick, we photograph them and we wear them.
One place that stages springtime beauty at its best is the Keukenhof. Translated as kitchen garden in Dutch, Keukenhof houses about 7 million flower bulbs yearly in a 32-hectare land in Lisse, Netherlands. Keukenhof is no less than a springtime showcase, it is Europe’s pride and one of the world’s largest flower gardens. While it lasts for only less than a month, visitors from all over the world come here to treat their eyes to a feast of beautiful, winding gardens that make it difficult to leave. I could’ve totally sat down by the lake all day, read a book or just drown myself in the tranquility of my surroundings. Walking around here feels like floating in floral Nirvana. I saw all sorts of colors, shapes, and sizes—like tulips as big as my hand! There is no shortage of oohs and aahs at every turn, and every visitor can be found taking hundreds of photos of the flowers more than any Hollywood figure has been photographed.
Besides serving as a park for tourists and locals alike, Keukenhof serves as an international exhibition of landscaping skills where growers from all over Europe could display their botanic creations, from 800 varieties of tulips to hybrids, colorful shrubs, ornamental bulbs and perennials–whereafter they shall be harvested and exported to your country and mine. Once your senses get to a point of visual saturation, head to their pavilions, animal enclosures, fountains, floats and playgrounds where there will be entertainment for all ages and interests (each year features a unique theme so you never feel you’ve seen it all at once!)—be it a boat ride, good food or relaxing music. Keukenhof is definitely a family (or couple or solo, it doesn’t really matter!) affair not to be missed this spring! Tot ziens!