The International Writers
Sprng Tulip Garden
largest Spring garden in the world
Marianne de Nazareth
the weekend and with spring out in all her glory, we the Erasmus
Mundus Masters in Journalism students decided to see Amsterdams
famous spring garden- The Keukenhof Lisse
"Take a metro
to Schipol and in the arrivals lobby we can buy our ticket to Keukenhof,"
said Saraswati Munningar one of my classmates. The gardens are located
in Lisse, and was apparently the idea of the then Mayor in 1949. The
initial idea was purely commercial, he wanted an open air garden where
exporters of tulip bulbs could showcase their hybrid varieties. Buyers
could walk around at leisure and choose the variety that caught their
eye, as every variety is named. A deep pink was named Grand Style, a
couple of deep reds were Barbados and Calypso and an Orange which I
loved most of all was called Miss Holland.
Almost 60 years later, this spring extravaganza draws hundreds of tourists
from all over the world to its spectacular display. Easily running into
millions of bulbs the garden is a veritable photographers delight.
Even the grass along the side of the displays are planted in two shades
of green, designed to photograph perfectly. Picturesque little streams
had swans and ducks in them, making every shot picture card perfect.
And since spring brings new life, little goslings too paddled along
in a straight line behind mum in the streams. We ran amok with our digital
cameras shooting everything in sight. The total number of photos between
the five of us could have easily run up to 400 pictures each!
The Keukenhof is
huge, spread over 32 hectares with not only tulips, but also hyacinths,
daffodils and other spring flowers in the display. Its easy to
get lost, wandering around the idyllic park, letting your senses feast
on the beauty around you for a whole day. And what catches the eye are
the striking works of art which are also found around the park.
Cafes serving hot meals are set within the park, so set out early and
make a picnic of the trip. The park is located between the towns of
Hillegom and Lisse south of Haarlem in Zuid Holland, southwest of Amsterdam.
For visitors the best way to see it is taking the bus and buying a ticket
which includes the entrance into the park.
So, if you are in Amsterdam between March to mid May, a trip to the
Keukenhof Gardens is a must. You can buy a bag of your favourite variety
of tulip; then go home and check if you do have that proverbial green
thumb after all.
© Marianne de Nazareth May 2007
Marianne's Keukenhof pictures here
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