The Keukenhof

April 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

No, this isn’t a made up place. It is in Holland and according to Wikipedia it is the world’s largest flower garden, with over 700,000 bulbs planted each year.

That’s a lot of bulbs. An irresistible amount by my standards. So on a rainy April morning, Mr. H and I left our cozy hotel room in Amsterdam to see what we could see. And even though it was early in the season, which lasts about five weeks, we saw quite a bit.

First, we wandered into what I can only describe as a “Fairy Princess Garden”. While it wasn’t yet in full bloom, I could not help but imagine myself wandering around this place in one of those purple velvet princess dresses and the pointy hat with coordinating chiffon flowing from the top…

After the wandering and looking up wistfully at the sky, I would jump over this lovely rose-covered wall to meet, oh, I don’t know, some kind of Prince disguised as a Beast or something. But let’s face it, I don’t jump over walls and I have Mr. H, who I wouldn’t trade for anything. But if you get your Princess Head on, I am sure you get where I am going here.

See? These roses are right out of a story book. Total Princess Flowers.

Onward we walked, and found ourselves in a little petting zoo. There were adorable rabbits, fabulous guinea pigs, a pony (!), that cool pig from the post below and several lovely lambs. I haven’t a clue as to where these animals spend the other 47 weeks of the year, but they seemed to be having a fine time while we were visiting.

I have to say, these two have some seriously chic coloration going on. The photo does not really capture it, but trust me, they are beautiful.

At this point, Mr. H and I were beginning to wonder if maybe we were going to miss the insanity that is 700,000 bulbs in bloom. While I don’t think we got the Total Bulb Experience, the fine keepers of The Keukenhof managed to deliver on some serious floral viewing in their rather extraordinary greenhouse.

One bloom in a sea of tulips.

This is a real tulip, not CGI trickery.

These were almost iridescent.

And these reminded me of some Van Gogh paintings I saw earlier in the week. They are also oh-so-lusty-and-gorgeous, no?

Seriously, how do they get that red outline on these yellow tulips? They were stunning.

And The Keukenhof didn’t just have tulips…

Get me a flowing summer dress in this print, pronto!

Once we left the greenhouse, we were able to wander around the rest of the garden where the cherry blossoms were showing off their stuff and the winding trails promised days and days of blooms ahead…

(With my Princess Head on, I was seeing swans here.)

Aside from the amazing plantings, what I loved most about The Keukenhof (which I can now type without checking the spelling!) is the notion of the enormous effort taken to create something ephemeral simply because it is beautiful and makes people happy. There were many moments on our trip where I found myself marveling at experiences just like this one, where the care and pride taken in each and every endeavor made me sit up, put down my iPhone and appreciate real, live Life.



(Photos: Some Cozy Night, with my most excellent new camera. Thanks, Mr. H!)

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