Destinations Magazine

Keukenhof Flower Fields

By Amsterdam City Tours

Keukenhof flower fieldsSpring means flowers in the Netherlands and nowhere in the country is that more visible than the Keukenhof gardens. The world's largest flower field opens on 22 March, kicking off the season of rebirth with over seven million blossoming buds.

The Keukenhof is a former 15th century hunting ground, converted into a garden expanse in 1949. Since then it has been the iconic image of flowers in Holland, most notably the tulip. It is here that tulips grow in fields of rainbow colors, along canal waterways and with windmills watching over.

But Keukenhof doesn't just do tulips. Their famed gardens boast lilies, hyacinths, orchids, azaleas, and many more. The skilled growers here are famous for their craft, but this year tops them all. According to CNN news, the Keukenhof is the one of the world's top destinations for 2012.

Keukenhof flower fields
In addition to their stunning annual flower sculptures and unique displays, this year Keukenhof pays special tribute to Poland. In their Poland: Heart of Europe theme, the gardens acknowledge the Polish support of the flower industry and the growing influence the Eastern European country is having on the industry.

"The Netherlands has much reason to thank the tens of thousands of Polish migrant workers who work especially in the flower sector. We chose the theme two years ago, because Poland is a very important trading partner for flowers and bulbs. It's our seventh-largest export market," said Keukenhof's Wim van Meerfield.

Keukenhof flower fields
In the center of this floral fantasy stands the Keukenhof Castle.  The impressive mansion was once home to the Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut and has been handed down to owner after owner for the past 500 years. A visit to the grounds adds depth and history to the Keukenhof, and reveals its humble beginnings as the Countess's herb garden.

Indeed, the magnificence of these gardens begins and ends with its agriculture. With a private tour, you go smack in the middle of the fields and learn about Holland's long legacy as a flower power. Stand among the kaleidoscopic of colors and soak up the start of spring!

Keukenhof flower fields

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