Likely as well known as the cherry blossoms of Japan are the tulip gardens in The Netherlands. The mind-boggling array of colours explode across the Dutch landscape every spring. Majestic purples, regal reds, bright yellows, and eye-popping whites dot tulip fields across the countryside from Haarlem to The Hague. The most famous destination to see the flowers is at the Keukenhof Garden near Lisse. Now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and most countries have instructed their citizens to remain under lockdown for the foreseeable future, here are some excellent ways to view The Netherlands’ tulips online.
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Spring has arrived in The Netherlands with the tulip season. While they do grow across the countryside, they’re also famously cultivated at Keukenhof Gardens, one of the world’s largest flower gardens. It is one of the top places to see the flowers each year and normally attracts a huge number of visitors. After the Dutch government closed public places to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the famous Keukenhof Flower Exhibit is all set to move the tulip festival online.
Why Is The Tulip Season So Important In The Netherlands?
Tulips were first imported to The Netherlands in the 16th century, and the people quickly became obsessed with the flower. ‘Tulipmania’ reached its peak in the 17th century, when a single bulb could fetch as much as a canal-side house in Amsterdam.
The tulip is also ingrained in the culture of the country, inspiring countless artists over the years. However, much of the international appeal of the bloom also lies in the fact that they are so easy to grow. The tulip bulb can be transported to any garden or home, transforming them into a bit of the Dutch countryside. Today it is a major part of the Dutch horticulture economy, with over two billion tulip bulbs produced every year.
What Happens At The Keukenhof Gardens?
The Keukenhof Gardens is a famous tulip garden in the Netherlands located near Lisse that dates back to 1857. Gardeners at the park plant over seven million bulbs by hand each September to prepare for an annual eight-week Keukenhof Flower Exhibit extravaganza at the world’s largest flower and tulip garden. The gardens cover 32 hectares, and are open for just eight weeks from March to May, when its fields are in bloom. Apart from 800 varieties of tulips, they also plant daffodils, hyacinths, croci, and other flowers.
The gardens are set around the Keukenhof Castle, so there are also canal boat rides, playgrounds, restaurants, food trucks, and traditional windmills to explore, giving it a truly festive atmosphere. More than a million tourists visit each year to catch a glimpse of the garden, and flower shows.
What’s Happening In 2020?
As the Dutch government has closed public places to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the famous Keukenhof Flower Exhibit has been cancelled this year. While this is a blow for many visitors, there is a silver lining.
The festival has launched “Keukenhof Virtually Open” taking visitors on a virtual tour of The Netherlands’ tulips, showing off the colourful grounds. You can view the best of The Netherlands’ tulips online. There are also guided videos where Gardener Owen shows viewers the most beautiful hyacinths in the park, and gardener Daan explores the Beach Garden, Mill Forest and the fountain.
Why You Should View The Netherlands’ Tulips Online
In the months leading up to spring, gardeners at the Keukenhof Gardens have put in a lot of hard work into planting millions of tulips to provide visitors with a beautiful experience. The park is already blooming, and as the Keukenhof website itself says, “If people cannot come to Keukenhof, we will bring Keukenhof to the people.” While visiting the gardens in person must wait until next year, you can still enjoy The Netherlands’ tulips online. Check out Keukenhof’s website here and its YouTube channel here. Stay home and stay safe!