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Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Keukenhof goes British

If you love tulips, a visit to the spring gardens of Holland’s Keukenhof should be in your diary for 2013. From March 21 to May 20, the 32 hectares will be showcasing the very best bulbs for the 63rd International Flower Festival. Every year Keukenhof chooses a different country as the central theme.

This year it’s the United Kingdom, and work is well in hand recreating the London skyline. It takes around two months for the thirty gardeners to plant around seven million flower bulbs, and the results are truly spectacular.

I've been to Keukenhof  a couple of times now - it's at Lisse just outside Amsterdam - and found one day is really not enough to  appreciate all that's there. 
As well as the outdoor displays, there are pavilions with orchids, anthuriums, bromeliads, and the world’s largest lily show. Plus lots of ideas for flower arranging and displays, alongside restaurants and shops selling bulbs and souvenirs. Inspirational!

Did you know the sultans of the Ottoman Empire wore a tulip on their turbans? The word tulip comes from the Persian word for turban, tulipan.

The Keukenhof Festival is not the only reason to visit Holland next year. Amsterdam is planning an exciting programme of attractions, including a  celebration of 400 years of the city's canals, the reopening of the Rijksmuseum, 40 years of the Van Gogh museum, the centenary of the Frans Hals museum and a major exhibition about Peter the Great.
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