Keukenhof means "kitchen court" - these fields used to be part of a castle land and were used as the growing land for the food and herbs for the kitchen - so that is where the name of this beautiful flower garden comes from!
Keukenhof is only open for a couple of months a year, typically from mid-March until mid-May. That only makes sense since it is a garden of spring flowering bulbs and that is when they will be out! Sonya and the kids made their trip in mid-April, so we were able to see the end of some types of bulbs and the beginning of others and it was awesome!
Some statistics (because we love them here at our house!) before we get on to the pictures - These come from the official Keukenhof 2008 brochure -
In the last 58 years there have been more than 42 million visitors to the gardens
It is the largest bulb flower park in the world
It covers 32 hectares (which is about 79 acres)
4.5 million tulips in 100 varieties
7 million flower bulbs are planted by hand each year
It is the most photographed place in the world
There are 15 kilometers of footpaths
There are tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and all the other spring bulbs
We have arranged our photos by color - that seemed the best way to try to organize them - and here they are!
Well, not all by color - these first ones are of a type. We don't know what they are officially called, but the kids called them "Banana Flowers" and they are Amanda's favorite type from the whole garden -
Casey thinks the tops look like pineapple tops - maybe she's right or maybe she was just thinking about the fresh pineapple we had just eaten before we came into the park...
- Blue -
Alex - we each picked a color to have our pictures taken mainly with and Alex chose blue.
Casey called this the "Blue Brick Road"
- Fountains -
Casey, Amanda, Alex
Amanda wanted a picture with the fountain coming out of her head....
- Multicolor -
- Orange -
Casey - her color is orange!
Alex wanted one picture with orange so he could show his Illini colors!!
Casey (note the orange headband...)
Casey spent a huge part of the day smelling the flowers - you didn't really need to get this close though! You could smell the wonderful mixtures of smells just walking around a corner - it was fabulous!
- Pink -
Love the fuzzy edges on this type!
- Purple -
Guess which kid chose purple for her color of the day??!!
You were right - it was Amanda!
Amanda slyly peeks out
These tulips are called "Purple Lady" so we had our purple lady stand by them to show you how TALL they are - yes, they really do come up to her waist!!
Amanda's two favorite flowers in one place! She loved the ones we called banana flowers and these purple and white tulips were her favorite of all the purple ones we saw.
- Red -
Sonya picked red for her color of the day...
More of those fuzzy ones - they are so cool and soft to the touch as well!
This one was right on the edge of the path and someone had brushed up against it and broken it! We were sad, but it did let us see the flower in a different way!
Now there is a big rhododendron!
- Sculptures -
As part of each year's garden, different artists get to display their works throughout the park and have them up for sale. Here are some we found interesting -
Each one of these individual hands would only cost you 950 euro...
Alex, Amanda, and Casey loved this arch.
OK, it's not really a sculpture, but the kids had fun on it!
The kids thought this one looked like cd's!
Again, not a sculpture, but Amanda, Casey, and Alex liked this teepee!
- White -
- Yellow -
Alex, Casey, Amanda (no he didn't break it over, it was already like that!)
Casey loved the smell of this flower the most of all - she says it smells like lemons!
What gorgeous contrast!
After about 4.5 hours walking through the flower gardens, it's back to the car for snacks and drinks before the drive home - we live about a 2.5 hour drive from Keukenhof.
We had a great day - if you are ever here in the spring we will gladly take you to see this beautiful place!