Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The Worlds Most Beautiful Spring Garden

If you didn't know, Keukenhof is a big garden (32 Hectares!!) situated in Lisse, not too far from Amsterdam in Holland.  It is touted as the worlds most beautiful spring garden and after being there I believe they could be right.  Holland is famous for its tulips and at Keukenhof it's all about the tulips. They do also have daffodils and hyacinths but the tulips are the main attraction. I never knew tulips grew in so many different colours, shapes and sizes!

The park itself is full of beautiful trees, water ways and meandering paths creating a perfect backdrop to the flowering bulb display. We almost went there a few months ago but were told the tulips weren't in flower and I'm glad we waited so we could see the full splendour.

The weather was overcast and threatening rain when we went, which I think was actually a blessing as the crowds didn't seem to be too thick. And then the sun came out in the afternoon.

There are also lots of flower fields in the area, where tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are grown for their bulbs. This means you can see the fields in flower. After the peak flowering, the flower heads are cut off (or vacuumed off in some cases!) so that the plants energy goes into growing more bulbs and not into seed making. The bulbs are mechanically harvested and then separated by hand. I'm sure if you know someone from Holland, they will have done this as holiday job as a kid/student or know someone who has!

If you get the chance I definitely recommend visiting Keukenhof and the surrounding fields in springtime.


Wednesday, 22 May 2013


Last weekend we went to Leiden, Holland to see the Tulips in bloom at Keukenhof. Leiden is about 25 mins away from Keukenhof by car and is connected by buses which run around every 10 mins. So it makes a perfect base to see the tulips.

Leiden itself is also really picturesque with windmills and canals aplenty, and worth visiting. It has a lovely market on Saturdays, with fresh produce, cheese, stroopwaffels, clothing and fabric (I got some pink tulle).  Small enough to wander around by foot Leiden is still big enough for a nice selection of restaurants and shops. It also has a lot of museums, but we didn't get a chance to see any of them.

 This was the canal we could see from our hotel room.

DO NOT PRESS! Installation 
Close to our hotel we saw some great art installations -This one was my favourite, who could resist a big red button and "Do NOT Press" sign....

Thursday, 16 May 2013


Here is a little birdy for you...