Holland’s spring garden in April 2011


Categorically saying that Holland (or The Netherlands) is Europe’s spring capital should not raise an eyebrow (I hope). I say this because all roads lead to this small country the moment the daffodils spring from the ground, followed by the hyacinths and lastly by the muse of the spring blooms — the tulips.

One park that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors in the two months that its doors are open to the public is Keukenhof in the town of Lisse. It is considered the most beautiful spring garden in the world with its total area of 32 hectares planted with 7 million bulbs of which 4.5 million are tulips of 100 varieties. I make it a point to not miss a visit every single year.

Keukenhof opens its doors timed around the official start of spring (3rd week of March) but I prefer going a month after as more flowers especially the tulips are by then mostly in bloom. The amazing thing about Keukenhof is how these flowers are organized that they bloom in perfect symphony in the two months of spring. One can’t help but be impressed by the plant knowledge of the gardeners here who painstakingly plant the bulbs in autumn by hand.

Keukenhof chooses a theme each year for its flower exhibit. In 2011, the theme was “Germany, Land of Poets and Philosophers”. A German theme route went from one entrance to the other and the highlight was the flower mosaic of the Brandenburger Gate in Berlin.

We did not get to see the entire park during our visit for there was just too much to see and we also had to find the balance between what is interesting to us and to our little girl. She simply enjoyed running around and smelling the flowers.

Neither did we have time to see the flower exhibits at the various pavilions (the Willem Alexander Pavilion had over 80,000 tulips on display in more than 600 varieties and 120 varieties of daffodils; the Beatrix Pavilion showed orchids, bromeliad and anthuriums; and the Juliana Pavilion had a special theme exhibition of the Dutch-German ties that bind both countries). Anyway,

Useful information:
To flower enthusiasts and shutterbugs, Keukenhof is the place to be. Come early because the park gets very busy around lunch time when busloads of tourists from all over the world find their way here. The park and parking tickets can be bought online which we normally do to avoid queueing for a long time. Other things to do include sailing in a silent boat between the flower bulb fields behind Keukenhof. It is also possible to cycle in between the flower bulb fields in the surroundings of Keukenhof.

Another event worth witnessing is the annual Flower Parade which will take place on 21 April 2012.

About Malou
I'm a mom to a five-year old little girl with interest in cooking, baking, traveling and photography. Castles and palaces are special favorites so when weather permits for a good walk on weekends, me, hubby and little girl are always out for a bit of adventure.

185 Responses to Holland’s spring garden in April 2011

  1. FeyGirl says:

    beautiful images, lovely fairy flowers! :)

  2. Gunta says:

    Simply stunning!!!

  3. sugaredpecan says:

    Just stunning! It’s almost here!

  4. Thomas Fortune Work Centre Gardening Group says:

    Stunning colours and shot beautifully.

  5. makehomemade says:

    Thank you for sharing these fantastic photos. The Keukenhof is one of my most favorite places to visit on the face of the Earth. I took my oldest daughter there for her Senior Class trip several years ago, and she is making plans to go back next year on her own (I think I’ll join her). Your photos brought back some very happy memories for both of us. We are both smiling right now.

    • Malou says:

      Glad to know that you have been to Keukenhof before and had happy memories of this lovely place. I try not to give it a miss each year. ;-)

  6. Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing these images.

  7. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge says:

    Amazingly beautiful :)

  8. tulips are my favourite flower! Thank for sharing the beautiful images. Now I think I may have to head out and buy myself a bouquet of tulips!

  9. Abe Pacana says:

    pretty cool. I love tulips!

  10. RichardB1001 says:

    I really like the images where you got down to the tulips’ levels.

  11. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

  12. Lotus Mama says:

    This just brightens my day to look at your beautiful photos. Next time we go to Holland (we have friends and relatives in Amsterdam and Utrecht), we will make a point to visit the Keukenhof as well! Thanks so much for sharing. Enjoy the symphony of spring!

  13. SFH says:

    I visited the Keukenhof once in the 70’s but I have never forgotten how beautiful it was! Thanks for bringing back some great memories with your gorgeous pictures.

  14. Reblogged this on Sahbinah Violet Flynn and commented:
    I think my dad would have packed up and moved to Holland had he had the pleasure of seeing your beautiful photos. Truly lovely and inspiring wanderlust….

    • Malou says:

      Ha, ha, ha! So your dad is a big fan of spring blooms. Who won’t be? I hope one day you’re able to see this place for real too. ;-)

  15. Only in my dreams could I imagine a garden so beautiful! I would love to go there but the next best thing is to see it through your eyes. Thank you.

    • Malou says:

      I used to dream about this place too when I was still in the Philippines. It never entered my mind then that I will be living here and will be experiencing this amazing phenomenon every springtime. Dreams do come true, Joy. ;-)

  16. edebock says:

    Oh how I would love to see this! Believe it or not, it reminds me of something I experienced in Japan. You can read about it at http://edebock.wordpress.com/2008/04/16/tulip-fields/

    • Malou says:

      Ha, ha, ha! The Japanese love everything Dutch that they copied everything possible that they can, even a 1:1 copy of the Royal Palace at the Dam in Amsterdam and the Amsterdam canal houses. Imitation is the best form of flattery.

  17. Absolutely stunning photos! What a great way to spend a weekend getting a new outlook on life.

  18. RDoug says:

    Wonderful shots yet again, Malou. If you ever get to the Pacific Northwest (Seattle area of Washington State), you really should make the trek to Victoria Island to the Buttchart Gardens. You’d love the flora displays there.

    • Malou says:

      Thanks a lot, Doug. You’re making me curious of that part of the US. I hope to one day explore that area and experience the flora displays there. ;-)

  19. edibletimes says:

    Pictures are amazing. Makes me even more impatient for Spring here in New York!

  20. Beautiful flowers, beautiful pictures and a beautiful young lady in the pink jacket…

  21. Cheryle says:

    Stunning photos! My husband visited there last April and said it was gorgeous.

  22. I’m definitely adding this destination to my bucket list! I couldn’t imagine anything more thrilling than going through these grounds and being surrounded by the color and fragrance of so many flowers!! Pure joy!!

  23. Love tulips – Ottawa has a tulip festival in the spring. There is a Dutch/Canada story attached to it all. Pictures are stunning.

    • Malou says:

      Yes, the Ottawa tulip festival is an amazing example of the enduring friendship between Holland and Canada that was forged from the difficult moments of WW2. ;-)

  24. First of all thank you for following my blog. So I stumble upon your blog ans was wowed! You have so many beautiful photos and one beautiful daughter. :)
    Keep posting! I love your blog!

  25. dandaldoll says:

    Love tulip photos. Very nice and amazing photograph. :-)

  26. elfkat says:

    Simply gorgeous!

  27. Absolutely stunning photos ! Really makes me ready for spring.

  28. Dear Malou, Gorgeous! Love the flowers. Love the spiffy lines! For the love of bees, too bad this post is not scratch-n-sniff! Your vibrant photo layouts are consistently exquisite and seamless. They’re like mini-films. You make it look so easy, but it isn’t. This weekend, you inspired me to try my hand at a little photo series of my own. Don’t laugh! I’ve changed the sequence at least one hundred times. And I’m working only with ten pics! (Back to the old format.) Enjoy the weekend! Theadora

    • Malou says:

      I love your latest post with more pictures, Theadora.

      I am a busy mom and also with my day job so I just post more pictures to make up for the less words. I let my pictures speak for me. ;-)

  29. iluvyooai says:

    Hi kababayan! (hope I’m right.. hehe) you’ve got such lovely posts! I followed you back. :) thanks for the likes by the way. enjoy your day! ingat! :D

  30. pusspudding says:

    Fantastic … my friend and I have been talking about going to see the tulips of Amsterdam, but nobody i have talked to know when is the best time – end of April ??? So it’s high up on our do-it list. Your photos are breathtaking. Love tulips too – so this is a real treat for me. The apricot coloured are my favorite here. Thank you so much … will show this for my friend, she are away on winter escape holiday for 7 weeks total. Miss her.

    • Malou says:

      Around the 3rd to 4th week of April is the best time because by then, the tulips are also in full bloom. It is also nice to go around the area of Lisse to see the flower fields.

      Let me know if you and your friend are in Holland. ;-)

  31. BigSkyKen says:

    Great pictures, Malou. Really makes be anticipate the full arrival of spring!

  32. So beautiful! The flowers look like a rainbow in the one photo with the arc of red, yellow and blueish flowers.

  33. Jenn says:

    Beautiful blooms, the tulips most especially.

  34. The Grown Up Princess says:

    I absolutely love the tulip shots. Beautiful work!

  35. rose says:

    That just made my day when I started reading blogs and all of that gorgeous color popped up on the page! Thanks for sharing it. I love the pink coat that matches the blooms :)

  36. Maggie L R says:

    Excellent series of marvelous photos, the colours are incredible and your daughter is so precious.

  37. edebock says:

    I would love to see this! Believe it or not, I’m reminded of something I experienced in Japan. You can read about it here http://edebock.wordpress.com/2008/04/16/tulip-fields/

  38. hugr5 says:

    I like this, a lot.

    I also got a kick out of the pun, “Going Dutch”. Yes, when I first saw that I thought of the dating scene, i.e., each person pays their own way, going Dutch.

    I had to laugh, when I saw that was NOT what you were talking about. Good one! :)

    • Malou says:

      Thanks a lot! Going Dutch means a lot of things but indeed paying for their own way is the one that is best known. Dutch are refuted to be very stingy, ha, ha, ha!

  39. Malou, seriously. I just drooled on my computer keyboard. A gorgeous post.

  40. puppy1952 says:

    Lovely photographs of a beautiful garden – wish I could visit – Maybe one day.

  41. Beautiful! I only wished my bulbs looked half that good in the spring. I will never forget flying into Amsterdam in May, a few years back, and seeing the most beautiful patchwork of color from the sky. I knew I would love the Netherlands from that point! Thanks for posting.

    • Malou says:

      Oh, I can imagine what you are saying, Debbie. I remember flying to London on a nice spring day many years ago and the view from they sky was indeed incredible. ;-)

  42. The tulips are beautiful! Love the pics of you and your daughter as well.

  43. Breathtaking! Oh, I wish I could come to Holland for this… beautiful… beautiful… beautiful!! :)

  44. I used to spend a lot of time in Holland and have been to the Keukenhof – it’s the most wonderful place to go at this time of the year and lovely to remember it via your post and beautiful photos.

  45. forestfae says:

    It did my heart good to see your lovely post this morniong, Malou. (As it is a decidedly grey day across the pond this morning)
    Lovely pictures, and your little girl is so cute :)

  46. Arohika says:

    Gorgeous Pictures !! and your daughter is so adorable

  47. Wow! Your pictures make me love my beloved Netherlands!

  48. Cathy says:

    Absolutely beautiful! Enjoy this year’s visit and I look forward to more exquisite photos! :-)

  49. Stunning! I can’t help but think that it’s true Amsterdam is the Tulip Capitol of the world :) how stunning to see these amazing spring photos, keep ‘em coming!!!

  50. Bianca says:

    I love keukenhof so much. In spring it is the most beautiful place in the planet.

  51. Angela Eden says:

    This is beautiful!!! Amazing amazing amazing photos. I would love to see this someday!

  52. What a beautiful display of color. Your photos are fantastic. Beautiful.

  53. Sapna says:

    Lovely pictures and your daughter is adorable!

  54. Lovely pictures… Amsterdam has been on our list of places to go to in the spring. Somehow the trip still eludes us. Thanks for sharing…

  55. bwbears says:

    what a wonderful collection of photos!

  56. These photos are over the top! What an experience.

  57. gamppart says:

    A true symphony of colour!

  58. Robin says:

    Beautiful images. The colors are breathtaking. :)

  59. mrsdaffodil says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your photos are wonderful. I loved the part about “Germany, Land of Poets and Philosophers”. My husband is German and I have heard these words from him many times.

  60. Your pictures make me want to visit the Netherlands even more than i already do. They are awesome photos.

  61. NanaDoll says:

    absolutely stunning

  62. Love so much this colorful images!Next time I visit Holland,I must be there on April…friends told me that is full of flowers!!!

  63. Felix Rotger says:

    Thanks for following! I loved the pictures you’ve posted.

  64. I love viewing your pictures – always so beautiful!! You’re very talented :)

  65. diggingher says:

    Beautiful flowers, beautiful family. Thanks for stopping by The Authentic Me.

  66. Were these taken this weekend? Lovely!

  67. I have long dreamt of visiting the Keukenhof gardens one year in the peak of the season! Thank you for sharing your beautiful photographs–the flowers are almost as spectacular as the sweet smiling faces photographed among them! :)

    • Malou says:

      Spring is really a lovely time here, Kathryn. Come and visit in April, you will just be awed by the stunning beauty right before your very eyes. ;-)

  68. Dave says:

    Greetings, Malou, and thank you for following my blog. All your beautiful flowers are making me long for spring. We are still six or seven weeks away here on the Circle. So I will just have to enjoy yours! Best wishes.

  69. coachmaninn says:

    Beautiful pictures. Hoping the Tulips come a little early in 2012. We will be in the area till April 3rd. Your interest and like mine, Family, Food, Travel. Regards, Bob Richter Coachman Inn & Suites – Oak harbor WA

    • Malou says:

      Thanks a lot, Bob. You are in time for Keukenhof. Weather this week is getting warmer so who knows, the tulips will be out by the time of your visit. ;-)

  70. Danny says:

    I’ve always wanted to see the tulips so thank you for letting me witness the beauty through your posting. Maybe one day :)

  71. eof737 says:

    Gorgeous tulips… wow!

  72. cookinghaven says:

    Those tulips are amazing! And your little girl is so cute.

  73. Lynne Ayers says:

    Here in Canada we also have a tulip festival every May in our nation’s capital. In 1945, the Dutch royal family sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa in gratitude for Canadians having sheltered Princess Juliana and her daughters for the preceding three years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, in the Second World War. It is really beautiful to see … and your photos are gorgeous

    • Malou says:

      The ties that bind Holland and Canada is such an amazing story and it is heartwarming to see how that lives on and comes to life every springtime. ;-)

  74. Jennifer says:

    Tulips are gorgeous!

  75. I really enjoy looking through your pictures. They are truley a work of art! Thank you for sharing.

  76. Beautiful! You take the absolute best pictures of gardens! The tulips are so stunning in the photos that I can only imagine who amazing they must have been in person.

    And I seriously want a lipstick in every single one of those tulip colors!

  77. Fabulous photos – thank you so much for sharing. Though I live in New Zealand, half my family are Dutch and I have very fond memories of a day one April when we all went to the Keukenhof. Everything was in bloom, just as it is in your pictures. Fantastic, and thank you again for sharing.

    Matthew Wright

  78. Michi says:

    SUCH gorgeous photos!!! I love Spring! Really, what a happy post, I loved the colors and the joy on your daughter’s face as she ran through the gardens. The photo of mother and daughter together is one of the best yet!

  79. Amazing photos, I just LOVE Tulips!

  80. Adrian says:

    pure btiful!

  81. Absolutely gorgeous! Love the picture especially of you & your daughter. It’s making me very antsy for spring to really arrive here. I have a hillside behind the house where I planted 100’s of bulbs but I think our squirrels keep re-locating them because they’re springing up everywhere but the hill.

  82. Meredith Barnes says:

    What a lovely place! Thanks for sharing :)

  83. Wonderful photos of a wonderful place :)

  84. We can’t wait for our tulips to pop out. We’ve got an early spring here in Toronto and they’re already pushing up through the soil. BTW your little girl made me smile.

    • Malou says:

      That’s nice if your tulips are already almost out. With warm weather, the whole blooming process goes very fast. I’m also looking forward to April because that’s always the best time here. ;-)

  85. Beautiful: the tulips, the photos, and especially the family!

  86. Love the tulips! They are my favorite flower. I’ve always wanted to go to Holland and see the tulips in the spring! I love the varities and the different colors. You’re so lucky! I love the hyacinth’s too!

    • Malou says:

      Come and visit in spring, Alisa. I’m very sure that you will love it here. There are endless fields of tulips, hyacinths and daffodils too. ;-)

  87. Louis says:

    An incredible display.

  88. Mary says:

    I hope you don’t mind but I am sending you a link to read about Canada’s Tulip Festival which is very much linked to yours!! Your pictures are beautiful !!

    • Malou says:

      Thanks a lot for this lovely link about the Canada’s Tulip Festival, Mary. Indeed, there is this very strong ties between Canada and Holland that came about from those dark days of WW2. Beautiful story of friendship between 2 countries! ;-)

  89. These pictures take my breath away!! I adore tulips!

  90. Simply gorgeous! And your daughter is so cute. Very heartwarming indeed. :)

  91. Pingback: Keukenhof Gardens: The Place to Be in Springtime « Kind Food Farm

  92. We have a tulip festival in our corner of the world but I don’t think it holds a candle to yours. Looks astonishing. Hope you enjoy yourself this year!

    • Malou says:

      Your tulip festival must be beautiful in its own right. I’m looking forward to another trip to Keukenhof and also to the flower fields here as well. ;-)

  93. Absolutely gorgeous photos!

  94. Sweet Princess Style says:

    Hi Malou! I absolutely love your posts. Those pictures are amazing. I’ve never seen this before and it’s very inspiring.
    It actually gave me the idea of celebrating my birthday in Holland this year! It will happen during the last week of March. Can you please tell me where I could go and what’s worth the visit (we probably won’t have more than two or three days…). Will it be okay to take our own car or is it better to use the transports if we don’t know the area? It would be great to take advice from someone who lives there!
    Thank you for sharing those treasures with us!

    • Malou says:

      Thanks a lot. That’s cool if you are celebrating your birthday here. Keukenhof opens on the 22nd of March so you are just in time. You can also check the link to Keukenhof for their calendar of activities for there maybe other things to see that will coincide with your time here.

      You can bring your car but you can also take the public transport (direct bus service from Schiphol, The Hague and Leiden). If it is your first time in Holland, I’m sure that you will also like to see Amsterdam which is really nice in spring. You may want to see Anne Frank’s museum, Van Gogh Museum or the Rijksmuseum.

      • Sweet Princess Style says:

        Thank you so much! I’m getting really excited about this trip. I’ve checked a few things on the internet and I’ll be preparing the whole thing this weekend.
        It feel like it’s gonna be a great vacation and birthday, and you’re the one who inspired it with your amazing posts!

  95. Gorgeous! I am so ready for flowers to bloom around here, this is making me feel very wistful about spring.

  96. DoubleR says:

    Thanks for visiting Good Penmanship! That jet stream does some nice things to your weather. Beautiful flowers.

  97. Beautiful photos! Perfect images to brighten my morning!

  98. This is on my lists of ‘to do-s” and has been for a LONG time. On simply cannot go through life without a visit to this magical place. I would love to do the bike ride through the gardens. That sounds wonderful.

  99. Looking at these photos makes me sorry I didn’t plant tulips last fall… I love the shot of the white bird flying and your daughter is such a little beauty.

  100. Fabulous. Love it. You have made me happy! :-) And your daughter’s coat is a wonderful addition of color!

  101. The flowers are beautiful and so is your daughter! Thanks so much for sharing :)

  102. Pingback: Photography Weekly Digest for the Week of 3/9/12 to 3/15/12 « Inspired Vision Studios

  103. Soos Sahar says:

    you have a beautiful daughter ^^, those photos look great!

  104. Nothing hurt says:

    Whoa, the colors are perfectly vibrant! I love it.

  105. Wonderful post! Thanks for the ‘like’ :)

  106. We lived in Europe 3 years ago and visited the flower fields and Kuekenhof. Thanks for the wonderful reminders!!!!!!!!!

  107. conversebear says:

    My mom and I visited Kuekenhof when I was three; I still vividly remember all the gorgeous flowers and colors. In fact, I was just thinking about Holland yesterday while enjoying the tulips that bloomed in our yard. Thank you for the fun trip down memory lane!

  108. Lisa at fLVE says:

    Oh my…what beautiful blog you have! Love! I just visited two dutch windmills recently in our lovely golden gate park and there were some beautiful tulips there, but nothing compare to the flowers at Kuekenhof. Wow! I have to plan for a trip there. By the way, Thank you so much for liking my blog so that I can find yours! :)

  109. Pingback: Spring Has Sprung…Early! « conversebear

  110. How I wished to see those tulips in real life!!!

  111. Such a beautiful place and the glorious range of colours is amazing, I love your photos. Kuekenhof was on our ‘to see’ list when we were in Amsterdam April 2011 but the weather was miserable and cold. We will definitely be going to Kuekenhof next time regardless of the weather.

  112. Pingback: Amsterdam and Lisse « Convergent Journey

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