In 1949, a group of prominent Dutch bulb growers developed plans to create an open-air flower exhibition. It was to serve as a permanent showcase for the bulb and flower industry in Holland. Now, more than fifty years later, this “display” of flowers, called Keukenhof, encompasses over 80 acres and 6 million tulips, narcissi, daffodils, and hyacinths as well as other flowering bulbs, ancient trees, flowering shrubs, ponds, and fountains.
It is located just outside Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Each spring, thousands of tourists come from all over the world to see the best specimens from over 90 bulb producers. The park is breathtaking! Even the person who has little or no interest in flowers will be amazed at the range of colors, fragrances, sizes, and sheer beauty of the millions of flowers.
Holland exports more than two billion tulip bulbs throughout the world annually. The majority of these come to the United States; but if you want to see displays and varieties you have never seen before, go to Keukenhof. And if a trip to the Netherlands is not in your plans, you can find numerous web sites with pictures by doing a search for “Keukenhof” on the Internet.
Susan Carlile, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service