GPOD on the road: Keukenhof

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Keukenhof Lies is a famous park in the Netherlands. It sits in the heart of the bulb growing region and is an over-the-top showcase of the region’s most famous exports. These are photos from a trip that I, Joseph, took in 2008 to this incredible park.

Large fields of spring blooming bulbsHere are the places you’ll pass in the spring along the Keukenhof route: the bulb fields are in full bloom. Bulb growers let each field bloom to make sure everything is true to name, and then they cut off the flowers so the plants can focus their energy on growing larger bulbs. If you have flower bulbs in your garden, chances are they started life in fields like the Netherlands.

Mass planting of pink and orange tulipsIn gardens, bulbs are planted on an incredible scale and produce large sheets of color, like these beautiful tulips (Tulipa hybrids, zones 3-8).

A mass planting of blue grape hyacinths with yellow daffodils and orange tulips.This is perhaps the garden’s most famous sight, a river of blue grape hyacinths (Muscari armeniacumZones 3–9) with contrasting masses of yellow daffodils (Narcissus hybrids, zones 3–8) and orange tulips.

The end of a mass planting of pale yellow daffodils A sea of ​​pale cream daffodils surrounds a forest that is just beginning to emerge. All bulbs are dug up and replanted each year to ensure a perfect display.

Wide view of pond with waterfall and flowers all aroundKeukenhof isn’t just giant beds of bulbs. Ponds, fountains and beautiful trees are the backdrop to the colorful wreaths of flowers.

Spring queues are passing by with many visitors to the park.Countless visitors bring long ribbons of color from the bulbs to the gardens each year.

Bright red tulips interspersed with white daisy-like flowersHere’s a combination I’d like to recreate in my garden: bright red greige tulips with white airflowers (Anemone Blenda, zones 5–8). Although the sheer scale of Keukenhof is beyond the resources and space of any home gardener, many of the individual beds are full of ideas that you can easily recreate at home.

Yellow and pink striped tulips behind white hyacinthsA smooth arc of tulips and fragrant white hyacinths (Hyacinths Easternzones 4–8).

Warm salmon tulips are planted with grape hyacinths.Another impressive combination: islands of warm salmon tulips in a sea of ​​grapes

Colorful tulips with flared petalsOne of the fun things about the garden is seeing the more unusual varieties on display, like this orange parrot tulip with odd petals.

Yellow and pink double tulips with fringed petalsOr how about this tulip with double fringed petals? It looks more like a carnation than a tulip at first glance.

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