Without doubt one of the world’s greatest annual flower events, Keukenhof never disappoints, even if there’s an unseasonably cold spring season. At Keukenhof this just means that the outdoor growth is retarded, but there’s still a floral extravaganza awaiting visitors inside the many pavilions.
This is a place dedicated to tulips, in fact it is almost a shrine, but then the humble tulip has probably contributed as much to the Dutch economy as any other commodity over the centuries, so it does, perhaps deserve more than a little reverence.
The refined and intense skills of the horticulturalists are all on display here with a mind boggling array of varieties, many of them stunningly beautiful, especially in the soft light of these huge display greenhouse pavillions.
It is quite amazing how many variations of colour can be coaxed out of the classic vase shaped blooms and every year new varieties appear to delight the eye and boost the export coffers of the growers.
But sometimes, cleverness just goes too far. I’m sure some will say this Tulipa Queensland is beautiful, but for me . . . well its just plain silly, having created something that belies the character of the tulip.
With over 7 million bulbs planted at Keukenhof every year there are plenty of other spring flowers included. Daffodils are always the beacon of spring and again, the flower breeders manage to discover new facets of these vibrant blooms.
Narcissus being their botanic name, this variety seems to typify why they were given that name. This one is called Narcissus Trepolo and its as if it knows its got’ it’ so its going to flaunt it.
Later blogs will show you more of the huge array of flowers at Keukenhof this year, but for now I’ll sign off with one of the most simple, but for me the most stunning.
The source of all saffron – the humble crocus.
Author: Bob Saunders (www.gardensonline.com.au)