A Visit to Keukenhof Gardens

Dr. William C. Welch, Professor & Landscape Horticulturist
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Keukenhof Gardens originated in 1949 to present flower exhibits where growers from all over the Netherlands and Europe could show off their hybrids and showcase the Dutch export industry. It has been the world's largest flower garden for over fifty years. Keukenhof is open annually from mid-March through mid-May. In addition to tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, leucojum, grape hyacinths and amaryllis are featured in massive and lavish displays.

The unforgettable displays are created by more than seven million tulips and other bulbs. Enroute to Keukenhof from Amsterdam we drove through the beautiful Dutch countryside passing vibrant tulip fields. We were there on Saturday, April 7th. The weather was cool and rainy. Ideal for tulips, but not necessarily for Texans! We were drenched, hailed on and exposed to winds that collapsed my wife, Lucille's, umbrella. We found a warm restaurant, dried out and went forth to experience the unbelievable gardens tulip fields along the way.

Some of the landscape ideas at Keukenhof can apply to our Texas gardens. Bulbs can be used in containers indoors or out. Some of the narcissus like 'Grand Primo',' Erlicheer', 'Golden Dawn' and 'Ice Follies' do not require refrigeration to naturalize in Texas gardens. Some of these are heirloom plants that have been grown here for generations. Use these for low maintenance, sustainable displays. As an example of what can be done with tulips and other Dutch bulbs, visit gardens like the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden during their Dallas Blooms Activities.

Bold sweeps of tulips and other bulbs are the signature display at Keukenhof Gardens
Bold sweeps of tulips and other bulbs
Tulips in containers
Containers of pink and white tulips and pale pink hyacinths are part of the innovative idea gardens at Keukenhof
Grape hyacinths and English daisies
White grape hyacinths and pink pompom-like English daisies provide a charming setting for an outdoor room
Soft colored flowers
Soft colors softly carry the eye through a partially shaded area of the garden
'Erlicheer' narcissus
'Erlicheer' narcissus are heat tolerant and adapted to our Texas gardens
Snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum)
Garden furniture
Garden furniture and works of art are also prominently featured at Keukenhof. Chair colors in this image are reflected by the tulips in the garden

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