Monday, February 28, 2011

Keukenhof flower display

World Renowned Keukenhof Gardens in Holland, opening March 24 showcasing a flower bulb mosaic of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
KEUKENHOF, LISSE – The theme for Keukenhof 2011 is "Germany: Land of Poets and Philosophers." Highlights this year are the various inspirational gardens with a German twist, the flowering bulb mosaic of the Brandenburg Gate incorporating more than 100,000 bulbs, and a special theme route. The official opening of Keukenhof 2011 will be performed by Mrs. Bettina Wulff, spouse of the German President Mr. Christian Wulff in the afternoon of March 23, 2011.

Despite the severe winter weather, there is a lot of organic activity going on under the ground at Keukenhof in Lisse. Around seven million flowering bulbs have been planted during the past months and as spring breaks, these will provide the traditional colorful splendor of the international flowering bulb exhibition.

Corn windmill in Keukenhof Gardens
For several years now Keukenhof has chosen to feature a different theme country each season. In 2009 the USA – New York City – was featured in honor of the Henry Hudson - NY400 year with the theme "USA, New Amsterdam - New York, 400." Last year Russia was highlighted with the theme ‘From Russia With Love.’ In 2011 Keukenhof stays close to home. From March 24 to May 20, 2011 the focus will be on Holland’s eastern neighbors with the theme "Germany: Land of Poets and Philosophers." Keukenhof will be paying colorful attention to Germany, the second most important export market for flowering bulbs and the country which supplies most of Keukenhof’s foreign visitors.

Netherlands-Germany Experience

Another highlight in this theme year is the Netherlands-Germany Experience, an exhibition at the Juliana Pavilion in which the many aspects of German-Dutch solidarity will be expressed. Image, light, sound and decor will make this exhibition a truly special experience. Historically, Germany has been one of the most important trading partners of Holland. The ornamental plant and tourism sectors play a particularly important role in this, and it is no coincidence that these are the disciplines that form the basis of Keukenhof. However, it is not only the economic ties that will be in the spotlight: a chapter of the exhibition is also dedicated to the long-term soccer contacts, and visitors can experience the world cup soccer finals of 1974 and 1988.

The Brandenburg Gate at Keukenhof

Tulips in Keukenhof Gardens
The most popular draw at this year’s Keukenhof is sure to be the flower bulb mosaic of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. The final bulbs for this were planted back in October, 2010 by the German ambassador in Holland, Mr. Heinz-Peter Behr. Simultaneously to this event at Keukenhof, the Dutch ambassador in Germany, Mr. Marnix Krop, planted the first of a total of 55,000 flowering bulbs at the Parizer Platz near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin itself. Besides this, work is currently underway to complete the inspiration gardens with a German feel and the special 1½-km (approx. 1.3 miles) theme route meandering throughout the park.


Keukenhof was originally the herb garden ("keuken" means kitchen in Dutch) of the Countess of Holland, Jacoba van Beyeren (1401-1436). In 1840, the horticultural architects Zocher, a father and son, designed the park that forms the basis of the current Keukenhof. They also designed the noted Vondelpark in Amsterdam.

Opening times and admission fees

The Keukenhof Gardens, open to the public from March 24 to May 20, 2011 can be visited daily from 8:00am to 7:30pm (ticket office open until 6:00pm). Entrance fee is 14,50 Euro (approx. CAN. $20) for adults and 7,00 Euro (approx. CAN. $9) for children. Keukenhof can be reached by train and bus, or by car and combination tickets are available when traveling by bus from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Annual flower parade
The famous annual flower parade from Noordwijk to Haarlem, the largest in Holland, will take place on Saturday, April 16, 2011.

Photos copyright Anne Gordon

Post from H. Groenendijk


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