Tulips at Keukenhof

May is rushing by and I haven’t yet shared with you some of the tulips from Keukenhof.  If you are like tulips at all, do visit; I’ve been wanting to visit for several years and I wasn’t disappointed.  We stayed in Amsterdam from 25th to 29th April.  I’d never visited Amsterdam before and found it a lovely city.  The museums were spectacular.  Everything was incredibly well organised, even though it was the peak week for visiting Keukenhof we walked straight into the park, just showing our pre-bought ticket at the entrance.

Although I’d read about the park I didn’t really know what to expect.  Would the tulips be planted in blocks of colour?  Would they be planted in garish colour combinations? Would there be so many people the experience wouldn’t be enjoyable?

There were a lot of people but the park is enormous so the crowds disappeared and it was easy to enjoy the tulips and other bulbs.

There were more visitors in the afternoon but even then you could still enjoy the tulip show.

Rain had been forecast for much of our time in Holland but we were lucky; it was a lovely day at Keukenhof, not hot, but warm making it a pleasure to walk around the entire park.

Some of the planting was a little strong for the soft grey northern light

 All tastes were catered for

Some displays were very vibrant

It would be unlikely for muscari and tulips to be flowering at the same time in my garden but an interesting way of intensifying the colours here.

In the floating market in Amsterdam you could buy all kinds of bulbs.  The tulips had all been chilled and treated and so needed immediate planting and would, I was told, flower about a month after planting.  I didn’t trust that they would return after being treated for so long so resisted buying any – SURPRISE.

I was tempted by the cut tulips though (if only I’d had a vase with me.

All the cut flowers were in wonderful condition

Depending on the variety prices were 50 stems for €8, €10, or €15.  Here in Italy you are lucky to find them for less than €2.50 a stem!

I wouldn’t bother growing tulips to cut if I could buy them at these prices

Who could resist 10 peonies for €8.50!!!!

But I digress.  Back to the park.

The blossom was delightful above this wonderful mix of Narcissus

The blossoming trees were a real bonus and greatly added to the experience.

Tulips growing in fields near to the park

The cold winter and late spring didn’t effect the quality of the planting in the park but there were fewer bulbs flowering in the fields than I had anticipated, but those that were flowering made quite a show!

Tulips growing in fields near to the park

I loved this mix of colours and forms

and in closeup

I’ve seen T. Flaming Spring Green in the catalogues before but planted in mass, this was my favourite tulips of the whole show and will hopefully be appearing in my garden next year.

My favourite tulip of the whole show was this

Tulip Flaming Spring Green

I had thought I preferred my tulips planted in drifts of one colour but I really loved the mixed plantings

It was useful to see which colour combinations created the different effects.  Under-planting with blue seemed popular for various  combinations.

I’d love to plant an area of the garden with this combination

Where there were mixed plantings the varieties were listed

Done of the Alliums were flowering, a little early for those in this cool spring.

In the 5 marques around the garden there were different displays of cut flowers with some interesting ideas of different ways of arranging the flowers.  The structure below was huge filled with lilies.

There were marques with various flowers highlighted

The new screensaver on my laptop and phone

I made photo notes of many of the tulips I liked.  I also noted the websites for many of the bulb suppliers but when I looked at their sites I have to say I thought Peter Nyssen (my supplier of choice) had a much easier to navigate website, the best selection and the best prices – I’ve already placed my order with him for autumn delivery.

39 thoughts on “Tulips at Keukenhof

  1. Thanks for that lovely photo essay. I love the blue/purple grouping with the white lily flowered tulips standing out. They flower latest of all for me, and are still flowering well. That Spring green looks amazing.

  2. You must have been in your element there! I agree with you, I think the mixed bulbs are much nicer for a garden than blocks of bright colour, I look forward to seeing them replocated in your garden next year.

    • I will add to the mixed planting in the woodland borders. Mostly I’ve ordered tulips for forcing for cut flowers, but there will be some for the borders.

  3. With so many tulips to see, I don’t know how you managed to choose a favourite,Christina! I rather like the bed with the blues and pinks.

  4. It does look really impressive Christina, and not as crowded as I would have expected. I know bus tours have been operating from the UK for decades now, but they appear to have dealt with the growing popularity well. There is lots of inspiration there! For a moment I thought the blue anemones used as underplanting were blue tulips! I placed my order with Peter Nyssen last night… like you say, their website is good and their prices competitive, but they also have a lovely selection. Thanks for sharing! I might get to visit the park myself one day! 🙂

    • Yes, I agree, their selection is vast – so much temptation! His quality is usually excellent too, especially for tulips. I look forward to reading about what you ordered.

  5. Though I don’t grow tulips I often have imagined how lovely it would be to wander among those plantings. Was almost there with you in your post. Glad you had this opportunity.

  6. Wow – so much colour Christina! Thanks for sharing the experience with us. It must have been a most enjoyable as well as inspirational visit for somebody who loves their tulips as much as you do. How good to be able to see display ideas too. We’re hoping to visit Amsterdam later in the year so there may well be some bulb buying then. In the meantime I better head to the Peter Nyssen website before they run out 🙂 Best wishes to both of you for a special anniversary xxx

    • Thanks Anna. If you are going to the museums in Amsterdam too, do book your tickets online before. The Ryksmuseum has a great free app which is a fantastic guide, do download it before you go.

  7. Christina congratulations for your 25th Anniversary. I think the trip to Holland was the best way to celebrate it. In the Keukenhof Park you would be in your element Christina: it’s a wonder. The photos are magnificent. There are so many tulips and other bulbs to see in so many colors for all tastes. I love whites alone and combinations of blue, purple, fuchsia and white. I love the Tulip Flaming Spring Green: I think it was the ones that appeared in my garden and I had not planted them. The tulips they sold were very cheap, as were the peonies! I think you’ve had a great time on your trip with your husband to Holland: I’m very happy, really. Have a happy week. Take care. Greetings from Margarita.

  8. You really did get your tulip fix, what fun. Such a gorgeous range of colours. Is it possible to cycle round? We are thinking of taking our bikes to Amersterdam next year.

  9. What a show! I’m not sure whether I’d feel is was in heaven or be utterly overwhelmed by these displays. I visited Amsterdam once but it was decades ago now and our trip was in June or possibly July I think. In any case, I don’t remember massive displays on this order.

    • The park is only open from mid-March to mid-May Kris so it is work for a year just for a few weeks. In June many of the canal houses open their gardens, I think that would be really interesting to see too.

  10. The mixed planting you show is stunning – I’ve never seen that before with tulips. I was only 6 or 7, but my parents drove us up to Keukenhof when we lived in Belgium – I vaguely remember it. I was most intrigued with the child-sized city we also visited, while my teenage sisters were most intrigued with Amsterdam! Hmmm…

    • I was surprised at the plantings. Some were obviously impossible to achieve in a home situation as various bulbs had been forced to flower at prescribed times. But overall I found it all very inspiring.

  11. What a great post Christina – thanks for sharing the experience. It has certainly been thought provoking in many ways – not least that some of you are getting your PN orders in already!

    • As you know I need to get my order in quickly for an early delivery to be able to chill my tulip bulbs. There are other bulbs I meant to order but didn’t but I reached the amount I wanted to spend and stopped!

      • You set yourself a maximum? Probably a good thing 😉 I should have staggered the planting of my potted ones as this year they almost all began flowering at the same time and I felt some were almost wasted in terms of vase potential

        • Not usually! But two years ago I did go a bit mad and that was why I felt I shouldn’t buy any last year and then succumbed to the bad quality local ones!

          • Mind you, if you can be certain they will come up again in other years it could be seen as an investment – not the case with tulips here, sadly, but yours are better at returning, aren’t they?

            • Yes, almost all come back. Some have been in the ground for more than 10 years, if I can find some time I would divide some that have split into smaller bulbs.

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