Grab a cuppa and come on the tour with me at Keukenhof, Amsterdam. Be warned - lots of photos - I took hundreds, but have selected just a few to highlight and give you a flavour of the Keukenhof.
I lost the special USB lead on my camera somewhere in Keukenhof, so had to replace it when I got back. I couldn't download or edit any of my photos until the lead arrived. Better late than never so here are the tulips in all their glory.
Our visit to the Keukenhof was marred only by the fact that we missed our friend Tamra who we were supposed to meet at the Tour Office in Damrak. Long story short, she was running late and one of the tour guides who were escorting the first group to the coach took her straight to the first vanguard of coaches while she was hot footing her way to meet us so she never made it to the Tour Office where we were waiting. Basically we got put on different coaches and she was an hour or so in front of us as our coach was late leaving. While we were at the gardens, we were both hoping to bump into each other which was kind of impossible really as the gardens span a 32 hectare park with 15 kilometers of footpaths! That converts to 79.07 acres and 9.32 miles of footpaths. My phone doesn't work except in a wifi area, so we didn't get each other's messages till we got back to the hotel but we did manage to meet up in the evening instead!
There is only an 8-week window when the tulips are at their best, and we were in the right place at the right time for once! Our excitement grew as we arrived and could see the fields of tulips row upon row.
I took these photos on a moving coach travelling at speed so am quite pleased they came out because it is the only photo I have of a real windmill in the photo above to the right.
Once inside the Keukenhof and leaving the forecourt, refreshments and comfort area, there was a little enclave to the left of the gardens where this organ was playing. The video is courtesy of YouTube as I haven't quite worked out how to transfer my phone videos to YouTube or blogger!
I was fascinated by how this organ worked - you can see the tomes of music which is fed into the cavity of the organ on the left, and as the huge wheel spins, the music plays as well as the percussion! The music has holes cut out and I'm guessing that they fit into pegs and works rather like a pianola, except this is for the organ.
We were surrounded by beautiful beds of tulips everywhere and because of the height difference, me being a shortie and hubby 6' plus, we were struggling to take a selfie when some kind stranger sat us down and offered to take our photo.
Looking for Tamra?....... She'll laugh if she reads this, because she's almost as tall as my hubby so you can't miss her!
Hubby leading the way. It was such a beautiful sunny day, but don't let that fool you, it was quite crisp and COLD!!!
The Keukenhof theme for 2017 is "Dutch Design" incorporated in the flower bulb mosaic. Two of the inspirational gardens are also dedicated to the theme - the Mondriaan Garden with primary square colour patches and the flower shows in the Orange Nassau Pavilion.
Meandering through the gardens, there were various sculptures used as focal points pictured in the collage and photo above.
Here are the blocks of colour...........
There were lakes and waterways which added to the vista and a plethora of different bulbs planted along the banks. There were trees everywhere not yet in leaf but I can imagine they'll provide much needed shade at the height of summer.
It wasn't just tulips, but hyacinths and other varieties too which gave off a wonderful perfume as you walked along the paths.
I love the smell of freshly mowed grass, don't you? What a responsibility to keep these gardens looking pristine for visitors. The couple bending over are inserting little wires straight through the flowering stems of the hyacinths to keep them standing to attention! Great tip for gardeners among you.
A river of Hyacinths...........wish there was smell-a-vision - the scent was out of this world.
Some lovely mixed planting in spring colours
Finally back to the pavilion and the end of our tour - huge displays of all sorts of varieties of tulips, floral arrangements and even stained glass pictures with tulips.
Some species of tulips didn't even look like tulips as you can see from the ones above.
It was without doubt worth the visit and seeing these beautiful bulbs in bloom and at their best.
Thank you for visiting today and I hope you enjoyed the "tour".
I promise something crafty in my next post!