Keukenhof Gardens - A Spring Sensation
Home to seven million spring-flowering bulbs and popularly known as the ‘Garden of Europe’, Keukenhof Garden is the largest flower garden in the world. We have been visiting Keukenhof for years and each year we are wonderstruck by the sight – and scent – of spring in full and glorious bloom.
The history of Keukenhof dates back to the 15th century when the land was used to grow herbs, berries, and vegetables for the kitchen of Teylingen Castle. (‘Keukenhof’ means kitchen garden in Dutch.) Keukenhof Castle was built in 1641 and the estate grew to cover an area of over 200 hectares.
In 1857, landscape architects Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul re-designed the castle gardens in the English style - a plan that still constitutes the basis of Keukenhof today. The modern day flower garden began in 1949 as an initiative launched by ten Dutch flower bulb growers as a way of showcasing their trade. The following year, 236,000 visitors flocked through the gates to marvel at the sight of so many flowers in bloom.
The garden is a real celebration of spring bulbs. I liked tulips before, but to see them on this scale was mind blowing
72 years later, Keukenhof’s gardeners are hard at work planting bulbs for the 2023 season. Over the coming months, the 40-strong team will be out in sunshine, wind, and rain planting seven million flower bulbs by hand. It's a race against time because all the bulbs must be in the earth by Christmas.
And then we wait until winter warms into spring, the bulbs come into flower and the gates of Keukenhof gardens open again. We're counting the days!
Discover our 2023 programme and book your place here