Keukenhof Gardens - A Spring Sensation

Keukenhof Garden - A Spring Sensation

Keukenhof Garden is widely acclaimed as the most beautiful spring garden in the world - as one of the people who travelled there with us put it, “Keukenhof makes your life more colourful. It is a superb garden you need to see!”  We agree, which is why we offer holidays to Keukenhof every year. Here is a taste of this unique horticultural gem.

Keukenhof Garden Flowers Spring Tulips

A (very) brief history

The history of this spectacular garden dates back to the 15th century when the land was used to grow herbs, berries and vegetables for the kitchen of Teylingen Castle. (The word ‘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 10 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.

 

Bulbs and a royal innovation

Keukenhof bulb planting gardener

Each autumn, 40 Keukenhof gardeners begin the incredible task of planting seven million flower bulbs across the 32ha park. 1,600 varieties of bulbs are used (800 of which are varieties of tulips) and they are combined in such as way that the park is in flower for almost eight weeks every spring.

Keukenhof is a place of horticultural innovation. 2024’s iteration, for example, saw a brand-new tulip bloom. Bred by Hybris, it has been named the King Charles III tulip in recognition of the close ties between The Netherlands and the UK. King Charles III is a Rejoyce mutant, which is itself a mutant of an original cultivar - the popular garden and tub variety, Lydia. This golden hued tulip is expected to reach the export market between mid-2027 and 2028, however BBC Gardener’s World’s  Monty Don has had an special early delivery and King Charles III bulbs have already been planted in his garden, Longmeadow. We look forward to seeing it on our TV screens!

Inspiring gardens & floral displays

Keukenhof is a feast of inspiration. From the authentic 16th and 17th-century tulip varieties in the Historic Garden and the combinations of wild bulbs with shrubs and perennials in the Natural Garden, to the incredible pavilions dedicated to individual flower species, there is something for gardeners and floristry fans of every kind.
 

keukenhof spring flowers garden

 

Some amazing numbers…

  •  7 million bulbs showcasing over 1,600 varieties are planted annually
  • Over 7,000 kg of grass seed is sown each year
  • There are more than 2,500 trees representing over 100 species
  • More than 100 varieties of prunus (cherry blossoms) burst into bloom every spring

 

  We will be going back to Keukenhof Gardens in April 2025, offering two tours and two dates.