Discover the Beauty of Keukenhof
Located in Lisse, the Netherlands, Keukenhof is best known as the world's largest flower garden and serves as home to more than seven million blooms.
Among the most celebrated of Keukenhof’s 1,000 tulip varieties is the rare black tulip. These unique hybrids may appear jet-toned in certain light, but they are actually a deep purple. The Queen of the Night variety is probably the closest tulip breeders will ever come to creating a true black bloom. Other varieties include Black Diamond, Burgundy, and Arabian Mystery.
“The Greatest Flower Show on Earth”
By Steven Marinot, Program Director, The Netherlands
Although it’s open only eight weeks each year, Keukenhof is the ideal setting to take in spring with all of your senses. Revel in endless waves of ethereal colors. Listen to tranquil birdsong. Savor the intoxicating aromas of millions of fragrant blossoms. A visit to the world’s largest flower park in full bloom is an experience you won’t soon forget.
Currently situated on nearly 80 acres of what were once 15th-century hunting grounds in Lisse, Holland, Keukenhof (literally, “kitchen garden”) earned its name when the area became a source of herbs and vegetables for the castle kitchen of Countess Jacoba van Beieren. In 1949, flower growers and exporters held the first outdoor flower exhibition here and it has been an annual event ever since.
Remarkably, the gardeners at Keukenhof hand plant some seven million flower bulbs in more than 1,600 varieties each year. In an intricately layered gardening process, crocuses are planted on top of early-blooming tulips atop late-blooming tulips. This way, the gardens are planned to remain full throughout the season—though sometimes nature has other things in mind.
Numbering 4.5 million, tulips clearly dominate at Keukenhof, but each year a changing array of other plant species also raise their petals to the sky—including daffodils, hyacinths, azaleas, rhododendron, dahlias, begonias, amaryllis, crocuses, and alstroemerias.
The show indoors
Specially designed pavilions showcase a stunning kaleidoscope of blossoms—from freesia, chrysanthemums, iris, and roses, to the more exotic orchids and bamboo. During the exhibition’s last week, Keukenhof unveils the world’s largest indoor exhibition of lilies in 300 colorful varieties.
Trees are another important aspect of Keukenhof. Beech Lane, an avenue of beech trees dating to the 1840s, represents the legacy of German landscape architect J.D. Zocher. You might try to find your way through a hedge maze with ten-foot-high shrub walls or the 700-tree labyrinth.
Mother Nature isn’t the only artist at Keukenhof. A sculpture trail, windmill, sundials, and fountains add a human touch to the beauty of the surroundings.