LISSE, Netherlands -- The gardens at Keukenhof here, a haven for
flower-lovers, are open again.
A visitor can walk the 79 acres of the annual Keukenhof
Exhibition for hours, greeted by the bursts of color provided by 7
million flowering bulbs.
Approximately 750,000 visitors make the trip to this flower
mecca each year, even though the exhibition is open only for two
months. This year's show runs through May 20; in 2005, it runs
March 24 to May 16.
Each year, 30 gardeners spend about two months planting the flower
bulbs, with a new design theme annually. Featured, of course, are
the Netherlands' signature tulips -- more than 1,000 varieties are
on display -- but visitors also will spot daffodils, hyacinths and
Most of the exhibition is outdoors, but check www.keukenhof.com
for a schedule of indoor flower shows. One sure bet: Hundreds of
lily specimens are displayed indoors during the last week of each
This year's exhibit features an international "Growing Hats"
competition. The best entries are on display, as are 80 antique
flower hats by famous fashion designers such as Christian Dior and
Visitors who find it hard to leave can take a piece of Keukenhof
with them: The exhibition sells and ships bulbs.
Getting to Keukenhof is easy. The garden is in Lisse, only 19
miles from Amsterdam and about halfway between that city and the
Hague. Trains stop at nearby Leiden, where travelers can catch
public bus No. 54, the "Keukenhof Express," to the exhibition
Hours are 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily, with tickets sold until 6
p.m. Admission is about $14.50 for adults, around $13 for seniors
age 65 and up and about $6.50 for children ages 4 through 11.
For tour packages to Keukenhof, consult garden-tour specialists
such as Expo Garden Tours, which pays agents 10% commission on many
packages. For details, call Expo Garden Tours at (860) 567-0322 or
Maupintour, meanwhile, is already selling space on the 2005
edition of its eight-night Gardens of Holland tour, which takes in
next year's show. For information, call (800) 255-4266 or visit www.maupintour.com.
For more information on garden-themed travel to the Netherlands,
contact the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions at (212)
557-3500 or www.holland.com/us.
To contact reporter Andrew Compart, send e-mail to [email protected].