Is it Spring already? Nope, its still freezing over here in Germany, as it is still winter here in Europe, but in the Netherlands, you can catch an early glimpse of Spring! As a yearly tradition in Amsterdam, once again this year, the TULPENDAG or the National Tulip Day is set! What makes this super exciting and colorful? You can gather your own Tulips, as much as you can, and yes—all for FREE!
In lieu of this year’s theme “Romance“, Tulips are such in tune with any romantic occasion. I ,myself love Tulips no matter what the occasion is. Most especially when it is given to me as a gift. Just last week, I got a bunch of Tulips and when I put it in the vase, I can’t help myself comparing the bulbs from the gorgeous Tulips I have seen back in Holland. They are totally in different genes !!
Tulips are such a nice token to give to someone you love.It has a universal symbolism of purity, love and beauty.Though it can be super expensive in other countries, in Holland, tulips has its own pride.
On January 20, the Dam Square will once again be filled with over 200, 000 Dutch tulips ! On this day, Tulip growers will wow the world once again by creating a temporary Garden right in the touristic Dam square. From 13.00 to 16:30, so if you are in Amsterdam or you have a chance to visit this beautiful city ( like I did!), then grab everyone along with you to see this event!
I know, I know, forgive me for spamming you with my posts about our recent trip to the Netherlands but I can’t help it, Keukenhof is just too gorgeous! One photo wouldn’t do any justice and a single post is an understatement of my amazing experience there. The flower arrangement , the garden shows and the different exhibits showcases the epitome of beauty of the flower-mania in Holland. For flora and fauna enthusiasts, it’s definitely a must-see during Springtime in Europe!
After seeing all these beautiful spring flowers in the most beautiful spring garden in the world, my standard for nature has been elevated. My impression about Tulips in general has become so great that I have now high regard for this wonderful piece of nature. I didn’t know that flowers could have such an effect to humans in general, and not only to gardeners, landscape designers, and flower enthusiasts.I have great respect for the artistic mind and tremendous hard work and labor of the people who make Keukenhof a place to show this grand beauty.
To give credit to this amazing place, this time I’d like to share with you some photos from Keukenhof gardens once again, in pretty Pink floral colors and it’s symbolism to tell about your love to someone. Pink Tulips symbolizes the ” Awakening of Love “!
I have seen thousands of tulips coming in different shades of pink, from dark ones, almost purple, and with some bright tints of whites and red. Pink Tulips are a symbol of caring, attachment (not as strong as love, like the red ones) and good wishes. They would be appropriate for a friend or family member.
Here are some snaps of my personal favorites so far!
Close up with ‘The Negrita” -Though it’s not as darkly colored as its name suggests (“nigra” means black in Latin), the purplish-pinkish color looks great in the garden with almost everything.
Pink tulips express happiness and confidence. This makes them a very good choice when congratulating a friend on a new job or promotion. It’s an ideal gift to have them sent to someone’s office as a warm first-day-on-the-job surprise. I was obsessing photographing them in layers because I just love how they are aligned with each other and how they create a striking sight!
Beautiful, isn’t it?
I must say that If you really have the chance to visit Holland in Spring, make time to get into Lisse, in the Netherlands to visit this garden. A day filled with colorful flowers can brighten anyone’s burden and who knows, It might change the way you see life.
Do you like Tulips? What is your favorite color so far?
If you’re interested to know more of different types of tulips, you can read it from here.
Even from my countless visits, I am still charmed by Holland. It has its endless enigma that is so unique, so complicated and yet so unforgettable. This country behind its countless dikes, polders, and gazillions of bikes, is enormous. There’s a lot to enjoy and really worthwhile to explore, especially for families and for all ages.
For the first time,we spent our Easter holiday with my parent’s in-laws and my husband’s relatives and as usual, it was a nice time, always ‘Gezellig‘. Though the sudden drop in temperatures dampen our moods for a while, the crisp winds, hail and rain came as a surprise but not for long, we managed to roll and live like a local.
This is Holland, the Netherlands, as I see it! Enjoy…
Easter egg hunt right in Opa’s garden!
Just like in Germany, Easter in the Netherlands was a blast. My daughter and her cousins had lots of fun hunting for eggs and of course, we had an overload of Osterhase ( Easter bunny) and chocolate eggs.
Talking about the wind and Dutch Cloudscapes
The photo below is a typical Dutch cloudscape. I snap this photo while I was in the attic and opened the window during dusk. You can almost feel the wind in the higher parts of the sky; the strips of clouds they call “wind feathers” . I know I am in Holland when the clouds makes an exhibition of their fluffy, airy, and colorful palette.The ‘cumulus’ type of clouds is as typical as the tulips and used as inspirations by artists in many classic paintings in the Netherlands. If you have time, Google ‘ Solomon Van Ruysdael’ and you will know what I am talking about.
The Kissing couple
I love everything Delft, and this one is far by my favorite second to the Tulip vase that I’ve seen from our visit to the Rijksmuseum. I can’t find any history of this but this little piece of a Dutch farmer kissing his wife in the fields is really something very-Dutch. It come in all sizes but they are typically in the blue and white color which means that they are made of Delft Blue (or Delftware) – a Dutch version of Chinese porcelain.
Crystal clear water reflections
I know that I am in The Netherlands when nature is visible in any bodies of water. The water is super clean and clear that you always have a mirror-like reflections. I am obsessed photographing all these reflections. I took this photo from one of our walks in the city center where the small river lies along the green trees and a castle. It always seems like just a few meters away and I am taken away to another place.
Flower power spectacle in full colors
Need I say more,when it comes to colors, the Dutch have a reputation to defend. This applies to famous painters like Rembrandt and Van Gogh, two of my favorite painters, whose work can be seen in several Dutch museums. One of my unforgettable experience was seeing the “Night watch” in Dutch –De Nachtwacht. But Holland is best known for its spring flowers, especially Tulips. They are gorgeoussssss!!!
My recent trip to the Keukenhof left me with a flower-coma but I’m telling you, by Springtime, a sight of tulips are seen ordinarily in every Dutch household. Actually the flowers are just a by-product, it’s the bulbs that counts and is exported all over the world.
The Dutch Tulips, and the season of Spring in the Netherlands is something that you should not miss if you are visiting this country. If you wanna know why these flowers causes the first financial crisis in Holland, you better read it Here.
I have a kid who is obsessed with animals and in Holland, the wild animals are typically seen up close. You can see herds of cows, goats , chickens and sheep as you drive along the highway. There is always a country-farm feel like even in the midst of a busy city. I think I have seen so much horses and stable in my entire life every time I am in Holland. Here, deers are still 100% natural. In the Veluwe, a protected wildlife park, there’s always a chance to run into one. My daughter enjoyed her up close encounter with huge deers that she can feed and with the petting zoo in Keukenhof gardens.
Pfau ( Peacock )
At the Petting Zoo
Our lazy walks lead us to this castle, just a few meters away from the city center. Huize Almelo is a castle ( manor) in Almelo which is owned by the family Van Rechteren Limpurg. It is not open for public access but of course you can view it from a distance.We love walking around here as it has a beautiful greenery and clouded with trees with a nearby lake and ponds.
The taste of Dutch cheese
Need I say more? Gouda is the type of cheese that is known worldwide, but the famous cheese market is held in the town of Alkmaar, north of Amsterdam. I don’t know about my husband why he doesn’t eat cheese, but as for me, I adore cheese and I could eat this everyday!
My sweet tooth indulgence when I am in Holland is elevated to the max. I can’t resist the delicious goodies like the stroopwafels, gevuldekoek, kozakken, Dutch Apple pies and bonbons. Though the Netherlands is famous for its ‘Frites’ and bitterballen, you can never underestimate the Dutch homemade dishes. My parents-in-law always spoiled us with so many home-made cooking that I can’t describe farther than ‘Gezelligheid’. It is always served with lots of love. And yes, even in Holland, it is Spargelzeit!
Our visit to Holland is not complete until we had coffee and a slice of warm Krentenwegge ( raisin bread) and Dutch apple pie with a window view of spring violet pansies, for which is truly relaxing. This bakery which dated since 1867, is a home to my husband’s favorite- raisin bread and Kruidnoten.
If you see bikes everywhere, then you know you are in the right city and you are definitely in the Netherlands! Either tucked in the central station, if not on a bridge, they are firmly locked over a canal or in front of Dutch houses.
Her name is Miffy, and she’s older than Hello Kitty !
Nijntje, is a shortening of “konijntje,” which means “little rabbit.”Oftenly mistaken as Japanese because of it’s ‘kawaii’ features but actually she’s Dutch. Sanrio even got sued for copying her design; the court ordered them to discontinue their “Cathy the bunny” character.
Dick Bruna released his first bunny book in 1955, followed by over 30 more. This year, Dick Bruna passed away but left a legacy with this white bunny character loved by children all over the world, even adults. We were lucky to witness the Miffy Parade last August 2015 in Amsterdam for its 60th Anniversary where 60 artists decorated a life-size miffy (1.8 metre high) from creepy goth to rubber ducky. My daughter adores Miffy since birth, and I am thrilled that we brought home one of the limited edition’s design.
There’s still so much to write about but I don’t want this post to be a novel . But do you wanna know what’s my priced souvenir from this family trip? This…
You know you are completely Dutchi-fied when you have this in your kitchen!
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“Woowww!” This is my daughter’s word when we saw the bright, bursting colors of tulips last Monday in the Keukenhof gardens in Lisse, in the Netherlands.
Visiting Keukenhof on the second day of Easter was totally overwhelming, but yes, for me, it is probably the most beautiful garden in spring in the whole world! I have been looking forward for this trip this Spring and I am so glad we had a great weather to witness this place. This year was the 68th time that the Keukenhof gardens ( literally translates as kitchen garden) wows approximately millions of tourists and even locals. My husband, who is a Dutch native, but a first-timer to see the flower-mania inside the Keukenhof gardens was surprisingly impressed by the beautiful landscapes. He thought only old people and tourists go there, but then he was mistaken.Seeing tulips grow as normal as weeds during spring in almost every backyard all over Holland, he saw the other side of its beauty.He was greatly enamored by the flower power as I did. He hates crowds but I must say that the traffic flow inside the park was still controlled and manageable, even with a 2.5 year old toddler with us. Since our visit falls on a holiday, we’ve seen visitors from all over the globe,different nationalities.Totally chaotic but then also so much fun!
We took the trip with Arriva tours and it was very pleasant, on time and smooth all the way. I won’t be surprised if visitors this year would surpass last year’s 2016 recorded 1.1 million visitors! As one of the highlight of our Holland trip, my feet was itching from the moment we book our tickets and kept on hoping that we had a great weather or else we will definitely cancel the trip.The time that I come face to face with the gazillions of around 800 varieties of tulips, I fell in love!
There is beauty everywhere I look! Have you ever heard of Tulips coma? There is never enough Tulips to see, and of course, to photograph!
I think this is how I’ve felt when I saw the bright tulips fields, the tripartite layers of colors, gorgeous landscape filled with different colors, unique artwork, inspirational gardens and flower exhibitions!
This year’s theme is “Dutch Design“. Dutch Design is characterized by Dutch sobriety combined with innovative solutions.The Mondriaan Garden with its primary square color patches was crowded and so as the Roses flower show in the Oranje Nassau pavillion was a great crowd pleaser. Surprisingly, my daughter had a blast in the petting zoo, in the Miffy house ,spacious playpark and running around the garden. The restaurants were crowded but there were plenty to choose from.You will have something to eat and drink depending on what you want.Don’t forget to try the Dutch , Bitterballen, and yes, the Kroket sandwich to have a taste of Dutch foods.
Personally, seeing this garden up close and personal was a dream come true!
Gazing at the tulips made me appreciate nature even more and I was just overwhelmed by how beautiful the flowers are.From this, the Dutch people should be very proud because they have this heritage. It’s no wonder people travel across the world just to see flowers, especially this Tulpen-Mania!
This spring,we are lucky to see the new amenities of the park, like its beautiful grand entrance hall, with geometric design ceiling, visitors luggage deposit area, restaurants, souvenir shops, and a car park where 4,500 cars and 1,000 coaches can park. If you like to gaze at the Tulips fields, you can walk a few meters from the park and just be amazed by horizons painted in red, yellow, violets, and pink tulips!
I am so glad that I had the chance to see this place in person. It was totally worth it. This place fueled my love for nature even more, flowers and the inspiration behind the art. I think its not just the tulips but there’s really a creative art behind these landscapes.
Here are some interesting facts I’ve learned while researching about this amazing garden.
1. 2017 is Keukenhof’s 68th opening to the public.
2. Keukenhof is only open eight weeks each year and, in that time, welcomes 1.1 million visitors ( as of 2016 records).
3. Nearly 50 million people have visited Keukenhof since it first opened and, nowadays, 75% come from more than 100 countries abroad.
4. More than 7 million bulbs are planted in Keukenhof’s 32 hectares (79 acres), which are supplied, for free, by 100 bulb growers.
5. The gardeners dig out these bulbs, at the end of each open season, and destroy them (by order of the growers). Most are used as food for livestock.
6. There are about 30 full-time gardeners, who work year-round at Keukenhof.
7. Each autumn, the gardeners plant the bulbs, by hand, in a completely new design. It takes about 3 months. The bulbs are selected to bloom throughout the eight-week opening period.
8. The bright green grass, around the park, is a special quick-growing variety, needed to cope with the shady trees. It is reseeded each year.
9. In addition to the tulip gardens, Keukenhof also hosts a Japanese garden, an English landscape garden, a spring meadow, a natural garden, a historic garden, a garden maze, and seven inspiration gardens that are different each year.
10. Although known for tulips, Keukenhof is home to the world’s largest lily show, during the last ten days of the opening season.
11. Keukenhof began, in 1857, as an English landscape garden, designed by the Zocher firm, who also designed Vondelpark in Amsterdam.
12. Keukenhof’s name has even older origins. Countess Jacoba van Beieren owned the land in the 15thcentury. The uncultivated land was used for hunting and gathering herbs for the castle’s kitchen, hence Keukenhof, or Kitchen Garden.
13. The striped tulips, so popular in the 17th century, got their colouring from a virus, transferred by aphids, only discovered in 1931. These days, multi-coloured tulips are bred to look that way.
14. Growing 4.2 million bulbs a year, the Netherlands is the world’s largest producer of tulip bulbs. Half of which are exported.
15. The main bulb-growing region of Holland stretches from Leiden to Haarlem. The number of hectares for bulb production has increased from 10,000 hectares in 1960 to more than 23,500 hectares in 2007. However, the number of growers is decreasing, from 13,000 in 1960 to only 2000, in 2007.
16.The website travel guide, Lonely Planet, opens with a feature on Keukenhof. Wikipedia has just one photograph of the Netherlands: of Keukenhof. More recently Keukenhof was awarded the Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor
If you have the chance, you need to give it a go to visit this amazing garden, you won’t regret it. Keukenhof is definitely a family & kid friendly place and there’s so much events and activities inside Keukenhof for all ages!
If you are planning to explore the off beaten attractions in Holland, you might want to check out why Dutch clouds, especially the Cumulus clouds are long time inspiration from artists and depicted in famous paintings. Read more in Holland, as I see It!
Yesterday was National Tulip Day in the Netherlands. Everyone is free to pick tulips in the ‘picking garden ‘in the Dam square in Amsterdam. Bursting with around 200,000 tulips on display, an event that should not be missed if you’re in town. More than 10,000 people come and pick their own free tulip, and you know what makes this event really rocks?
You pick FREE tulips of your choice, with its bulbs,so you can bring Spring to your homes,All for FREE! The special theme for 2017 is ‘Mondrian to Dutch Design’, as the Netherlands celebrates 100 years of De Stijl.
I don’t know about you , but one of the things that I love in this world are Tulips! Although tulips originally came from Turkey, the Netherlands and Tulips are two things inseparable! Just like Curry wurst and Germany. Yesterday, my husband surprised me with a handful of fresh bulbs of flaming yellow-red tulips, as he always does. He knows that I loved them. The aftermath, of course, me taking some photos and getting some inspiration from it.
There’s something about its slim perfect skinny stem, the fresh long green leaves, and it’s cup petals bursting with unique charm and beautiful vibrant colors. The “flames” and mosaic in the petals is a total stunner, a nature’s wonder. Tulips is the ultimate symbolic flower for grace. No wonder tulips (Tulpen) is 3rd world’s most popular flower! Such a surprise that I married a Dutchman and that tulips is just right in the doorsteps!
Did you know that the first Dutch’s financial bubble is because of tulips? Can’t believe that a single bulb of tulips could cost more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled person! So precious…
The Dutch love affair with tulips during the Dutch Golden Age of the mid-1600s paved way to tulip bulb bubble or also known as “Tulip Mania”. Generally considered to be the first recorded financial bubble, the Tulip Mania of 1636-1637 was the time in which tulip bulb prices were propelled by speculators to incredible heights before collapsing and plunging the Dutch economy into a severe crisis that lasted for many years. Incredible, right?
While it’s not the fanciest flower in the garden, the beauty and grace of a simple Tulips means it has become a symbol for many things. Here are some interesting facts about this flower that I have found out;
A dark or light-colored center contrasts against the petals and can symbolize a broken or light heart respectively.
Bright red is the color of passion and perfect love. Don’t send a bouquet of these flowers to a family member or you’ll be sending the wrong message!
Tulips are edible but not medicinal. They become emergency food during WW II.
Perfect, enduring love between partners or family members
Undying passionate love, whether the passion is spurned or returned
Royalty and a regal nature
Forgotten or neglected love
the 11th wedding anniversary
Abundance, prosperity, and indulgence
Charity and supporting the less fortunate
I fell in love with tulips even before I have seen a real one. Seeing it from the magazines and in TV made me dream to see it for real. I am just so engrossed in its form, and how delicate it looks and yet so proud. Same as an obsessed gardener, I have this urge to plant dozens of bulbs into our garden. Spring is still far away from our doorsteps and yet, the sight of tulips in flower shops makes me dream of bright sunny days ! There’s nothing compares to the sight of fresh bunch of Tulip in your hands, in a vase full of these inside your living room, even a single stem can really make a change in the ambiance of your place.
I can’t wait for Spring for our Easter trip to finally see and visitKeukenhof gardens to indulge in the sight of these babies up close!
But for now, this sight is enough for me to look forward for more beautiful days!
“A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different from a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower.” – Marianne Williamson
How did your weekend go? Have you seen something that inspired you?
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