Sorry for the delay in my blog… somewhere along the line my little netbook decided that it didn’t want to play with the internet access on board… whether I used Google Chrome or IE it just wasn’t letting me at first load photos and then it didn’t even want me to post words! Such a critic! So below would have been what I posted on Wednesday when we went to the Keukenhof Gardens…… enjoy!
Well, at long last it is the day that we have all been waiting for (or at least me)… The Keukenhof Gardens! Today we set off at 9 am for the hours drive to the Gardens from where our ship was docked in Zaandam. On the way we heard all about the history of the gardens which with every story you hear in Europe started with a Princess, an evil Uncle and many marriages….
When we arrived there were quite a few buses already there… the gardens are only open 8 weeks of the year… so if you don’t see it now you have to wait until next year… and by far this was the most spectacular gardens I have ever been in (even including my own which I think is pretty nice considering I live in a little town home… but I digress).
Everywhere you looked there were gardens… we call them English Gardens and the English call them Dutch Gardens… if you want to know the reason why I can tell you.. Perhaps in another blog though. Our guide gave us a brief walk through and told us all the must see’s… the windmill located in the back of the gardens is the best way to see the open fields of Tulips that are growing all around the gardens… the boat ride he said was not the best way because you don’t see them raised…more at an eye level.
I didn’t do the boat ride and don’t even remember seeing it anywhere but I might have missed that area… I did climb to the top of the windmill but also found another area on the perimeter that also had a good view in case you aren’t able to climb steep stairs… it would be located to the right of the windmill and along the outer edge of the garden.
There are some indoor pavilions along with the outside gardens. One is all orchids (that is the Beatrix).. While I like Orchids I don’t grow them so I skipped that area and focused on the pavilion with all the bulb type flowers… Tulips, Hyacinth, Anemone, Narcissus…. There were so many different varieties of tulips too… double flowers, ones that were about 3 feet tall, huge blooms, mini blooms, every color imaginable… I had to stop taking pictures after a while because I figured no one will ever want to see all my photos… unless I invited them over for photos and wine perhaps…
Each year a country is highlighted in the Gardens, this year it is Poland. Of course I also bought bulbs while I was there. There are three shops and they will ship you the bulbs in the fall so you have this year’s crop. I did go a little crazy and purchased about $280.00 worth of bulbs.. Thank goodness Matt has a very large yard, hopefully he will make me a bed so I can plant them in the fall (hint hint)….
One thing that I did find interesting when I bought all of these was that most of the growers say that you will only get one or maybe two blooms from a tulip.. Perhaps one more from a daffodil or narcissus.. A Hyacinth might give you 4 or 5 but typically you should just pull up your bulbs and plant new ones every year.. Now I do realize that they want you to keep buying and buying but I think that they might be right. I have been lucky in the past to get two blooms from my tulips but never more (I thought I was just buying cheap bulbs from Sam’s Club and that was the reason).. This year my daffodils were very sparse (again I thought it was the warmer than normal weather) but there might be something to that.
We wandered the Gardens from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm.. Which was a good amount of time to see most of the grounds… I skipped the Orchids and Poland exhibit but was able to see most all the other areas… there are quite a few tucked away areas too… benches throughout the grounds so bring a lunch with you and you can sit and enjoy the flowers while you eat your lunch. The ship supplied us a box lunch of sandwiches and fruit.
Lucky for you I can’t post all 150 pictures I took while there (I don’t even take that many pictures on my WHOLE vacation usually! Let alone one day!) So I hope you enjoyed some of my very favorites!
Remember, the Tulips and Windmills cruises fill up very fast… if you are interested in visting NEXT year just give me a call! 888 877 8464 or drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or just post a comment on the blog and I will let you know what is still out there for booking!
Thanks so much for following along with me on my latest adventure… next for me is the Paris and Normandy sailing on Uniworld the end of July with my daughter Ilyse.. should be fun… of course you are invited (via the blog) also… lets hope that Google chrome likes my computer better on that trip!!
I’d be happy to come for wine and to see ALL your tulip pictures! Thanks for the revisit! I remember booking the tour last November, and even then, there were very few staterooms left (the more expensive ones!) But I enjoyed the high life!
I have bottles ready and waiting for you! How nice to have such fast internet access for downloading these pictures! I am going to be posting more on Facebook later today! I wish I were in the Gardens today!
Great to hear your tips. We have a tour to Keukenhof this Friday. I have a question: about how much time did you spend at Keuk?
Hi Pete… if you are a big flower enthusiast then I would say that at least 5 hours would be good… if you just love flowers but don’t have to stop and look at every one of them you could get away with 3 hours.. depending on the crowds though too… I wouldn’t plan on any less than 3 hours! Enjoy… there were a lot of blossoms that weren’t quite ready when we were there.. I bet it will be beautiful for you when you go! 🙂
Fabulous….Thanks for my armchair travel adventure!
Thanks Jane! I am going to try to copy the whole gardens in Matt’s backyard… what do you think???