Keukenhof Country Park
During the Middle Ages these grounds were part of property belonging to Countess Jacoba van Beieren (1401-1436), whose three husbands included a Duke of Gloucester and a Dauphin of France.
History tells us that on the present grounds of the Keukenhof the Countess and her entourage went hunting, whilst vegetables and herbs were grown here to be used in the Countess’ castle kitchen. ‘Keuken’ in Dutch means kitchen and ‘hof’ means garden; which shows how the name was chosen.
In 1949 a group of prominent Dutch bulbgrowers developed plans to create a flower exhibition to show visitors the many varieties and the splendour of the Dutch bulb-flower industry. As the location for the exhibition the founders chose the heart of the bulb district and they were lucky to find this lovely country site nearby. The wonderful park called ‘The Keukenhof’ is now the world’s largest flower garden. For four decades the park has been receiving visitors from all over the world.
The gardens, which are near Lisse, cover 70 acres on which roughly 6 million bulbs are planted every year. Every garden has a specific design and character. Climb the steps of the Groningen-type cornmill to see the view. Hear the clock-carillion play internationally known tunes every 15 minutes. See the exhibition of some 30 sculptures and other objects d’art throughout the park.
A huge indoor spring garden is staged in 7,000 sq m of pavilions during the annual spring exhibition in April and May, where over 500 different varieties are to be seen in 10 indoor flowershows under the name ‘Parade’.