I love visiting Botanical Gardens. I have been luck enough to live near several really impressive ones over the years – Long wood gardens, belingrath gardens, Missouri Botanical Gardens and loved to visit especially when the tulips bloom and the cherry blossoms blow good luck though the air.
The world famous Keukenhof doesn’t try and be the biggest, it doesn’t have to advertise much, it is just the mother of all tulip gardens. Its only open for about 7 weeks, from the end of march through the end of may. People, buses and trains full of people, descend upon the tiny farming village for 7 weeks a year. The tourist invade the tulip fields (of course we did) for photos and the Keukenhof welcomes them with the efficiency and precision of a swiss watch. From parking to ticketing to feeding the massive amounts of guest, you’d never know that this is just a temporary-seasonal operation.
Kuekenhoff is world famous and must be geographically located in the absolute perfect spot on earth where bulbs thrive because they are not only abundant but perfect. I didn’t see a wilted, drooping, scorched, or dead bulb in sight.
There were simply acres and acres of color (mixed with a whole lot of tourist).
Even with the massive numbers of people around I never felt crowded, Its like a huge park with room enough for everyone and their cameras.
We studied the weather for days and picked the afternoon with the most sunshine to visit, it was lovely.
The kids got to pet baby animals.
I got to talk to a peacock.
What tulip garden in Holland would be complete with out a windmill? Not this one.
There was a playground just in case you needed a break from sitting and looking at flowers.
There was also a shrub maze that fascinated Axel but it wasn’t blooming so I didn’t take any photos of it. The GIANT cotton candy however was very impressive. I use the kids begging as an excuse to buy it and “share” with me. So pretty much the Keukenhof thought of everything.
Oh and there were swans, and fountains and ponds too.
The tulips are almost as big as Coco’s head!
Some of the hydrangeas were much bigger than her head.
And when Keukenhof closed at 7 pm we decided to stop a million times to try and photograph the unbelievable fields, miles and miles of fields packed with rows of colorful flowers.
And I couldn’t resist jumping out of the car time after time to stand in the middle of all those flowers and snap a few shots of my baby girl- who of course wanted to pick them for her teachers, and for her friends, and the neighbor, and the bus driver, and the nice people at the grocery store, and, and, and.
We drove until the road ended at the Atlantic ocean in a town called Noordwijk and what we saw made me cry a little.
It was beautiful wide sandy beaches.
It looked like it could have been Florida, or South Carolina, it was the most familiar looking place I had seen all year.
And we ran through the warm-ish sand with bare feet for an hour until dark. And we loved it, and we had missed it. And we sent silent wishes across the big Atlantic Ocean to our loved ones on the other side.
And it was a perfect day. Amen.