Tip Toe Through the Tulips

 

pink tulips
The home of tulips – the Netherlands

When I lived in NYC and San Francisco I used to treat myself to a bouquet of flowers weekly to spruce up my apartment and my attitude.  Seriously – how can you be stressed or angry with a colorful bouquet of flowers in your home?  I made a decision to enjoy flowers every day as opposed to just special occasions or worse yet – to wait for people to bring them to me.  Even though I travel full time – I realized that I can still make fresh flowers a part of my life by incorporating flower travel into my itineraries.

I was recently invited to the Netherlands to experience the spring flowers – something that I’ve always wanted to see – the famous Netherlands tulip fields.  I quickly found out that there was much more to the Netherlands flower culture than just tulip fields – see for yourself!

Amsterdam tulips

Tulips planted along the canal.

I went on a canal cruise in Amsterdam during my stay and it was a special commentary about the history or tulips and how a Turkish flower came to be known as a Dutch flower.  It also covered the famous “Tulip Mania” – a period where tulips were effectively used as currency in Europe and were sold/traded for enormously absurd prices.

Artis Zoo

Inside the Artis Zoo and Gardens at the Forest House

Mixing botany and animals – the Artis Zoo in Amsterdam includes impressive gardens in addition to animals.  My favorite area was the Forest  House where you basically walked into a live environment with the animals roaming freely instead of in cages.  In fact – essentially you entered their cage.

De Hortus Botanical Garden

De Hortus Botanical Garden Palm House in Amsterdam

De Hortus Botanical Garden

Prickly tree at De Hortus Botanical Garden – some natural self defense

Spring was just starting to come out at the small but beautifully designed  and diverse De Hortus Botanical Garden in Amsterdam.  They have a outdoor gardens and old and new green houses.  My favorite area was the Palm House – a beautiful old building that was the star of the park.

flower parade float

A float from the Bulb Flower Parade

It’s like the Rose Bowl Parade but better – it’s the Bulb Flower Parade and it travels 40 km from Noordwijk to Haarlem highlighting aprox. 50 floats and decorated cars.  I was able to visit the building where all of the floats were being created.  The moment you stepped in the building you were overwhelmed with flower aroma.  It was a bustle of activity as people were putting the finishing touches on the floats to be highlighted in the next day’s parade.

Holland Flower Fields

Flower fields filled with Hyacinths

If you drive from Amsterdam to Keukenhof Gardens – you will of course come across the famous colorful flower fields.  Many of the fields during my visit were filled with Hyacinths.

Flora Holland Auction

Watch the largest flower auction in the world at Flora Holland in Aalsmeer

It’s like the Wall Street of Flowers.  I’ve actually visited Flora Holland - a huge flower auction sight and distribution center on a previous visit – but it’s so vast that you learn something every time you go.

Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof Gardens – the stop on every flower lover’s list in the Holland

Tulip fields holland

Take a canal ride from Keukenhof Gardens to view the colorful fields

 

Holland tulip variety

So many varieties of tulips at Kekenhof Gardens!

Colorful tulips

Tulips on display in the greenhouses at Keukenhof Gardens

Of course if you are visiting Holland to see the flowers then you must make a stop at Keukenhof Gardens – a spring garden that is only open for 2 months of the year and then dug up and redesigned every year. 7 million tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths all in bloom create a spectacular pallet of color not to mention aroma.  This is landscaping and gardening at it’s very best.

Interested in other flower travel – then check out my Wanderlist I made on AFAR.com that highlights some of the best flower viewing in the world!

Floral Travel

Where are some of your favorite places to do Flower Travel?

Disclosure:  I was a guest of IAmsterdam for this tour of flowers through the Netherlands.  However – all opinions expressed here are my own.

 

 

Your Comments

10 Comments so far

  1. Prasad Np says:

    Such a colorful post. I was in Amsterdam long ago, but missed the tulip fields due to rains. But I did visited the Flower market there, which was much better organized than the flower markets here Gudimalkapur Flower Market Hyderabad.

  2. Maria says:

    Wow Sherry! From graceful, delicate tulips to prickly trees – they have it all.

  3. Richard says:

    I lived in The Hague for 4 years. Every year, I went at least once to the annual Keukenhof flower show in April and/or May. It’s huge!

    This brings back nice memories!

  4. Alani Kuye says:

    Sherry, I was just here last week and took the very same pictures (and lots more). This is so funny!
    Good one!

    Alani

  5. Isn’t Keukenhof just the most photogenic place on Earth? I must have taken hundreds of photos on that day.

  6. Wow gorgeous! My husband gets to travel to Amsterdam pretty frequently for work- hoping I can join sometime soon to experience the beauty of the tulips in the Netherlands!

  7. Elena says:

    Wow, love pictures of flowers and yours are just gorgeous!I didn’t know you could have flower auctions, it shows how important they are.
    Love your blog and your photos!

  8. Frank says:

    Hi Sheryl,
    Very nice – we have our own tulips here in Montreal that I just recently blogged about:

    http://bbqboy.net/spring-photos-from-mont-royal/

    Not as famous as the ones in the Netherlands though!

  9. Tulips are my favourite flowers. These pictures are wonderful. I have been to LaConner Washington where there are some great tulip fields. It was a sight to behold.


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