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The Amazing Spring Bulbs of Keukenhof

Keukenhof is a garden in Holland that opens its gates every spring so that the public can enjoy its incredible flowering bulbs, which number in the millions. Here is a brief history.
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In Horticulture’s April issue, Tovah Martin writes about mixing bulbs throughout flowerbeds, rather than segregating them to one area or the front of the border. In preparing the story, Tovah witnessed the beauty of flowering bulbs at Keukenhof, a park in Holland. Here’s some more information about Keukenhof, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

The land that now harbors Keukenhof was once part of a large private estate whose owners commissioned landscape architects J.D. and L.P. Zocher, designers of the Amsterdam Vondelpark, to design the garden around their home. This design, which follows the English landscape style, has remains the basis of Keukenhof.

Today the estate belongs to a corporation. In 1949, an open-air flower market was held on the grounds, led by the local mayor and area commercial bulb growers. That event evolved into an annual 8-week long open period, which today draws visitors from all over the world to see millions of bulbs in bloom. Bulbs are supplied each year by bulb growers. Last fall, over 7 million bulbs were planted in anticipation of Keukenhof’s 60th annual festival.

In addition to the bulbs, Keukenhof holds a large collection of sculpture. Cultural events, parades, plant shows and more fill out the 8-week open period. To learn more about Keukenhof and this year’s activities, see

Love bulbs? Check out our “Bulbs” CD.