Anyone who loves spring flowers, especially tulips, should visit the Keukenhof flower gardens near Amsterdam. The beauty of these gardens and the brilliant bulb flowers just cannot be adequately captured in pictures. Since Keukenhof is only open for about two months in the spring, all of this splendor is crammed into a few short weeks. Several small river cruise lines feature spring tulip cruises for those wanting to visit Keukenhof and tour the Netherlands.
The flower gardens at Keukenhof were the idea of the 1949 mayor of Lisse. He worked with about a dozen prominent Dutch bulb growers and exporters to develop the gardens. Their objective was to have an open-air flower exhibition where growers could showcase their latest hybrids, and consumers could view and buy a wide range of flower bulbs.
Every spring if you walk down past your neighbour's gardens for a stroll in the park, what do you inevitably see, both in the gardens and the park... beautiful displays of tulips. Gardens full of delight!
One of the reasons for this is that apart their stunning beauty they are readily available, cheap and have a wide range of colors and forms. Most garden outlets and bulb catalogues sell the large-flowered garden tulips in packets of mixed colors according to group or in packets of named individual varieties. The large-flowered garden tulips are just made for use as bedding plants - they combine really well with forget-me-nots and wallflowers. They also can be used to great effect planted in scattered clumps among perennials or other bulbs.
The smaller species tulips have a less choice of colors than the garden tulips, but they have a more delicate form and are ideal for rockeries and container gardens, or the front of borders.