The local crocuses have bloomed and are now withering in the turf, waiting to be carved up the next time the lawn is mowed. They have been replaced by the daffodils nodding in the breeze along the sides of the roads and canals.
With this in mind I was aware that we’d have to be getting our butts to de Keukenhof shortly! I didn’t want to miss the massive explosions of colour like we kind of did last year. If you remember, we saw it in its dying stages only, and a lot of it was being dug up when we were there.
I knew this year all the tulips were running late because of the extended cold weather we’d been having, and I was trying to time it just right while still being anxious about missing it!
As our tour bus drove us past the flower beds which should have been full of riotous colour, they were still desperately trying to come into bloom, and hence, a little lacklustre. Though you can see the red beginning to peek through here, and some yellow off in the distance. Through the rain. Yeah, did I ever pick a good day to go!
Yes, apparently this year, not only did I pick a rainy day to go, but the flowers still weren’t in bloom yet!
Interestingly we thought, knowing that Keukenhof is only going to be open for such a limited time, and the weather wasn’t playing ball, they had brought in “ring-ins” to put down the walkways. You can see them here with the still green flowerbed to each side.
The crocuses, hyacinth, and daffodils were out in abundance. This did mean that they had borne the brunt of the hail storm the previous day though. So some of them looked a little tired and care worn.
We decided to brave the crowds and head into the pavilions, which we hadn’t done last year.
The first we came across housed one of the most truly awe inspiring orchid exhibitions I’ve ever seen! (Georgia O’Keefe, eat your heart out!)
Orchids, bromeliads, and lilies, as far as the eye could see! Which wasn’t very far given the amount of people that were in there all with cameras and phones out taking macro shots! So we went upstairs for a different perspective. This is one of four wings of this exhibition space.
By the time we made it out of this exhibit, the sun was coming out! The hats we’d worn to keep the rain off our faces were then very adept at keeping the sun out of our eyes!
For some reason Himself didn’t think we needed a windmill for the balcony to keep the flamingos company. I don’t understand why …
Elsewhere in the park colour was popping up, and some of the spectacular displays were unveiling themselves.
I love this sculpture. Particularly with the ripples of colour that drag your eye towards it. But I think everyone does.
Continuing around the gardens we found our way to the next pavilion and upon entering were assailed by the scent of the tiger lilies. As stunning as these were, I reminded Himself not to brush up against them for fear of turning ourselves yellow from the pollen.
We pushed our way through the lilies, past the bowls full of hyacinth, only to come upon the most wondrous sight! Just up ahead of us were planted, and in full bloom, what appeared to be every kind of tulip there is! (Again, this is only a small portion!)
Himself and I both went into serious macro mode! How could you not?!?
It is a curious thing to remember about the tulip market, that it is the bulb that was worth the money. The flower is simply a by-product.
Even with being there a little early in the season this year, there was still a huge amount to see. We got there at 10am, and didn’t leave until 5. As one lovely English lady pointed out to me, she’d been informed that if you saw the tulips, you’d missed the crocuses, so we still saw things we wouldn’t have if we’d been later in the season.
It was a wonderful day, and takes many more hours than you think it possibly could to see all of it. So, from Keukenhof 2013, we bid you a fond farewell.
Of course you realise, if we did this last year, and again this year … it means we’ve been here a year. 0_o
But more on that in a later post!