by Meghan Augsburger
Ramstein High School intern
With the arrival of spring comes the long awaited opening of the Keukenhof gardens.
Located in Lisse, the Netherlands, Keukenhof gardens welcome more than 800,000 visitors from around the world each year.
This year, the park opened once again March 21 and will stay open until May 20. Visitors are welcome between 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. everyday and on all public holidays.
The entrance fee is €15 for adults and €7.50 for children between the ages of 4 and 11. Parking in either of the two lots costs €6.
In the 15th century, the park functioned as a hunting and herb collecting ground for castle kitchens, hence the name “Keukenhof,” or kitchen garden.
The park, now known throughout the world, first opened as a massive flower exhibition in 1949 and has remained popular since.
Hundreds of varieties of tulips, hyacinths and daffodils bloom every year throughout the gardens. Indoor shows and exhibitions also showcase flowers from all over the world such as orchids, lilies, roses and freesias.
Each exhibition hall is named in honor of the Dutch royal family. They include the “Beatrix,” “Willem-Alexander,” “Juliana” and “Wilhelmina” pavilions.
Every year, the park chooses a new theme for its biggest exhibition. “United Kingdom — Land of Great Gardens” is the 2013 season theme with flower designs depicting Big Ben and other British icons.
A visit to Keukenhof offers much more than simple flower viewing, however.
Scattered around the park are 100 works of art to be admired. Boat and bike trips through the bulb fields provide great photo opportunities as well.
For true flower enthusiasts, Keukenhof advertises flyovers in the DC-3 Dakota “Princess Amalia” for the entire month of April. Tickets must be reserved in advance.