Keukenhof – Garden of Europe | Keukenhof, which is also known as the Garden of Europe, is the world’s largest flower garden. Keukenhof is located in South Holland which is in the small town of Lisse, south of Haarlem and southwest of Amsterdam. It is accessible from Haarlem, Leiden and Schiphol. Approximately 7,000,000 (seven million) flower bulbs are planted every year in the park, and that amount covers an area of 32 hectares.
Keukenhof is situated on 15th century hunting grounds. Keukenhof provides the source of herbs for Jacqueline, the Countess of Hainaut’s castle which is for the castle’s kitchen. After the death of the Countess, Rich merchants tooks over Keukenhof. Baron and Baroness Van Pallandt assigned the landscape architect Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher who worked on Vondelpark to design the grounds around the castle in the 19th century.
The garden was established in 1949 by the then-mayor of Lisse. The idea was to present a flower exhibit where growers from all over the Netherlands and Europe could show off their hybrids, as well as helping the Dutch export industry because Netherlands is the world’s largest flower exporter. Keukenhof has been the world’s largest flower garden for over fifty years.
The grounds of Castle Keukenhof are open all year long and are frequently used for festivals such as Castlefest and the Ladies Winternight. The castle also houses classical music performances. Keukenhof is open annually from the last week in March to mid-May. The best time to view the tulips is around mid-April, depending on the weather.