(Another in our series of gardens to see before you die!)

Keukenhof might sound like an import beer, but it’s the world’s largest flower garden: 79 acres, with 7 million bulbs and a thousand Tulip types each year! This flower garden is definitley a place to visit in The Netherlands but to see all this beauty, you have to plan carefully since it’s only open about two months, from March 21 to May 20, 2013. If you decide to go, the weekend of April 19-21 promises to be a great time to visit due to all the special events.

Parade Weekend

On the evening of Friday April 19, there will be a parade in Noordwijkerhout. The parade and floats will be illuminated and will continue  to Noordwijk. The annual flower parade is on Saturday April 20th at 9.30 a.m. The parade will travel its 40-km route along the main roads from Noordwijk to Haarlem.

The procession will be comprised of 20 large floats and more than 30 decorated luxury cars, interspersed with a lot of music. In the evening of Saturday 20, the illuminated float will arrive in Haarlem and will remain there on view until Sunday April 21 until late in the day.

There will be plenty of space along the roadside for the hundreds of thousands of spectators who congregate every year along the route. The flower parade is free of charge.

Garden Ideas

If you go, once in the gareen you can rent bikes or take a 50-75 minute trip in one of the “whisper boats,” driven by electric engines. These boats are environmentally friendly and are almost silent as they sail through the beautiful surrounding Dutch landscape.

In the book  1001 Gardens You Must See Before You Die1001 Gardens You Must See Before You Die Ted Wilson says although it is in the Netherlands, the style is 19th century “English informal,” avoiding straight lines and regularity.

“Despite its name meaning kitchen garden,” says Wilson, “there’s nothing domestic or small-scale about Keukenhof.” Finally, however and whenever you see it, don’t forget your camera! You’ll definitley want to take pictures of all the vibrant colors and varieties of flowers.

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