The Netherlands offer large bulb flower ‘gardens’ in spring time. The country is known worldwide for its bulb cultivation. Hyacinths, tulips and daffodils are grown on long fields that colour the landscape like a piece of modern art.
Most tourists head for the region where this flower industry once started, around the towns Hillegom and Lisse, where also the famous garden attraction of Keukenhof is to be visited. BUT. If yo want to see flower fields in a not that busy area (on sunny weekend days there’s traffic jams), there’s great other options.
Good to know: it is difficult to say when the season starts: early March, late April? Every year is different, due to weather conditions like frost, temperatures or rain. Check on social media to discover if flowers are showing up in timelines.
Largest area: Flevoland
Not that far from Amsterdam. Even to be reached by train.
With over 2000 hectares of bulb fields, Flevoland has the largest flower field area in the Netherlands. In spring, in various places there are several routes available to enjoy the colorful fields by car, bike or foot.
On average more than four meters below sea level, the bottom of the former Zuiderzee has proven to be very suitable for the cultivation of tulips.
The largest fields are situated in the Noordoostpolder. But also the regions Dronten and Zeewolde have a lot of coulourful tulip fields.
The hyacinths are first in bloom. They show great purple, pink and violet colours, and smell gorgeous.
Crispy white tulips till the horizon…
Those yellow tulips seem to last the longest.
All Flevoland pictures are made by Ronald Wassenaar by the way.
In his part of ‘bulb country’ there’s several bike and hike tours along the flower fields. Download them here:
More info on Bulb Flowers in Flevoland you find on this website.
2. Typical Dutch countryside: Kop van Noord-Holland
The Kop van Noord-Holland area is also not far from Amsterdam. This rural region is full of tulip fields (early spring), windmills, and the coast and dunes is within easy travelling distance and offers a typical Dutch landscape.
The region between Petten, Den Helder, Nieuwe Niedorp and Wieringerwerf is unique. This piece of land wedged between the North Sea and the IJsselmeer boasts the world’s single biggest flower bulb field. You can go on wonderful walks or cycling tours in spring while enjoying the colorful fields.
More info on Bulb Flowers in Kop van Noord-Holland, specially the town Zijpe, you find on this website.
3. Discovery in the East: the province of Drenthe
I follow Igersdrenthe_overijssel and spotted several pictures of tulip fields over there too.
In Valthermond, Rolde and Wateren there’s also great flower spots to discover! So when you live in Germany, this might be a good alternative.
4. Hidden secret: Kasteel Keukenhof
With an excursion of my local gardeners club, I visited this castle and I was surprised.
This place is not to be mistaken by Keukenhof, the famous flower garden that attracts thousands of tourists every spring, just around the corner.
The estate of Kasteel Keukenhof is only recently open to public and the garden offers a more peaceful alternative to the bulb seekers’ buzz. The castle is open for guided tours (I must say: do not bother when you are an outdoor person…) and the estate is free to visit.
The landscape park has rhododendrons, peony trees, lots of daffodils, and lanes leading to sculptures and ponds.
On the castle wall you’ll see a rare white wisteria.
There is an interesting walled garden with a kitchen garden that has been rehabilitated this year.
Do not miss the charming bulb and tuber flower garden: Hof van Jan Boot. It is behind the tea house.
5. Old fashioned bulb flower spot: Hillegom and Lisse
If you DO want to visit this classic area, you will not be disappointed. But choose a weekday (Monday till Thursday preferably) and go early (before 10.00 o’clock) or later (after 16.00 o’clock) .
Hire a bike or make a walk along the fields.
Too late for the fields? Keukenhof is a park where more than 7 million flower bulbs are planted every year, open from the third week of March till about the third week of May. You’ll discover gardens and four pavilions with an extensive collection of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, orchids, roses, carnations, irises, lilies and other flowers.