Keukenhof- Bulbs all blooming in mass

Bill Dijk
Sun, 02 Apr 2006 20:05:08 PDT
Hi Folks.

OK, the holidays are over, no more parties of the exorbitant eating and
drinking of the well known Dutch Gouda cheese, washed down with a
nice/few bottle(s) of New Zealand wine (:-)
Yes it's back to all hands on deck and the old nose to the grind stone again
to plant all the remaining bulbs. (:(
My wife held the fort in my absent and had made a good start planting all
the Tecophilaea's and other bulbs that were starting to sprout, while
I was partying overseas.
What would we men do without our wives. (no need to reply)

Thanks Dave (Karnstedt) for the free, voluntary, unbiased opinion,
advertising and promotion of the beautiful Keukenhof.
I am sure the dutch flower bulb industry will be eternally grateful for
those eloquent remarks and descriptions of the famous Keukenhof.
I will recommend you, to become the dutch ambassador for the Netherlands and
perhaps throw in a few free tickets to the next spring show to the 
(oops that may be regarded as bribing)
I hope that Dave's explanation will have satisfied Mary Sue and others to
realise what hard work goes into producing a spring spectacle and riot of
colours of that calibre and magnitude.
Equally impressive is the combination of nature and the results of human
creativity, for there is a great deal of art incorporated in the park.

Last but not least, may I also express my gratitude of the generous
welcome and hospitality I enjoyed from Mary Sue and Bob, who despite their
busy workload, still managed to feed and entertain me, amongst them her
personal mission and effort, in creating, maintaining, and upkeep of the 
interesting Guelala bluff trail along the rugged and picturesque California
Not to forget Jana Ulmer who picked me up and drove me all the way to Mary
Sue's place.
I also met other keen members of the PBS, Diana Chapman, Bob and Marlene
Werra and Nancy Wilson just a few who braved the rain to visit us.
Perhaps Mary Sue or Susan Hayek ( with perhaps an introduction by Dave
Karnstedt) could organise a link to the wiki especially for the Keukenhof, I
will (and others) certainly post some colourful pictures of this famous

Best wishes,

Bill D.

Tauranga, New Zealand :annual rainfall :1250 mm.
Sunshine hours, mean annual  :  2350 hours.
Temp.mean max.Summer : 25°C.   winter:///15°C/.
Temp.mean min. Summer :14.5°C. Winter: 5°C.
Wet mild Winters with occasional light frost.


> The Keukenhof is to those who truly appreciate "bulbous plants" what Mecca
> is to certain religions -- the one place on Earth that must be visited
> before
> one is placed in the Earth.
>This jaw-dropping display of spring-flowering bulbs
>  (the display garden of the Dutch bulb industry) is almost difficult to
> comprehend!  It absolutely demands a visit of several days just to see it
> all.  One simply has to just quietly sit in one place and let the beauty
> of the
> place sink in.
> Bill's CD of Keukenhof shows a solid mass of flowers in bloom, all at the
> same time and all perfect. So how do they do that?  Is rain different over
> there?
> Is there no wind? And how can you get flowers all to open the same day so
> they will all be blooming together?
> Timing and clone selection.  Of course, the cold weather in The
> Netherlands
> at that time of the year helps to preserve the flowers in bloom so the
> seasons
> tend to blend and merge with one another, coinciding with midseason, or a
> bit
> either side.  Even in the cold of an Oregon Spring, spared hail, daffodils
> can
> last three to four weeks in bloom.  They're, literally, growing and
> blooming
> in a refrigerator!
> The entire garden is replanted each Fall.  After the Spring show is over,
> the
> bulbs in the beds are dug and the soil worked over and prepped for
> replanting
> in the Fall.  It's a mind-boggling effort.  Each of the bulb growers in
> The
> Netherlands can lease a space in the garden to plant with the bulbs their
> business grows to display their product.  I would imagine, however, that
> it is done
> according to some theme.
> Bill says they are planted so densely they hold each other up and he's not
> sure that they get heavy rain. I wonder if they have ever have hail (which
> in my
> experience leaves the leaves and flowers marked unattractively.)
> The last time I was in Holland, I was never so cold in my life!  I was
> wearing virtually every stitch of clothing I had packed and was still
> shivering
> during visits to the bulb grower's fields.  The wind was so strong it was
> blowing
> the rain and sleet horizontally across the landscape -- too strong for
> even
> the modest protection of an umbrella!  If it weren't for the warm,
> welcoming
> kitchens in the houses of the growers and cups and cups of coffee, I'd
> probably
> still be there waiting to thaw out.
> The Keukenhof is set in a grove of widely spaced ancient beech trees and
> is
> surrounded with an additional plantings to cut the wind.  However, Bill is
> right when he says that the close planting is also responsible for both
> the effect
> and the ability of the plantings to withstand some wind.  Thus, the
> plantings
> in the park itself are sheltered from the major blasts.  They also have
> glasshouses with exhibits.  These are not to be missed either!!  They
> contain
> bulbous plants, e.g., lilium, that are blooming out of season and even
> massive
> displays of things like tulip.  I recall one mind-bending display of
> hippeastrum
> that had me madly scribbling in my checkbook!!  The business-minded Dutch
> often
> man their displays and are only too accommodating if one chooses to buy
> bulbs.
> My husband says that those pictures for the CD could have been taken over
> many years on perfect days. I did see this disclaimer on the web site:
> "Flowering in the park depends on the weather conditions."
> It's Spring weather and no one that I know of (I'm not up on the latest .
> .
> .) can perfectly control the weather!  If you're going to sell something
> and
> use photos to do that, there is no question but what one selects only the
> best
> of them to make the point.  However, be that it as it may, and as good as
> the
> photos are, the real thing experienced in person (even on a rainy day)
> just
> cannot be surpassed by a mere photo!  Think fragrance -- hundreds of
> square feet
> of hyacinth, for example, and you'll understand the admonition to take
> some of
> your money "and buy hyacinth for the soul."  Do remember to bring several
> of
> the largest digifoto chips with you -- you'll fill them to capacity in no
> time
> at all and your photos will be as good!!!  I've been several times and
> wouldn't hesitate in a minute to go again -- and I hate flying nowadays,
> as the
> "only way to fly" is but a distant memory in this day of cattle-car class
> . . .
> With the rise in fuel prices, one can no longer fly business class for the
> price of discounted coach (OK, so I used some frequent flyer miles -- back
> when
> they still had some value!!)  On the other hand, you would be well advised
> to
> do whatever it takes to experience The Netherlands during Spring-blooming
> season at least once in your life.  Not only is there The Keukenhof, but
> the
> fields of the growers and all of the interesting and historical sights in
> a country
> with a long heritage, plus, there is the world's best Gouda cheese and
> beer
> to eat and drink yourself silly with!!
> The web site has a great of deal of background information,
> although it is unfortunate that it doesn't include many photographs of the
> displays themselves.  Google Keukenhof and there is presented a range of
> options
> that I didn't fully explore.
> All best,
> Dave Karnstedt
> Cascade daffodils
> Silverton, Oregon, USA
> Mediterranean climate -- cold and wet Winters, hot and dry Summers.
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