| Sheila Howell
An April trip to The Netherlands demands a side trip to Keukenhof Gardens to see the tulips in person. Even if you've seen hundreds of pictures of Keukenhof in full bloom, there is nothing like seeing the gardens in person. On my spring antique buying trip to Europe, in Holland I made time to smell the tulips...
Holland's Keukenhof Garden is Europe's largest flower garden and is often called the Garden of Europe. Only open 8 weeks a year during tulip season from late March through early May, over 7 million flowers welcome nearly 1 million visitors. Elegant, colorful and friendly, tulips steal the show but other flowers are also featured during the tulip show and the holidays.
Originally designed as the gardens of a castle, Keukenhof is located less than an hour southwest of Amsterdam, with trains, buses and tours easily available.
Tulips have been in Holland since the 16th century, when they were a valuable trade commodity and built fortunes - until the trade collapsed after 1637. Tulpenmanie - tulip mania - made Holland the leading trader and grower of tulips. Popularized in Dutch paintings, tulips have long been a symbol of Holland and the climate and global flower market keep the seasonal tulip in demand. The 2017 film Tulip Fever is set during 17th-century tulip mania in Amsterdam.
Take time to smell the tulips...
And of course Keukenhof is not only for tulips...
Symbolizing 'perfect love', tulips are popular and affordable. Different colors of tulips carry their own significance:
- Red tulips are most strongly associated with true love.
- Purple symbolizes royalty.
- Yellow tulips have evolved from once representing hopeless love to now being a common expression for cheerful thoughts and sunshine
- White tulips are used to claim worthiness or to send a message of forgiveness.
- Variegated tulips, once among the most popular varieties due to their striking color patterns, represent beautiful eyes.
This spring, stop to smell some tulips! If you're looking for a new vase to display your tulips, visit European Finds for our antique and vintage vases.