Magazine article Sunset

On the Tulip Trail in Holland

Magazine article Sunset

On the Tulip Trail in Holland

Article excerpt

Near Amsterdam, two grand floral extravaganzas

FLORICULTURE IS AT its breathtaking best in Holland this year. Until the end of May, dazzling displays of tulips and other spring bulbs edge paths and ponds at Keukenhof, Holland's best-known bulb display garden. And through October 11, bulbs and other flowers are on display at Floriade 1992, the Netherlands' once-a-decade floral extravaganza. Both are within an hour's drive of Amsterdam.

KEUKENHOF: A KITCHEN GARDEN FULL OF BULBS

Keukenhof, which means "kitchen garden," was originally a noble's salad garden. Near Lisse in the bulb district, it showcases 6 million bulbs that grow in drifts, blooming in waves for about two months in spring.

Paved footpaths wind through 70 acres of lawns, lakes, woodlands, steams, and shrubs, all edged with rivers of bloom. In one place, we delighted in a bank of daffodils around red-flowering currant (a Western native); in another, a cool river of blue Muscari wowed passerby.

Flowers are labeled; most are available commercially.

Weather can be bone-chilling or warm. During rain, you can duck into one of the garden's sheltering restaurants or conservatories. …

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