Sunday, 11 May 2014


My grandmother has the green thumb in the family. She pulls out something in one spot and sticks it in a different one and it grows, whereas when I try to have plants they wilt and die. The only success I have is with the ones I can eat. Here I now have some basil, Moroccan mint and coriander growing steadily. And oregano, lemon balm and parsley seeds are sprouting into tiny sprigs of green on our window sill. 

With flowers I have had no such luck. Nevertheless, one of my wishes was to see the tulip fields in the Netherlands so when planning our trip to Amsterdam it was the opportune moment to insist on a day at Keukenhof. The Keukenhof gardens lie about an hour by bus outside of the city. Because it was a mild winter most flowers had bloomed already and the fields were not so much fields as individual stretches of colour. 

The gardens themselves are enormous with hundreds of different types of tulips and other bulbs. There was also a greenhouse with various orchids. Although it was lovely to walk around so many colours and petals in all shapes and sizes, Keukenhof felt too touristy for my liking. It seems that everyone only goes to be photographed in front of as many different tulips as possible, whereas I had this romanticized notion of strolling through fields of flowers and being overcome by their beauty and smell. Hah. Next time (next year? Try again maybe?) I'd prefer borrowing a bike somewhere and cycling through the fields, and ultimately skipping Keukenhof completely. 

Daffodils in cheese wheels. The Dutch!

Far away fields. 

A singular blossom of difference.

Some petals were the size of my hand. 

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