We love those fresh Spring colours of tulips which are synonymous with the Netherlands. It’s not a native of that small northern country but it does so very well there. Tulip mania reared its floral head in the Dutch Golden Age when the cost of some bulbs of the trendy tulip reached amazing heights. That bubble burst, as they always do, in 1637. That interest in flowers was the forerunner of the industry we see flourishing today.
The bulb fields in Spring attract millions of visitors from all over Europe and beyond. There are more than 5,000 hectares of tulip fields, and annual dedicated festivals and events to entertain visitors. Flevoland is one of the most celebrated flower-focused regions in the Netherlands, and will entice any keen gardener away from Amsterdam. Yes, there is a lot to see outside the buzzing capital.
Largest land reclamation project in the world
Flevoland is the youngest province in the Netherlands and is therefore a new name to many foreign holidaymakers. It is the result of the largest land reclamation project in the world. The fields of blooms are decorating land which was once sea! This is home to one of the Netherland’s most extensive bulb cultivation areas.
There is actually a Tulip Route in Flevoland along which one can drive, cycle or walk… or take a helicopter or hot air balloon for a unique overview. The routes offer options of between 10 and 90km in length, with designated stops for activities where you can learn how tulips grow, as well as flower arranging. From April to early May, you can visit the Tulpenbelevingsveld, where you can enjoy more than 2,000 varieties of tulips in special gardens and shows.
Across Flevoland many gardens are open to visitors throughout the year, including Kwekerij Joosten, the 4,000m2 English-inspired Goldhorn Gardens, and Hanneke’s Pluktuin, a family garden where you can pick and create your own bouquet from a variety of flowers. A floral extravaganza is the Floriade, which will next be held in Almere in 2022. It is presented every 10 years, when guests are invited to stroll through colourful gardens and tropical greenhouses and marvel at garden technology. There is even a cable car suspended over the show ground, and Rotterdam’s famous Bobbing Forest will also be part of the attraction. This truly is a floating forest! The Floriade programme will also include art, theatre, music performances and culinary workshops.
Last year was tragic, isolating, and full of fear. 2021 is looking good for travel to open up safely, so perhaps we can make plans. We have found a new appreciation of our own gardens so an opportunity to visit flowering Flevoland is arriving in timely fashion.