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The concrete water fountains and colorful bulbs of Keukenhof gardens

The concrete water fountains and colorful bulbs of Keukenhof gardens

Flowers and elaborate concrete water fountains at Keukenhof in the Netherlands are second only to the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, as the most photographed location in the world, according to the Eastman Kodak Co. The history of Keukenhof is nearly as vibrant as the gardens itself.

Just like its Dutch gardens, Keukenhof's past is vibrant with memories

When she wasn't busy planning her next wedding, the beautiful Jacoba van Beieren (1401-1436) spent most of her time on the estate's 70 acres hunting deer and other royal wildlife. The Countess of van Beieren had a vast and ravenous court, so much of the land was used to cultivate vegetables and herbs. (In Dutch, Keukenhof literally means "kitchen garden"). She did not live during the era of formal gardens with man-made water features.

Only a few ruins of her palace's brick walls are still visible. There isn't enough sage in the garden now for the countess to use it to season her venison stew. Miles of flower beds, wall fountains, and concrete water features are all part of today's gardens. Visit to read up on the essentials of wall and concrete water fountains.

In the Netherlands, the Keukenhof Gardens are a riot of color. Bulbs and concrete water features are put in every empty space.

Turnips have been replaced by tulips and herbs by hyacinths, much to the joy of the one million or more visitors that visit this site every spring to see the world's biggest flower garden and the world's most photographed concrete water fountains.

This area has been utilized by Dutch bulb farmers since 1949 to showcase their country's illustrious export crop. About 30 gardeners spend their autumns planting 7 million bulbs to ensure a spectacular spring display. All of last year's bulbs were pulled out and thrown away. Every year, the concrete water fountains add to the beauty of the bulb show.

Bulbs are planted in succession to maintain color in the same beds: first come the first bloomers like crocuses, then the hyacinths, and ultimately the late-blooming tulips.

Brilliant, towering cottage tulips and fragrant Dutch hyacinths cascade down gentle hills into a lake where white swans float over quiet water. Cooling bursts of water from concrete fountains and little brooks break up the stillness. "If paradise doesn't look exactly like this location, I'm leaving," said one tourist.

Under a stand of towering 150-year-old beech trees, a different section has traditional rectangular beds of tulips and daffodils.

Concrete water fountains helped to unify Keukenhof's many thematic areas

Theme gardens, such as Japanese, musical, historical, and meadow gardens, are also available. Some thirty works of art, including concrete water gardens and sculptures, are scattered throughout the grounds. And what Dutch attraction would be complete without at least one of the country's iconic windmills? The youngsters may run wild for a while in the labyrinth.

There are various casual eateries and indoor displays, such as an orchid pavilion, can be found at Keukenhof. There are peacocks roaming the grounds, and approximately 30 different types of wild birds make their homes in the many trees and bushes.

To the southwest of Amsterdam, you'll find Keukenhof, located about 18 kilometres (11 miles). Visit this famous garden in Amsterdam while you're there. Artists from all over the globe may be seen drawing the ancient tulips that line the concrete water gardens. Be prepared to be overwhelmed by the stunning natural scenery on your first visit. Incredible beauty in every direction may make a tourist dizzy. The amount of detail is nearly overwhelming.

If the Countess van Beieren were still alive, she might not be able to use the Keukenhof kitchen garden to feed her court, but she could surely wow visitors with elaborate flower arrangements and concrete water features.

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