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Visit to the Keukenhof 10 April 2006

Almost but not quite an annual pilgramage visit to the Keukenhof in the Netherlands using the P&O minicruise from Hull to Rotterdam with coach transfer to the Keukenhof to and from the ferry.   This is a  particularly good value trip leaving Hull on the evening of the first day, visit the Keukenhof the following  day after arriving in the Netherlands following an overnight trip.  With the larger faster ferries more time is available as the departure time is not until 9:00 in the evening.  The return journey is on the second night arriving back into Hull on the third morning.

Becuase of the cold weather in the preceding month many of the outside bulb displays are way behind.Tulip display  The crocus and daffodils however, are all in full bloom and are the main flowers showing in the flower beds along with Hyacinths and only a few tulips.  Hyacinth tubThe majority of tulips were just showing foliage.  This was a little bit dissapointing to say the least but then flowers will bloom when the conditions are right for them.

Fortunately the displays in the pavilions were, as usual, spectacular.  We spent a long time in the orchid house and each plant seemed more spectacular than the previous.  My particular favourites were the slipper orchids which must be one of the strangest looking flowers on this earth. Several varieties of slipper orchid were on show including one that was very striking; a green slipper and a green and white striped cap.

Slipper orchidOrchids

The small Japanese garden area is neatly layed out and affords a wonderful view of the windmill whilst the bulb fields next to the Keukenhof make a colourful surround that amplifies the floral nature of a visit to Keukenhof.  

WindmillBulb fields

Underplanting of trees with bulbs such as the crocus seen in the picture below enhances the woodland area and ornate bridges provide reflections in the drainage dykes that run through the site providing instant water features.
Trees underplanted with crocusbridge

The Willem Pavilion houses a variety of plants and an exhibition of coloured glass panels are displayed  on the windows with the trees outside providing a very complimenatary backdrop.  Amongst the plants displayed are Amaryllis Party Dress,  Daffodil Pineapple Prince Hydrangea Snow Teller, Cyclamen, a wonderful white edged mauve Hydrangea, a Ranunculus display bounded by daisies, and a white tulip with a yellow centre as seen in the photographs below.  There was s trong heady scent in the pavilion from all the flowers and in particular from the exhibition of Lilac Trees.
Coloured glass tulipAmaryllis Party Dress in blue pot

Daffodil Pineapple Prince

Hydrangea Snow TellerCyclamen

Hydrangea with white edge trimming

Ranunculus bordered with daisiesStriking white tulip with yellow centre

As you come out of the Willem Pavilion there is a view up a water feature bounded by clipped conical Yew trees towards the display fountain.
Water rill with Yew collonade

The Oranje Pavilion housed a display of Chrysanthemums and  flower arrangements, some of which looked like sweet confections and christmas presents..
Pink and white Chrysanthemums
Flower arrangement with green flowers in large white pots  Long thin flower arrangement
Flower confection

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