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. 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
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
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.
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.
Underplanting of trees
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.
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
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
the pavilion from all the flowers and in particular from the exhibition
of Lilac Trees.
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
The Oranje Pavilion
housed a display
of Chrysanthemums and flower arrangements, some of which
like sweet confections and christmas presents..