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Have some blooming good fun piecing together this colorful scenic jigsaw puzzle of the beautiful Keukenhof flower gardens in Holland.
Situated in 32 hectares of land just beyond the North-west outskirts of of the town of Lisse, in Southern Holland, and around 35 kilometres South-West of Amsterdam, Keukenhof is the largest flower garden in the world, as well as being one of the most photographed places. Known also as the Garden of Europe, it is particularly famous for its amazing tulip displays.
Keukenhof gardens are open only for two months every year, from the middle of March to the Middle of May, and attract around 800,000 visitors annually from around the globe. Depending on the weather, the best time to see the tulips is the middle of April.
The gardens contain a total of seven million bulbs planted each year in various impressive artistic patterns. As well as 4 and a half million tulips in 100 different varieties, large numbers of daffodils, lilies, crocuses, hyacinths and other bulbs are displayed at Keukenhof. There are also 2,500 trees spanning 87 different varieties. With 15 kilometers of footpaths, the grounds are enhanced by lakes and fountains like the one shown in this scenic jigsaw puzzle, as well as small water canals.
Moreover, Keukenhof is also the largest sculpture park in the Netherlands, with 150 works of art by 50 different artists. Adding to the effect, a windmill dating back to 1892 was moved to the gardens in 1957. This had originally been used in the province of Groningen as a polder mill, in other words to drain excess water from agricultural land.
The park itself is surrounded by agricultural fields of tulips, hyacinths, narcissuses, and daffodils. Altogether it makes for the most lavish flower garden in the Holland.
The gardens have a long history going back hundreds of years. During the 15th century the park was just woodland and dunes, used for hunting by the occupants of the Castle of Teylingen. Countess Jacoba of Bavaria, who owned the estate in the early 15th century, used the wild cattle, herbs and berries there for her kitchen, which is where the name Keukenhof came from, Keuken meaning kitchen in Dutch and hof meaning garden. The ruins of Teylingen Castle (or "Slot Teylingen" in Dutch) can still be found to this day around two and a half miles SSW from Keukenhof gardens.
A separate grand mansion known as Keukenhof castle, built in 1642, is located just outside the present grounds of Keukenhof gardens.
In 1840 the gardens were refurbished by the landscape gardeners Zocher and Son, who later designed the Vondelpark, a 47 hectare urban park in Amsterdam. The English landscape garden, which they created at that time, is still at the heart of the park.
The idea for a flower garden came in 1949 from W.J.H. Lambooy who was the Mayor of Lisse, together with around 10 prominent bulb growers. The objective was to have an flower exhibition to give flower growers from the whole country and from Europe the opportunity to show their hybrids. This would help the Netherlands, which is the biggest flower exporting country in the world.. The opening took place in 1950. Keukenhof has developed since then to become one of the largest tourist attractions in Holland. It is a goal for all flower lovers to visit during a holiday or day trip. The best time to see the blooms depends on weather conditions, but is usually around the middle of April.
Nowadays, around 90 flower bulb growers, known as Royal Warrant Holders,“ supply the bulbs for free to the park every year. The park's artistic directors plan the displays approximately a year in advance . Gardeners plant the bulbs by hand between October and December. Near each display, a sign gives the location of the exhibitor from whom the flowers can be bought. At the end of the season, the bulbs are dug out to alow them to be re-used in the following year's colorful extravaganza.
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Thanks to penwin for the use of his colorful scenic picture of Keukenhof gardens, which is used in this jigsaw puzzle.
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