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Netherlands: Bulb fields

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Bulb fields | Netherlands | Europe

[Visited: April 2003]

Apart from some parks where bulb flowers grow in greenhouses, the flowers can be admired only a few weeks a year, typically from mid-April to the beginning of May, obviously depending on the weather. I would advise any visitor to take a bicycle, hope for nice weather, and cycle around the bulb areas in the West of the country. Stretches of intensely coloured land, blue, red, white, yellow, purple, pink, all in neat straight lines, sometimes reaching until the horizon. The advantage of going by bicycle is that you enjoy the very pleasant scents coming from the fields. Distances are small, and the country is absolutely flat.

Picture of Bulb fields (Netherlands): Tulip field with red and yellow

Although the tulip is the main symbol of The Netherlands, its origins lie in Turkey. Sample bulbs were given to a Dutch scientist in the 16th century. Once commercially minded people found out he had bulbs in his possession and didn't want to exploit their economic value, the bulbs were stolen, grown, and became a much sought-after item by many people. In perhaps the first economic boom, the value of tulip bulbs reached incredible heights even to modern standards, before the tulip-balloon was punctured after a few years - leaving some people incredibly rich, and others ruined.

Picture of Bulb fields (Netherlands): White bulb flowers near Lisse, Netherlands

Now, the tulip, along with other bulb flowers like hyacinths, narcissus, and other flowers can be found in abundance on the bulb fields just behind the West coast of Holland. Cars come by with bunches of flowers on their frontside, while you can see an old person bending over his field and cutting flowers. Since the blooming period is so short, visitors come in huge amounts, mostly during the day. It is therefore advisable to take the late sunset to your advantage and visit late afternoon or early evening. This way, your nose has an unobstructed access to the delicious to the air around the bulb fields.

Picture of Bulb fields (Netherlands): Hyacinths close-up, Netherlands
Picture of Bulb fields (Netherlands): Yellow-red tulips, Netherlands
Picture of Bulb fields (Netherlands): Tulips before they bloom in bulbfield
Picture of Bulb fields (Netherlands): Yellow tulips in bulbfield, Netherlands
Picture of Bulb fields (Netherlands): Pink sea of hyacinths, Netherlands

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