Hello spring, it’s nice to see you again! Despite the hay fever symptoms, this is one of the most enjoyable times in the Netherlands. After a long, cold winter our 2 million cows welcome the sunlight as they frolic around the fields. The trees grow back their leaves and the flowers start to grow. And it’s one flower in particular that makes this time of the year extra special; the famous Dutch Tulip.
If one were to ask you to name four things that represent the Netherlands, we’re pretty certain that one of those four things you’d mention would be tulips. And we don’t blame you! The Netherlands has made herself pretty famous for her beautiful tulip fields and definitely considers it as one of her national symbols. You will find many souvenir stores that sell the variously coloured flower in decorative pieces. But even though many people associate the flower with the Netherlands, it’s origin is actually in the Mediterranean, primarily in Turkey. The Western world got introduced to the tulip flower around 1550 by an Austrian man who happened to have stumbled upon them in Turkey. Persian sultans used to wear the tulips on their turban as a symbol. Over the years the tulip flower spread to many corners of the earth, with the biggest variety in between the three mountains of Central Asia.
However, despite the many occurrences, the Netherlands has claimed the biggest popularity when it comes to the flower, being one of the most important exporting countries of tulips and tulip bulbs. Every year in the months of April to June, many fields of the flower transform into a colourful paradise. To be able to bloom in this period, the bulbs get planted around October and November. Every tulip you see in bloom outside the original bloom period, is called a botanical tulip, which is a modified version of the original, but just as beautiful.
We understand that this year might not be the time to flock to these beautiful fields, but if by miracle the situation resolves, we highly suggest to go check them out (or come visit another year!). One of the most popular places to go and see millions of the famous tulip is called ‘Keukenhof’. With paid entrance you and many others can go and explore different routes though a flower park like no other. But, if you’d like to see the tulips in the original fields as they typically grow for export, you’ll have to head to South Holland, North Holland, West Friesland or the island Goerree-Overflakkee. Once you’re there, make sure you ask the farmer/owner of the field if you’re allowed to head in between the tulips to take your next Instagram photo, as it is private property of course!
For now, we encourage you to simply dream away with these beautiful sights in mind and when the time comes, support the local tulip growers by purchasing a bouquet of these beautifully diverse flowers.