Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bulb-a-licious Dutch Bliss

Designed by Jacqueline van der Kloet for the Efteling.

If you haven't planted them yet, there still is time to stuff your garden full of bulbs as long as the ground isn't frozen solid. I'm still in the process of planting mine. I've put in quite a few so far but need to put lots more in. I don't know about you, but every spring I feel that I should have planted far more bulbs than I actually did. For some reason there are never Too Many Bulbs but always Not Nearly Enough.
Bulbfields in South-Holland

I was born in Leiden and lived in next door neighbour Oegstgeest (I know, impossible to pronounce but not to worry even Dutch people have problems pronouncing Oegstgeest) for 15 years. And every spring my heart would leap up at the sight you see above. It has its advantages to live close to bulb farmers; fields stuffed to the gills with tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, as far as the eye could see. Just a spin on the bike away from where I used to live. Utter Bliss!
Designed by Jacqueline van der Kloet for the Keukenhof

And Lisse, where you find the Keukenhof, the world largest spring park, was very close by then too. If you want to see millions of bulbs in flower (and who wouldn't?), this is the place to go. Next year will be its 60th birthday and the theme for 2009 is New Amsterdam/New York, 400 years. Amongst the many displays there will be a statue of liberty made of 250,000 bulbs.
Jacqueline van der Kloet

Now that you've seen what I have been exposed to from a very early age, as far as humongous amounts of bulbs are concerned, you will forgive me for being totally underwhelmed when a fellow garden blogger, who shall remain anonymous, ordered 20,000 bulbs, or when other fellow garden bloggers bragged about having put hundreds of bulbs in her/his gardens. A piffling couple of hundreds of bulbs? Rank amateurs, the lot of them! ;-)
Dutch garden design

Most of you have heard of the Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf but does the name Jacqueline van der Kloet ring a bell too? If not, then you've missed out on something good. Take a close look at the pic above. Gorgeous isn't it? You can find this wonderful flower display in the Keukenhof and it's one of my favorite designs by Jacqueline. Why? Because it reminds me of this:
a beautiful wild flower meadow.
But if you can't come to the Netherlands (how very remiss of you, really, you should try harder) then you could perhaps visit Battery Park in New York (pic above) and the Lurie Garden in Chicago to admire some of Jacqueline's work.
The Tea Garden in Weesp, is Jacqueline's own garden and very much worth a visit. I've been there myself once or twice. ;-)

Favourite bulbs

I'm Dutch so perhaps you're thinking that my favourite bulb is the tulip but frankly, my taste is not that glaringly obvious. ;-)
This is what I love most of all, zillions of snowdrops,
drifts of wild daffodils and
blankets of winter aconites.
The winter aconite is such a cheerful flower and brightens up even the dullest, bleakest day. And days usually are pretty dull and bleak in January/February when the winter aconite flowers. If you haven't got the winter aconite in your garden, please go away and hide in the nearest broom cupboard. Really, what where you thinking of ? Buying loads of bulbs and no winter aconites at all? What a sad person you must be. But, all is not lost, there is still time to put a few (and by a few I mean zillions) bulbs in. If you don't, you'll be sorry.

Some sound financial advice

Yes, yes, I know, buying zillions of bulbs is not cheap but what else could you possibly do with your money that would make any sense nowadays? Buy a house, or bonds and shares, put money in the bank? Don't make me laugh! Investing in bulbs makes far more sense because each spring you will be guaranteed a great return on your money: lashings of joy and gleeful rubbing of hands while your inner smugness level goes up a notch or two at the glorious sight of spring flowers galore in your garden. You know I'm right.

copyright 2008: Y.E.W. Heuzen

The farmer looks at winter with spring in his eyes. So does the good gardener.
Ministry of Agriculture, Allotment&garden Guides, October 1945


TYRA Hallsénius Lindhe said...

I can read this post over and over again it is sooo wonderful. I have seen your Dutch fields once and I'm so longing to go back, it is so amazing! LOL Tyra

Anonymous said...

The magic of spring bulbs can not be underestimated. The photos make me wish I could plant the zillions of bulbs you write about.

Always Growing

Shirley said...

Great stuff, Yolanda :-D

Hands up... I have been a slow convert to bulbs (yes, I am hanging my head in shame) but after this past spring it is the modest crocus I am now drawn too. Ah yes, and the tasty deep tulip colours you can get now.

I agree completely about the snowdrops but aconites just don't do it for me.. oops sorry I have tried to like them! If they weren't yellow perhaps ;-)

Wonderful inspiring photos of bulbs and you have also given me (and others too I bet) a reminder of how many are sitting in bags in our sheds! Thanks for sharing these images and for the thumbs up on Jacqueline too :-D

Have a good weekend :-D

Carol Michel said...

Oh, my, those are beautiful gardens and I can only imagine what it must have been like to grow up amongst them. Based on seeing those and reading this post, I have WAY underplanted bulbs this year, here it is nearly too late to order and plant more, at least here in my garden. But that Chicago garden is a mere four hour drive away for me...

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Anonymous said...

Hi YE, oh my goodness I have never seen so many bulbs. We do feel rather pitiful with what we thought were alot! I would love to come to the Netherlands someday and even see your garden too! I have failed several times even with the snowdrops, something about our soil or climate or something but have tried once more this fall after seeing the blogs in Europe showing those masses, I think Scotland has a special place of them. I have read that the aconites need alkaline soil, ours is acid and have not tried them, I may have to give them a go. Thanks for the show!

Anonymous said...

Prachtig al die bollen en ook qua kleur zijn de ontwerpen van Jacq. zo mooi! Ben er ook mee opgegroeid (Haarlem)en een tuin zònder...:-(dus, ik hoop dat ze hier zijn geplant..;-)

@ Bus is gek op sneeuw: maakt rare sprongetjes en vreemde knor/snuffelgeluiden :-)))
Wij wonen nu in de IJsselstreek (Doesburg)totaal ander landschap met veel meer bomen :-)ook leuk voor Buster.;-))

buedamau said...

well, looking at your pictures i can't stop myself thinking: why the heck didn't i ever go to holland?!
those fields must be really something special...

Lis vom Lindenhof said...

Ach ja, wenn es doch nur erst wieder so weit wäre!
Ich war schon zwei Mal im Keukenhof, es ist immer wieder grandios diese Mengen von Tulpen zu sehen.

LG Lis

Matron said...

I have always intended to visit the Dutch bulb fields one day! Perhaps I will do a short trip next Spring.

Maggie said...

I have popped in from Ewa's- and so glad I did! You have some fantastic photos and the whole blog is a really fun read. I have one spot in the garden left to plant with bulbs this fall, although there is currently a stubborn bush refusing to give up it's claim to the spot. Hopefully our mild weather will hold a few more days so I can get it out and the bulbs in. I don't know why people don't plant more bulbs where I live, when they are so reliable about putting on their magic show each year.

Anonymous said...

Every time I have visited the Netherlands it has been after Keukenhof has closed. Your pictures beautiful and very inspiring. I particularly like the tulip "wild flower meadow". I must make an effort to go earlier next time. I feel I'm missing out on a great experience.

Chookie said...

What beautiful colour combinations; I particularly like the deep purple-black tulips with the pale pink and cream ones.
You will forgive me for not trying the winter aconites; I doubt they will grow in Sydney! We cannot grow Galanthus Snowdrops like yours -- we grow Leucojums instead. Enjoy your bulb-planting!

Connie said...

Your post is making me long for spring and all the lovely bulbs. I planted over 200 new ones this fall, so have that to look forward to.

Anonymous said...

I shall think of you and this terrific entry when my daffodils flower in the spring. xx

Anonymous said...

Tut das gut, im Moment solche Farbenpracht zu sehen! In Leiden war ich mal als Kind. Eine Großtante lebte dort. Aber ich kann mich nur noch an riesengroße Pfannkuchen erinnern ;-)
Liebe Grüße

VP said...

Yolanda - we honeymooned in Amsterdam and I used to work with a Dutch woman, so I know how good Dutch hospitality is!

When I was a girl Birmingham had a tulip festival every year. Wall to wall tulips, dutch people and clogs! Sadly they no longer do it, but Threadspider and I have very fond memories.

healingmagichands said...

Beautiful! Are you trying to cheer us up as winter falls?

I have been planting bulbs around my place for years, and it still has a long way to go to have enough. I lived up near the tulip fields of the snoqualmie River in Washington, and it was an amazing sight during tulip time.

I am hampered by my dear husband's desire to keep the lawns properly mowed. I would love to have drifts of daffodils everywhere, but the foliage has to stay so long to feed the bulbs. By the time it is done, the grass is so long we need a bush hog to mow it. so my daffodils have to stay within garden beds.

I don't do too many tulips because I'm not fond of feeding the squirrels and moles. But I have lots of crocuses in my lawn, they are wonderful there.

I have planted winter aconite several times, and it doesn't seem to like Missouri. Maybe I'll try one more time. I would love to have something other than hellebores early in the spring.

The botanical garden in St. Louis plants thousands and thousands of tulips every year.

Gail said...

They are beautiful flowering bulbs YE! I can't imagine living next door to a bulb grower...We can plant bulbs for a month or so longer but finding any left is another thing all together! Thanks for a taste of spring!

Glo said...

We seem to have enjoyed winter with you and then right into spring! Wonderful :) Very entertaining and delightful post! Must go and plant bulbs ~ millions of them ;)

Poppins said...

So many beautiful bulbs! You must be proud over your country and all the lovely flowers you have.
I think I have to look at the photos one more time.

PS I have given you an award.

Garden Cats + Crafts said...

Liebe Yolanda, rechtzeitig zum Advent und bei scheusslichem grauen Nieselwetter verwöhnst Du uns mit einer Fülle von bunten Blüten. Herrlich. Allein der Anblick Deiner Fotos lassen einen Sonnenstrahl erscheinen.
Ich wünsche Dir und dem ganzen Bliss-Team eine schöne Adventszeit.
Viele liebe Grüße, Birgit

em said...

ye - oh, i was just in battery park last weekend wondering who the landscape artist was, as even now in November, the design is wondrous. i did post a few pics of the garden, and i will have to go back in spring!

i have only been in the Netherlands once on business, and i do hope to go back someday! thanks for a great post.

Rusty in Miami said...

Those tulip fields are in my list of must see, I hope it will be in my next trip to Europe

Betty said...

How blessed you are to have access to the beautiful bulbs....gorgeous scenery.....

I have bulbs to plant hopefully on Monday....Betty

Anonymous said...

hi Yolanda, I am investing in my garden, too. :-) Love those pictures and hope one day to get a chance to see fields like that. Have a nice 1st of Advent. Andrea

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

So, if I understand you correctly, you're saying we should all come to Holland in spring to see these glorious bulbs in bloom, and that we are welcome to stay with you? Right? What? Hellllo?! ;-)
~ Monica

Libby said...

I was taken to the bulb fields as a child and remember it even now. I have always said I will go back and I will one day!!
I hope to plant some more bulbs Yolanda as it is down to you that I now have a number of tubs of tulips!!!

Tracy said...

What glorious displays of color here, Yolanda! I just love tulips, narcissi and snowdrops and planted lots of bulbs the end of October. Can't wait to see the beauty in the spring. I'll spend the winter dreaming...Happy Days, my friend ((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

Wonderful photos.

Aiyana said...

That many bulbs takes a real dedication. It's hard to find many bulb varieties around here. I should probably get a catalog and order some. It's probably too late here because I won't have time to chill them before spring comes.
The photos are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Oh joh, dus jij bent ook een heel klein beetje in de bollenstreek opgegroeid, nouja op een afstandje dan. Ik ruik altijd die bloeiende bollenvelden als ik er foto's van zie, ik ben een Voorhoutse dus heb er genoeg van meegekregen. Het "strooigoed" vind ik altijd nog het leukste in de tuin, ook de botanische krokussen, ik verwacht niet dat er zoiets in onze nieuwe tuin op zal komen volgend voorjaar, eerlijk gezegd verwacht ik er nog hélemaal niets van, alles ligt even compleet stil en het gaat nog maanden duren voor het langzaam op gang komt. Het zwembad is bijna gedemonteerd, a.s. zondag hoop ik dat het laatste opgehaald wordt, dan kan ik het puin van de doorgebroken slaapkamermuur in het gat dumpen en de "vijver" (jawel deze tuin heeft zelfs een vijver) leeghalen.
Ik hoop op een niet te strenge winter want de planten die ik meegenomen heb staan voorlopig nog in potten, ik zal ze eerdaags maar een beschutte plek gaan geven en ze met erge kou maar proberen een beetje in te pakken.
Ikk heb nog een hoop bij te lezen bij jou, dat komt nog wel, maar ik wilde toch eindelijk weer eens even reageren!
groetjes, Marian

Barbara said...

Your lovely post just reminds me that there are still some boxes with bulbs to be planted. But the soil is actually so frozen, it is impossible now to do this work. I am also a bulb, or even a plant investigator ;-) (with all the ups and downs as in the stock exchange!!).

stadtgarten said...

What a lovely post! Although I am very happy with the Advent Seaon now, I am so looking forward to seeing the spring flowers coming out.
And I think I must go to the Netherlands in spring once to see all those lovely spring flowers.
Groetjes, Monika

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

LOL - I'm not a sad person, I have Winter Aconites. I just wish they'd bloom earlier. They never follow the plan where they're supposed to bloom with the Snowdrops!

Kylee Baumle said...

Waaah! Where did my comment go? Well anyway, I just love the colorful bulb flowers here!

I guess you can find me in the closet, because I've never had winter aconites! Your photo is the first one I've seen that actually makes me want to have some. So.....maybe next year? The flowers don't thrill me, but I love how the foliage grows.