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. ;-)
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