Floriade, Keukenhof 
and Amsterdam 2002

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Day 3 Castle de Haar and Hortus Bulborum
hortus1.jpg (120616 bytes) Our next day was taken up with Castle de Haar and Hortus Bulborum…

While the grounds at the Castle were not that colourful – as most gardens in Holland are) the Castle offered a glimpse of what a medieval Castle would look like…the grate over the door entrance says it all! It has a long history dating back to the 13th century and one of the beds that we saw was from this period…I could smell the beeswax…it is still occupied to this day with the present owners spending a month in it each year. It may look very plain on the outside but the interior is very opulent in it’s time.

The parks and gardens are quite geometrical and been called a small Versailles. The trees comes from every part of the province of Utrecht. Looking back at the Castle surrounded by its moat is truly breathtaking. I am sure you will enjoy some of the pictures I took of this special place.

In the afternoon we visited Hortus Bulborum and has a very special tour by one of the owners. This is the only garden in the world where you will find flowering over 1,750 different tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other bulbs. You will also see a collection of old bulb cultivars…the oldest tulip going back to 1595, and the oldest daffodil going back to 1603.

The aim of Hortus Bulborum to to preserve these cultivars to safeguard them for the future. They are also a genetic resource for the professional breeding of bulbs in order to obtain better cultivars. 

One of the things I found most interesting is that the older tulips were on very short stems with shorter leaves, similar in a lot of ways to a hosta leaf and I thought with todays way of gardening, that they would fit perfectly around ponds and on the edges of beds rather than the tall varieties we mostly find now. I know I would like some of the shorter ones for my own garden. 

They also maintain an historical Hippeastrum collection here.
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Hope you enjoyed this tour and I look forward to seeing you on one of our future tours ... Donna

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row