Keukenhof Opens in Holland

Your clients with green thumbs should start heading over to Holland before the end of May. Yesterday, Bettina Wulff, spouse of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, officially opened the 62nd edition of the international flower exhibition Keukenhof. Accompanied by her husband Christian Wulff and the Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, she baptized a new breed of tulip that ahs been named after her.

From March 24 to May 20, the focus will be on Holland’s eastern neighbors with the theme “Germany: Land of Poets and Philosophers.” The most popular draw at this year’s Keukenhof is sure to be the flower bulb mosaic of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

25,000 Tulips, planted nearby the real “Brandenburger Tor,” will be in full bloom when Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima will be in Berlin during an official state visit in September of 2011.

Art fans also have a reason to attend: World famous painter Vincent van Gogh also got his own tulip, about 120 years after his death. On Monday evening, Axel Rüger, director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, baptized this special tulip. The color of the Van Gogh tulip is red-brown. The cultivator of the bulb is J.S. Pennings-De Bilt from Breezand, the Netherlands. The Vincent van Gogh tulip grows to be approximately 20 inches in length. The baptism, in cooperation with the Keukenhof, coincided with the opening of the exhibit “Van Gogh in Bloom” at the Van Gogh Museum. (Van Gogh never painted tulips, but we hear that he loved flowers.)

The Keukenhof Gardens, open to the public from March 24 to May 20, can be visited daily from 8:00am to 7:30pm (ticket office open until 6:00pm). Entrance fee is $20) for adults and $9 for children. Keukenhof can be reached by train and bus, or by car and combination tickets are available when traveling by bus from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

The annual flower parade from Noordwijk to Haarlem, the largest in Holland, will take place on Saturday, April 16. 

For more information, visit www.keukenhof.nl

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