Keukenhof (Dutch for “kitchen garden”), also known as the Garden of Europe, is the world’s second largest flower garden. It features a variety of different gardens and garden styles. For example, the English landscape garden features winding paths and unexpected see-through points. The historical garden is an enclosed garden where you can see many old types of bulbs. The nature garden consists of a water garden where shrubs and perennials are combined with bulbous plants. The Japanese country garden is a non-traditional garden in a natural environment. Approximately 7 million flower bulbs are planted annually in the park, which covers an area of 79 acres.
Keukenhof is situated on 15th-century hunting grounds. It was also a source of herbs for Countess Jacqueline of Hainaut’s castle, which is the source of the name Keukenhof (it served to provide herbs for the castle’s kitchen).
The gardens surrounding the castle were established in 1949 by the then-mayor of Lisse. The idea was to present a flower exhibit where growers from all over the Netherlands and Europe could show off their hybrids — and help the Dutch export industry (the Netherlands is the world’s largest exporter of flowers).