We in Western Europe are just about shrugging off winter and are eagerly looking forward to summer. Don’t forget the spring season though which can be a riot of colour as new life bursts into growth in our parks and gardens. And for a spring treat, visit Amsterdam in the Netherlands where the tulip fields, parks and gardens all burst into visual feast of colour and rich scent.
For the most colorful displays the Keukenhof Gardens are highly recommended in Lisse. These are the largest flower gardens in the world and travellers visit from miles around to admire the amaryllis, crocus and of course tulips in every conceivable shade! There are over seven million bulbs spread over 32 hectares in total and there is something for all the family with an on-site petting zoo, treasure hunt and full-size maze. The amazing floral displays will be at their best until 20 May and don’t forget to buy some picked flowers to take back to your accommodation, more details at hostelworld.com or buy some bulbs to take home and try for yourself.
Amsterdam is blessed with many parks and gardens throughout the city whatever time of year you choose to visit. One hangout spot that is a favourite amongst visitors and locals alike is the Vondelpark which is a popular place for al-fresco picnics, a leisurely walk or even just chilling out with a book. And for those seeking solace from the blistering summer heat the Amsterdam Forest (Amsterdamse Bos) is a popular spot to walk or bike ride under the dense tree canopy.
For a chance to glimpse inside the carefully manicured gardens of the canal houses in Amsterdam, visit in June where at least thirty properties open up their grounds. This year for three days only (15 to 17 June 2012) the private gardens and courtyards are revealed to the world. Go along for inspiration for your own garden, ask the owners questions about the specific blooms and take plenty of pictures for your scrapbook!