Keukenhof is one of the world’s largest flower gardens. Every year, approximately 7 million flower bulbs are planted in the park, which spans about 80 acres of land.
The park is open from mid-March to mid-May, and since we were nearby during this time, and EVERYBODY LOVES FLOWERS, we decided that we should probably check it out.
But before I tell you more about Keukenhof, I need to confess a terrible personality flaw of mine.
I don’t love flowers.
(I don’t even really like them.)
But for the record, I don’t hate them either. I have relatively neutral feelings about flowers. They’re like doorknobs. Or cottage cheese. Or soccer. All of those things are fine, but they’re nothing to get all excited about.
Please note: I do realize that my brain is slightly defective for not instinctively liking flowers, despite their many good qualities, such as being colorful, smelling good, and providing life-sustaining oxygen.
I mean, middle aged ladies in flowy dresses and sun hats literally sprint to the entrance of Keukenhof.
She’s like, “YASSS. PERENNIAL BULBS ARE MY JAM.”
And I get that. The vast majority of people enter the park, and (much like this lady), are super excited about fields of tulips. They’re like:
“OMG FLOWERS!!! NOTHING BAD EXISTS! EVERYTHING IS DELIGHTFUL.” 😍🌷🌼💕
Evidently, when faced with a kaleidoscope of flowers as far as the eye can see, normal people’s brains short-circuit, and they get locked into Happiness Mode.
Meanwhile, my brain is still in Regular Observation Mode. And apparently, that means focusing in on the (non-living, manmade) fountain.
“Oooooh, that fountain is shaped like a flower, but it isn’t actually a flower. Neat.”
And I also noticed the basket of free maps.
“Aww! How nice of them to provide us with clearly labeled pieces of paper to ensure that we don’t get lost and wander around this park forever! I totally appreciate that.”
Meanwhile, other people were noticing the flowers. They’re like:
“YOU GUYS. I MIGHT ACTUALLY FAINT. THESE FLOWERS ARE SPEAKING TO ME ON A SPIRITUAL LEVEL.”
And I’m like, “Ha! They’re speaking to you because they have tu-lips, right? Right? Guys…?”
But somehow my gut reaction to make lame puns just didn’t feel right. So I tried various techniques to get on everybody else’s level. Like frolicking. People like to frolic through flowers, right?
(It honestly didn’t do much for me.)
Next, I tried drinking a tasty beverage in the immediate vicinity of lots of flowers.
The beverage was nice. But flowers remained stuck at neutral in my brain.
So I got really close to them.
And really far away from them.
I observed them carefully with all of my senses.
And I totally immersed myself in them. Like an overly curious cultural anthropologist. Or an undercover cop living in a crack den.
And slowly… something began to happen…
My brain began to notice what other people’s brains had instinctively noticed.
That there were a LOT of flowers in Keukenhof.
SO MANY FLOWERS, Y’ALL. (7 million, give or take.)
And the sheer number of flowers here is AMAZING.
(Though I honestly think I would be enthralled by this number of any object. Take me to a big open field with literal millions of marbles, or arm chairs, or left-handed gingers, and I would be equally amazed at how many of those things are all in one place.)
But what I realized, is that I can totally appreciate gigantic amounts of things.