7 million tulips and counting

There is no better time than now to visit the tulip fields of Keukenhof in Lisse, the Netherlands, seen here in full bloom on Wednesday.

The history behind Keukenhof's name - which means "kitchen garden" - dates back to the 15th century, according to the park's website.

Countess Jacqueline of Bavaria- Straubing, Jacoba van Beieren (1401-1436), gathered fruit and vegetables from the woods and dunes in the area for the kitchen of Teylingen Castle.

In 1949, a group of 20 flower bulb exporters came up with a plan to use the area for a permanent exhibition of spring-flowering bulbs, signalling the birth of Keukenhof as a spring park.

The park opened its gates to the public in 1950, attracting 236,000 visitors in the first year alone.

This year sees the 68th season of Keukenhof's opening, with Dutch design as its theme. There are more than seven million bulbs in bloom this spring, with a total of 800 varieties of tulips.

Besides 32ha of flowers, Keukenhof has a sculpture garden, with around 100 pieces exhibited. The park also hosts daily flower arranging demonstrations.

Tomorrow, there will be a flower parade.

Other events include the Food and Flower Festival from May 6 to 7 and the Flowers and Fashion Festival from May 20 to 21.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2017, with the headline '7 million tulips and counting'. Print Edition | Subscribe