Spello’s infiorate are back on 18-19 June 2022

The Corpus Domini infiorate will return thanks to an anti-covid safety and prevention plan that will soon be presented.
All this, for now, is made possible thanks to the decisions taken in a recent meeting between the board of directors of the association of infioratori, some local authorities and the parish priest of the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Maggiore and San Lorenzo di Spello.

The security plan should provide for an online booking system that regulates access to the infiorate and allows anyone coming from the rest of Italy to book the entrance to attend the infiorate in full compliance with current regulations.
In addition to about two thousand clubs, thousands of tourists arrive from all over Italy to attend the event and, guaranteeing the right amount of safety in such a particular period, while allowing such an important event to take place, becomes essential.


Secret Gardens: New York’s High Line Garden

New York’s high line gardens arise from a section of about 1.45 miles of abandoned elevated railroad and, above all, from the project by Piet Oudolf, who claims that “” My greatest inspiration is nature. I don’t want to copy it, but to recreate the emotion. “

Each garden and each section is recreated following the seasons and moods, but above all letting the native and spontaneous species, albeit followed and cared for by a team of gardeners, can proliferate among the abandoned tracks of the elevated railway, thus recreating a pleasant and livable environment away from the chaos and stress of the city.

A bit of history

The High line was once destined for demolition but luckily the local community got together and decided to reuse this disused railway line and recreate a garden that was an example for all the great cities of the world as well as a green space for New York and the whole local community.

In 1924 the tracks were still at street level but, given the dangerousness of rail transport and the high mortality due to investments caused by the train that passed to bring the goods to the warehouses of the industrial area, it was decided to bring the tracks to an elevated line , initially called “West side Elevated Line”.

 

Between the 1960s and the 1980s, with the increase in road transport, the elevated railway became increasingly disused with an initial demolition of the southern part and a subsequent proposal for total demolition of the entire line. But with the total inactivity of the whole line, people also began to think about reusing it for other purposes, until in 1999 Joshua David and Robert Hammond founded Friends of the High Line, a non-profit protection, to defend its conservation and reuse as a public space.

 

In 2003 to stimulate dialogue on the High Line, at a time when its transformation into a park was not yet assured, Friends of the High Line hosted an “ideas contest”, receiving 720 ideas from over 36 countries on the ways in which the park could be used.

 

The turning point came between 2004 and 2006: the city council of the then mayor Bloomberg approved the transformation of the High line into a park, while the design studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro and the floor plan designer Piet Oudolf were appointed as a team to transform the High Line.

 

In 2009, High line Art was founded and continues to produce works along and around the New York garden every year. Today the High Line is now a continuous greenway, 1.45 miles long, with over 500 species of plants and trees.

The park is maintained, operated and programmed by Friends of the High Line in partnership with the New York Department of Parks and Recreation. In addition to public spaces and gardens, the High Line hosts a diverse array of public programs, community and teen involvement, and world-class artwork and performances, free and open to all.

 

The gardens

The design of the High line is inspired by the native landscape that for years has developed growing between the abandoned tracks of the elevated railway. In doing so, the landscapes and emotions change every season and, although a team of gardeners led by Oudolf, the garden designer, constantly looks after the gardens, here you can always breathe the mystery and wonder of a wild place.

A few photos




The 16 Garden zones

The high line gardens of New York are divided into 16 zones, different in environment, style and more. Walking along mile 45 of the abandoned railroad track, you will surely recognize these different areas.

  1. Donald Pels e Wendy Keys Gansevoort Woodland: The southern end of the park is shaded by gray birch and lingonberry trees.
  2. Washington Grasslands e Woodland Edge: This section is filled with grasses, perennials, and woody species that tolerate the shade of the surrounding buildings.
  3. Diller – Von Furstenberg Sundeck & Water Feature: Wetland gardens bloom near the fountain, a favorite with visitors.
  4. Hudson River View: A selection of native plants stand out against the skyline.
  5. Northern Spur Reserve: Malus and other plants evoke the wild landscape of the High Line’s past.
  6. 10th Avenue Square: A grove of trees frames the view of the High Line with the Statue of Liberty.
  7. Chelsea Grasslands: or the embodiment of Piet Oudolf’s typical “matrix plantation” style.
  8. Chelsea Thicket: The original routes pass through a miniature forest of dogwood and other shrubs and trees.
  9. 23rd Street Lawn and Steps to Sit: A mix of tall fescue and perennial rye work together in the park’s lawn.

       10. Lawn Walk: Stroll through the Korean feather rush grass and West Chelsea’s galleries and warehouses.

       11. Philip A. and Lisa Maria Falcone Flyover: Rise up to the canopy  and come face to face with magnolias and sassafras.

       12. Wildflower Field and Radial Planting: Warm season herbs mix with wildflowers like aster and tall mint seed.

       13. Spur: The plants of the northeastern woods inspire the wild charm of the gardens of the Spur.

       14. Pershing’s Oriental Rail Yards, Crossroads, and Square Beams: Lush, textured plantings include fragrant perennials and ornamental grasses. 

       15. Intermediate Walkway: The closest thing to the desert that thrived when the tracks were unused.

       16. 34th Street Entry Plaza and CSX Transportation Gate: Milkweed of  butterflies, cottonwoods and an apple tree refer to the wild landscape.

Where, how, when

 The high line gardens are open from 9 am to 9 pm. At the time of writing, anti-covid measures are still active, so we recommend that you check the official website the accesses open both to enter and to exit and relative working lifts.

The same goes for bookings on weekends and during the week

https://www.thehighline.org/visit/    

Flowers and plants of the Atacama desert

The Atacama Desert is one of the strangest and most beautiful natural phenomena occurring in the far north of Chile. This is a gigantic desert area that is characterized by its aridity, but in a few years, this barren desert landscape has changed abruptly becoming partly overflowing with bright and fresh colors, thanks to the germination of millions of plants and flowers. This unusual phenomenon is known as the “Flowered Desert” and offers the opportunity to witness a singular spectacle, full of spectacular beauties, which is worth attending, if you have the opportunity.

The phenomenon is caused by the winter rains that “El Niño” brings with it, another natural phenomenon associated with ocean currents and which has brought enough water to sprout and grow thousands of native species of the Norte Chico. The seeds began flowering in September, in a process that typically lasts until November.

The flowers and plants of the Atacama desert

 Añañuca is a truly incredible flower if you think of the love stories and legends that surround it and that, in Chile, remember it. We have told the legend of him in this article

Argylia radiata is a native flower of the Atacama Desert. You can find it in the north of Chile or in the south of Peru. It is part of the Bignoniaceae family and resists really adverse climatic conditions with maximum temperatures of 34 ° C, minimums of about 2 ° C and annual rainfall of about 12 mm.

Rodophiala Laeta: Also known as purple añañuca, it is one of the rare flowers that bloom in the Atacama Desert and coastal areas of the country.

Heliotropium floridum: it is a 15-18 cm tall shrub with ascending branches. It blooms from September to November.

Garra de Leon or Bomarea ovallei is another endemic plant of the Atacama Desert. Its shape and color are truly unique and you will hardly find something equally beautiful around the world. It is at risk of extinction, therefore, if you are lucky enough to come across it, avoid touching it and limit yourself to some nice photos to share with friends.

Cistanthe grandiflora, better known as pata de guanaco. Endemica de Chile, it is one of the flowers that also grows in the Atacama Desert when it blooms.

Copiapoa is an origiral cactus from the Atacama desert area. Several specimens have been found stolen from the desert for an inestimable value and preserved in the Botanical Garden of Milan, until their reintroduction into their natural environment. For more info you can read our article here

Orejia di Zorro (Aristolochia chilensis) By Dick Culbert from Gibsons, B.C., Canada – Aristolochia chilensis, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34451895

Retamilla (Genista monspessulana): also known as French broom, this shrub with yellow flowers, as well as in the Atacama desert, grows in the hottest and driest areas of the Mediterranean.

The algarrobo is a tree belonging to the genus of mimosaceae and is very common in the Atacama desert

 Dr. Francisco Squeo explained that the fact that vegetation is coupled to the climate is characteristic of the desert. In dry years, many plants are in recess, such as añañucas or chives, and annuals such as sighs and Pata de guanaco.

Dr. Squeo also works at the Center for Advanced Studies in Arid Zones (Ceaza), which qualifies him as an expert in the field. He also specified that this process is also related to the “Niño” and “Niña” phenomena, which bring with them many and few rains, respectively, in five-year periods. However, there is another less known climatic oscillation, called the Pacific Decadal, which occurs every 20-25 years, which generates the same effect on the delicate ecosystem of this area.

This has rainy phases called “Niña” and dry phases called “La Vieja”. The 80s and 90s saw the “El Viejo” phase where the “Niños” that took place were very rainy. From 1998 to 2025 there should be “La Vieja”, in which the “Children” who are to be born will be weak, it is said.

In the Coquimbo region there are 1,500 native plants, while in Atacama there are a thousand others. Most of them respond to rain and that is why flowers appear, bushes increase their biomass and fauna also increases.

As part of this phenomenon, native rodents have food and their populations grow the following year. And with the increase in herbivorous rodents, the following years the foxes, which hunt and feed on them, will tend to grow between the second and third rainy years, explained Dr. Squeo.

But as in everything beautiful, even here, the risk of loss of many species is quite high: from goats that eat all kinds of plants, to tourists who tear the flowers or remove the bulbs to resell them on the internet, they risk destroying or however, revive the ecosystem of a unique environment in the world.

Like all things subject to delicate balances, the species that germinate in the “Flowered Desert” must be protected to preserve their genetic and endemic heritage, which have adapted to these particular climatic characteristics, after several thousand years of adaptation, and for to which all contribution, will and commitment are required.

How to choose the right time to visit (and check from home) the tulip fields in Holland

Choosing the right time to embark on a trip to the colorful Holland during the flowering period of the bulb flower fields, can sometimes be a bet with the pace of the season which, although in tune with the spring and summer blooms , risks making us take a trip that does not always meet our expectations.

If gardens and flower beds are cared for by gardeners and therefore constantly colored and filled with flowers with a unique beauty, the fields of the region of the bulbs are often regulated by the annual climate and perhaps in “delay” in case of prolonged cold or with flower cuts. if the heat of late April forces growers to anticipate this process to preserve the freshness of the flowers.

Unless you have already planned your trip in the height of the season and, in this case it will be more difficult not to find most of the blooming tulip fields and many colorful flower beds, there is a sure way to check the trend of the blooms in the region. flower bulbs and, if necessary, plan a last minute trip or a visit to the area to admire the splendor of the fields in bloom:

Flower map 2021

By clicking on the green flowers icon you can view the corresponding fields and their current flowering status. Whether you are already in Holland or planning a trip, this will help you know where to go to make sure you find colorful expanses of flowers already in bloom.

The purple camera icon indicates interesting monuments. This can be very useful if you want to visit something else and perhaps find gardens and flowerbeds tended by Dutch gardeners.

The yellow camera icon indicates local floral attractions. You probably won’t see many icons like this for a few months. After the pandemic, many will return.

Bikes, hotels and car parks are the classic icons of bike rentals, accommodation facilities and, of course, car parks.

The 10 floral parades to see at least once in a lifetime

Flowers are not only used in the world to decorate, to give gifts or perhaps by the cosmetics industry but, in many parts of the world, also for unique events, for peaceful battles or colorful parades that attract miles of tourists from all over the world. Sometimes they require months and months of planning and work which are then concentrated in a few hours or a few days of intense events but, in any case, the result is always and in any case sensational and unique. Here are some events that each of us should attend at least once in our life:

1. Battle of flowers in Nice – France
Here is a truly unique show in the world. In the town of the Côte d’Azur, on the famous Promenade des Anglais, the most famous battle of flowers in the world takes place. The concept of battle refers to the fact that flowers are thrown by models on the floats to the public and vice versa, in an atmosphere of joy and festivity. With almost 150 years of history, the event is designed as a showcase for the floriculture of the area, in fact almost all the flowers used are locally produced.

2. Parade of flowers in Sanremo – Italy
This event saw the light in 1904 in the coastal town and is also known as the Carnival of flowers or Corso fiorito. About a dozen municipalities such as Sanremo in the province of Imperia participate in the parade of floats, which is generally held on the second Sunday of March. The floats are obviously all floral themed and made exclusively with fresh flowers, so the final set-up (infioramento) of the floats, designed for months, takes place the night before the parade. The path along the seafront is seen on average by about 50,000 spectators every year.

3. Coirso Zundert – Holland
The CorsoZundert it is considered the largest floral parade in the world. Since 1936 the Dutch town has hosted this event in which 20 districts each participate with their own wagon. Only dahlias are used for the decorations. The preparation of the floats lasts a whole year and culminates with the parade held on the first Sunday of September in front of tens and tens of thousands of spectators and tourists arriving from all over the world.

4. Bloemencorso Noordwijk-Haarlem – Holland
On the evening of the second Friday in April, floats adorned with flowers gather in Noordwijk for the spectacular night parade. On Saturday in April, in Noordwijk, the floats participating in the parade leave at around 9 am for Haarlem, 42 km away. The parade winds through the fields of the bulb region, a real treasure of the territory, to arrive after about 12 hours at destination. The next day, Sunday, the floats remain on display throughout the day on the square in Haarlem to conclude what is considered one of the most beautiful floral displays in the world.

5. Maggiolata Lucignanese – Italy
It is the event with the parade of flower floats held in Lucignano, in the province of Arezzo, a characteristic town for its elliptical-shaped historic center. La Maggiolata, which celebrates the arrival of spring, takes the last two Sundays in May, and follows the Flower Festival, which is celebrated on the first Sunday in May. In the Maggiolata, four districts of the town challenge each other to prepare the most beautiful floral float. At the end of the event, the floats are ” stripped ” to give life to the colorful Battle of Flowers.

6. Flowers parade in Ebbs – Austria
In Austria, in Ebbs, in the Kufstein, Tyrolean region, the historic floral carnival takes place at the end of August. The main flower of this traditional event that has been taking place for over twenty years is the dahlia. The event ends in style with the Sunday float parade, after three days of celebrations in the streets of the town.

7. Silletes of Medellin – Colombia
Mainly dedicated to orchids this event held in the second Colombian city. The ” Siletteros ” parade, that is, characters carrying the ” silletes ” on their shoulders, compositions of orchids and other flowers weighing several tens of kilos, has been repeated here since 1957. The silletes exist in four main categories, but the traditional ones come to have, in a single composition, even over one hundred types of flowers.

8. Festival of flower of Madeira – Portugal
On the island of Madeira, the island of eternal spring, the traditional Flower Festival is held in May. Born in the late seventies, this event lasts several weeks and is full of attractions and events, including the inevitable parade of floats decorated with flowers. The party involves the whole island, but the most spectacular events are found in Funchal, the capital, such as the mural called ” Muro de Esperanca ” made with flowers by children on Saturday morning. Don’t miss the flower market.

9. Flower fest in Chiang Mai (Thailand)

In the old part of the city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, the spectacular Flower Festival takes place every year in early February, culminating in the parade of floats. In the park in the center of the city an exhibition is set up in which you can admire the wonderful floral compositions specially made.

10. The flowers battle of Valencia – Spain
On the last Sunday of July, in Spain and precisely in Valencia, the battle of flowers, especially carnations, intensively cultivated here, is celebrated along the Paseo de la Alanmeda, at the end of the week of the Valencia Fair (Gran Fira de Valencia). The tradition has been repeated since the end of the nineteenth century and is the Spanish floral event with the longest tradition. On sumptuously decorated floats, girls in traditional costumes throw flowers to the public until, in the evening, the entire path is covered with them.

The 5 most beautiful flower markets in the world

Nothing can illuminate and furnish your home better than a composition of fresh flowers. Even if you are not a garden expert, there are many cities that host flower markets within them. It is in these magical places full of the smell of nature and the colors of the rainbow that you can find flowers, plants and bulbs for all tastes. Even if you are not interested in one of their products, these glimpses of green are able to detach your mind from the city for a moment, allowing you to observe it from a different perspective, from a unique point of view. But what are the best markets in the world? Let’s find out together.

5 – Marchè aux Fleurs Cours Saleya, Nice

Among the suggestive destinations that France can offer, Nice certainly ranks in a position of honor. It is in this ancient southern city that you can find the flower market capable of receiving the Marchès d’Exception, a title assigned by the National Council of Culinary Arts, which recognized this small heritage as a jewel for the city. The compositions and exotic flowers displayed under the striped awnings seem to blend with the buildings of the ancient southern city, allowing for a moment to abandon the present time and let oneself be carried away by the mind in those settings of French films, in which the stories of love in the vineyards and in the fields lived among whispered songs and romantic promises in the moonlight.

 4-Bloemenmarkt, Amsterdam

One of the most famous painters of all time, Van Gogh, could not have found inspiration for his paintings only thanks to his incredible talent. In fact, Holland, a land of tulips, hosts a fascinating and ancient flower market known as Bloemenmarkt, located in Amsterdam. To distinguish it from its competitors is primarily its position, as it stands on the Singel canal … but not near the canal, but directly above it! In fact, the nurserymen and the vendors carry out their activity aboard jetties and floating barges, exhibiting their colorful compositions available to customers, who can experience an experience different from any other, in the midst of roses, tulips, narcissus and bulbs considered of excellent quality from many gardening experts.

Discott, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3-Adderley Street Flower Market, Cape Town

South Africa is able to proudly present itself in this ranking, earning a third prominent place. Credit for this goes to Adderley Street Flower Market, a market located in the capital where you can find an impressive number of floral species. Among them there are also some rare endemic species, which are almost impossible to find in other parts of the world. Among the multicolored bouquets it will be impossible not to have to deal with the vendors of the market, famous for their fluent language and the ability to offer customers compositions suitable for any occasion. Such is their skill that it has made them a hallmark of this impressive market.

2- Marchè Aux Fleurs, Paris
If Nice is able to charm, Paris is able to charm. And it could not be otherwise from the city of love, where passion is also brought to the birth and care of bulbs and compositions. This miracle occurs at the exit of the Cité metro, in what is the center of the Ile de la Cité in Paris. The Marchè Aux Fleurs therefore presents itself to the tourist as a greenhouse of giant proportions, supported by a wrought iron structure that on all days of the week, except Sunday, presents with its flowers a show worthy of the best paintings by Toulouse Lautrec, in an old fashion and romantic atmosphere worthy of the French capital and second place.

1-Columbia Road Flower Market, London

However, the first place in this ranking goes to London, which hosts the Columbia Road Flower Market. This flower market is located in the hipster district of the London capital, whose stalls and banquets emerge on Sundays among pubs, vintage and antique shops to show the world their quality. Among the flowers present in the numerous exercises it is possible to find evergreens, roses, calla lilies, orchids and lilies, as well as small trees. It is clear how difficult it is not to find something that can furnish and embellish a house or apartment, making it a perfect destination for couples and families. Particular note of merit, in addition to this incredible collection, should be made about the presence of a selection of aromatic herbs, essential in the preparation of exotic cuisine, present there with a supply from all over the world.

The protected sea of the lands of Pisa

Free and wild beach in Marina di Vecchiano and sunbathing on the limited number beach in San Rossore. On foot or by bicycle in the pine forests, floral species and rare animals.

The natural park of Migliarino, San Rossore and Massaciuccoli is bordered by thirty kilometers of constantly moving beaches, protected by dunes and pine forests.

We are in the Terre di Pisa in front of a unique sea along the entire Tyrrhenian coast, where equipped beaches alternate with the nature reserve: Lecciona, Bufalina, Bocca di Serchio, Lame di Fuori, Dunes of Tirrenia …

The mouths of the Arno and Serchio create in this stretch of coast a peculiar geographical condition that hosts numerous rare plant and animal species such as the Fratino, an endangered bird, which only here has found the right habitat where to nest and reproduce.

Where today the dunes and pine forests of the current natural park extend, a brackish marsh originally stagnated, part of an ancient lagoon that stretched up to Pisa. It was the Grand Duke of Tuscany Ferdinando II de ‘Medici who wanted these wild places, populated by wild boars, fallow deer and foxes, in his possessions, convinced that he would adapt well to the mild climate of San Rossore, as indeed happened. However, it took several centuries and extensive reclamation works for this vast territory to become a destination for naturalistic visits and a treasure trove of biodiversity. Today, in fact, it is possible to get lost among paths that, like thin veins, cross forests of poplars, holm oaks, pines and ash trees; admire the colors of sea soldanella and hibiscus; look at herons that calmly glide over the waters or gray cranes that doze, regardless of the nature that never sleeps around them.

The Tenuta di Migliarino, in the municipality of Vecchiano and that of San Rossore, in that of Pisa constitute the heart of this naturalistic wealth. Migliarino extends to Marina di Vecchiano, a long free beach (interrupted by three small equipped spaces that use strictly natural materials) sandy and wild which laps from the mouth of the Serchio laps Torre del Lago Puccini. Here a dune system of great interest extends, in which halophytes and halotolerants grow, which are not present in other areas of the park due to the erosion of the coast. The municipality of Vecchiano, together with the University of Pisa, wanted to emphasize the importance of this biodiversity by promoting a unique botanical garden project, that is, an artificial dune that can be visited for educational purposes.

The extension and the consequent variety of landscapes are peculiarities that attract visitors from the most diverse desires: contemplatives and lovers of the sunset on the sea can participate in summer excursions on pristine coasts while sports enthusiasts will not miss long rides in the pine forests of San Rossore or maybe they want to get to know the landlord of these lands better, the horse. In fact, there are six equestrian centers that offer excursions in the company of gentle quadrupeds, which slowly cradle to the innermost woods.

The park hosts two WWF oases: the Dunes of Tirrenia and the Bosco di Cornacchiaia which organize walks and many activities.

Photos: Marina di Vecchiano

CHILDREN

A classroom with the sky on the ceiling, the stage of emotions

Despite the restrictions, children can also participate in the camps in the park this year.

The Equitiamo riding school, immersed in the San Rossore estate in the Sterpaia area, has already started operations and offers a green open-air classroom. Environmental education lessons are held in a large green meadow, plus walks in the mysterious natural environments of San Rossore and the stage of emotions where children tell their companions the sensations on the days lived in contact with nature and animals , first of all the ponies. Trips with your bike are also scheduled, which is properly sanitized by the organizers.

The camp is suitable for children aged 6 to 11.

Information and registration: t. +39 338 7887229valeria.gambogi@virgilio.it

The solar field organized by the Lipu Oasis on the San Rossore estate is called Adventure in the Park, which alternates naturalistic laboratory activities with sustainable excursions in the most significant areas of the Park, from canoe trips on the lake to bicycle excursions in the immense forests of San Rossore, until the discovery of the wildest beaches, to end the week with an activity dedicated to environmental volunteering where children can reflect on the meaning of taking care of the environment in which we live.

For information and registration: t. +39 0584 975567 – oasi.massaciuccoli@lipu.it

Landscapes photos

On the Gombo beach to observe the sea

The natural beach of Gombo, with its dunes and the view of the petrified forest, becomes the protagonist of a new excursion, on an experimental basis, which adds to the numerous guided tours organized in the Park of Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli.

The heliotherapeutic activity of the ‘Buca del Mare’, managed by the San Rossore Recreational Club, restarts with renewed structures in wood and natural materials and with the novelty of the guided tour every day until 13 September, with 15 umbrellas available from Monday on Friday and 10 on weekends.

It starts from Cascine Vecchie with a vehicle made available by the Visitor Center and the arrival at the natural beach in the area called ‘La buca del mare’, where you can stay under an umbrella, sunbathe and enjoy the beauty of the beach, respecting the environment and the bathing ban.

Reservations: t. 050 530101

Price: 30 euros (transfer and umbrella)

Participants must comply with the antiCovid security provisions.

Excursions, guided tours, bike rental and the electric train

Carriage ride, heliotherapy on the beach, bike rides along the paths of the estate. Just rent a bicycle or a bicycle / wheelchair, or explore the park on board a horse-drawn carriage pulled by strong TPR horses. Saturday and Sunday the tour is available with the electric train through the woods and pine forests of the estate with arrival to the sea. Departure at 8.30, 9.30, 10.30, 11.30 from the parking in via Pietrasantina.

The service is free, upon reservation until seats are exhausted.

Reservations: t. 050 530101

Worship and culture. The basilica of San Piero in Grado

Tradition has it that Saint Peter landed here, coming from Palestine and heading to Rome, in 44 AD. The column with the marble top used as an altar during the mass celebrated by the founder of the Christian Church is still preserved in the apse. Noteworthy are the frescoes by the Lucca painter Deodato Orlandi depicting the first Christian popes. The splendid Romanesque complex in tuff and white marble is embellished with elegant ceramic decorations dating back to the 10th century AD, depicting boats or simple geometric motifs.

Info: 050 960065

Photo Pisa

There should be no need for many presentations but in the photo on the left the famous leaning tower of Pisa and on the right the Duomo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

Cycling between tulips, beaches and dunes. How to discover Holland and the bulb region.

Is there really a cycle path that contains 4 unique elements such as the plain, the flowers, the sea and some monuments?
If you are looking for something like this and maybe with family or friends you cannot agree on what type of route to choose, perhaps the bollenstreek, also known as the region of the bulbs, could be right for you.
Here there is a path of almost 30 km to be done by bike that starts from the sea, crosses the dunes of the Dutch coast and gets lost in the flowery fields both in spring and summer. Typical Dutch villages, small towns, museums, castles, monuments and much more along a route suitable for all types of cyclists.

Let’s start by saying that if you love these places but don’t have too much desire to spend time organizing the choice of the route or maybe even worrying about the bike rental, there are some organized tours such as the flower tour (by bike and walk) that allows to discover the colorful flowerfields around Keukenhof and an audio guided tour through the tulip fields including bike rental in Lisse of about 10 km, during which you can admire the colorful fields around the Keukenhof park .

If instead you prefer the bollenstreek route and maybe you want to keep some extra excursions for the following days, here is the famous bollenstreek cycle path:
It starts from Noordwijkerhout (1), a typically flourishing Dutch village from which you can reach the equally typical coastal dunes (2) that embrace the sea. Here we have chosen an arrival point (or passage) where a panoramic parking for bikes is indicated on the map, however the cycle paths along the sea, between trees and infinite paths, are in typical Dutch style. The biggest risk you run is to lose yourself!
Respect the highway code and enjoy the landscape.

Noordwijk and its dunes
Noordwijk and its dunes

The third stage takes us to a truly suggestive place, always in the dunes and always on the sea. Langevelderslag Beach (3) is a truly divine place. If you love photography, maybe take advantage of the quieter hours to take unique and truly suggestive photos.

The fourth stop is the park of Het Langeveld (4). It is said that, especially at the end of the day, many deer and a few foxes can often be seen walking and grazing quietly in the park. Don’t disturb the animals and maybe take advantage of it to take some nice pictures of the wild nature.

From this moment on, we put the beaches behind us and enter the heart of the flowery Dutch plain. In spring, tulips bloom endlessly and maybe even daffodils or hyacinths, in summer it will be easier for you to come across some dahlia cultivation, for example.

Tulips flowerfields in  Lisse, Holland
Tulips flowerfields in Lisse, Holland

The 5th stage (optional) takes us to the border between Hillegom and Lisse, through the flat Dutch cycle paths. One (5) Show Garden (FBT Showtuin), where you can also find flowers and plants to buy, is located among the endless Dutch fields on the way to Keukenhof (6), our next stop. Here, if you want you can spend a whole day so plan your itinerary well according to the duration of your holiday, also taking into account that, in general, the Keukenhof park remains open in the period between March and May.

The gardens of Keukenhof Castle (7) are located opposite the famous floral park. The estate consists of several gardens, including a dahlia garden in the summer months. The LAM museum is inside the estate and you can also find a zoo. Entrance and parking are free.

Dahlias in bloom in the gardens of Keukenhof Castle
Dahlias in bloom in the gardens of Keukenhof Castle

Continuing between the cycle paths n ° 29 and 91, you arrive in the center of Lisse (8), the small town where there are shops, restaurants with flower menus and also a tulip museum, a tourist office and some hotels.
In Lisse do not forget to visit the church of Sant’Agata (Sint Agathakerk), called the cathedral of the region of the bulbs. Built in 1903 it was designed by Jean H. van Groenendaal and is co-financed by bulb growers, who can be seen in the designs with bulb flowers on the walls of the church itself.

The 9th stage of our cycling tour takes us to the T Huys Dever (9),
built shortly after 1375, a so-called residential tower, also known as “donjon”. In the coastal region, Dever is the only surviving keep. After a period of decline, a group of friends decided to rebuild “De Huys Dever”. Anyone who visits it now finds itself in a medieval fairy tale!
‘T Huys Dever can be visited for free from Wednesday to Sunday from 14:00 to 17:00.

De Huys Dever
De Huys Dever     peter van der Wielen / CC BY-SA 3.0 NL

In the middle of the fields in bloom we arrive at the 10th and final destination: a typically Dutch greenhouse surrounded by infinite and endless colors. De Tulperij flower bulb nursery, (10) is our last stop before returning to the departure or perhaps before returning to the airport after returning the bike.

The extra tour

If you are not satisfied with what you have seen or are seeing and you want to take some extra satisfaction, this territory has a lot to offer from every point of view, for this you can always consider the idea of exploring the flower fields in an extravagant and alternative such as a flowerfield experience with electric vehicles, or the possibility of crossing the flowery fields with small three-seater electric Renault equipped with GPS, from which you can admire the spectacle of the Dutch landscape without laboring in the least, staying in small groups.

If, on the other hand, you want to exaggerate and take home or share incredible photos on social networks, a helicopter flight over the flower fields can be a unique opportunity to admire and tell a divine place.

You like flowers but do you prefer tastings? Between a tour and  another, you could devote yourself to some gastronomic tour, perhaps tasting Dutch cheeses, good wine or the famous Heineken Beer directly from the factory.

Have a good trip and a good holiday!


The tour map with departure and arrival from Noordwijkerhout
28.8 Km total

The stops in brief:

  1. Noordwijkerhout
  2. Fietsenstalling (bike parking in the dunes of Noordwijk)
  3. Lengevelderslag beach
  4. Het Langeveld Park
  5. (Not listed on the map) FBT showtuin
  6. Keukenhof
  7. Gardens of Keukenhof Castel
  8. Lisse
  9. T Huys Dever
  10. De Tulperij Bulb Flower nursey

Flowery itinerary of Amsterdam and surroundings

When we think of Amsterdam and Holland, in addition to all the attractions that this country has to offer, we immediately imagine immense colored tulips and bicycles with which to travel every corner of the country.

The spring season can be the best one to admire both the infinite tulip fields in the bulb region but also to enjoy Amsterdam full of colorful flowers, thus having the opportunity to organize a trip with a double meaning: the floral and the cultural one.

Our itinerary

Suppose you arrive at Schiphol, the main airport in Amsterdam and all over the Netherlands. From here you can take the train to Amsterdam and go to your hotel / hostel / B&B.

One of the most visited floral attractions in Amsterdam is certainly the bloemenmarkt, the floating flower market, which we talked about in this article.

While you are on Sigel, one of the many canals in Amsterdam, you can take the opportunity to incorporate a visit to one of the museums of the day into the day: a good option could be that of the Rijkmuseum, to which you can perhaps attach a  litte cruise on the canals to admire the many flowers exposed balconies style along the way.

Continuing along the canal, beer lovers cannot miss the Heineken Experience at the homonymous beer factory.

From here it would be a good idea to go to the Van Gogh Museum, another unmissable “monument” in the city dedicated to the Dutch painter famous all over the world, to then reach our flowery destination: the Vondelpark.

The Vondelpark of Amsterdam
The Vondelpark of Amsterdam

In the high season you might find this park a little “crowded”, but given the Dutch style, the flower beds and flowers in spring should not lack color or charm.


Itinery from Bloemenmarkt to Vondelpark

Up to now we have traveled about 5 km by bicycle (if the weather is nice in Holland it may be the best way to move), but from now on the distances increase a bit so see if you can organize yourself with the same means or opt for other.
The flower market of Aalsmeer is without a doubt the largest, well-stocked and organized flower market in the world, the protagonist of the shipment and distribution of flowers all over the planet. Consider that, for logistical reasons, the market is located near Schiphol airport, therefore outside the city.

View of Haarlem during the passage of the wagons of the Bloemencorso
View of Haarlem during the passage of the wagons of the Bloemencorso

The next stop is a must among Dutch floral cities. Haarlem, in fact, a cute town located between the Dutch coast and Amsterdam, is also the final stop of the famous bloemencorso, the floral parade that passes through the region of flower bulbs in late April. Here, in Grote Mark, the town square, all flower floats stop, waiting to be “judged” and rewarded at the end of the parade.

In any case, always between March and May, Haarlem is undoubtedly one of the best cities to stop to organize a visit to Keukenhof, the flowery park that you can not miss for any reason in the world.
A tip: book everything well in advance if possible because here hotels, flights and excursions end quickly.
The bloemencorso already has the dates scheduled for the next 2 or 3 years and, considering that the streets will be blocked for several hours, fans in general on the days of the parade, tend to stop in the neighboring cities in order not to risk being stuck in traffic.

The colors of Keukenhof
The colors of Keukenhof

Keukenhof park is a unique attraction that all flower and non-flower lovers should visit at least once in their lifetime. It is no coincidence that millions of visitors from every corner of the earth come here every year to admire the work of Dutch gardeners between March and May.

Tulips, daffodils, orchids, roses, hyacinths, muscari and incredible mixes created to inspire the visitor color the park nestled among thousands of hectares of blooming tulip fields.
If you have the time and the opportunity, you can take advantage of the numerous excursions among the colored fields that give the opportunity to admire this spectacle of nature up close and take home or share social images unique in the world.

It starts from the bike or walking tours along  the tulip fields, which give the opportunity to cross the fields with strategic points and an audio guide describing the route, up to a tour of the tulips tour with an electric scooter or even if you want to stay small groups and want to admire the tulip fields without losing the comfort of the car, you can opt for a flowerfield  experience with small elecritc vehicle with GPS and audioguide.

Tulip fields in Lisse, Holland
Tulip fields in Lisse, Holland

Now, the name of Lisse is generally associated with the Keukenhof park, but if you try to set the navigator on this village, the greatest risk you run is to get lost among infinite and colorful cultivations of tulips.
There is however a museum dedicated to the tulip which can be a pleasant attraction for fans.
Here we are in the heart of the flower bulb region, better known as the Bollenstreek. a vast area ranging from the coast made of dune beaches to the plains cultivated with bulb flowers where you will find enchanting Dutch-style villages and many colorful windmills.
A sensational idea to admire the show from a different perspective would be to book a helicopter flight over the tulip fields and enrich your personal photo library to share with friends on social networks. The view of the fields from above is something unique and extraordinary that has no equal in the world!

The unique charm of the Dutch coast
The unique charm of the Dutch coast

From this point the advice is to rent the bike for a day at least and maybe organize a stop at the sea in the dunes of Noordwijk am zee.
We state that the Bloemencorso in April makes a first night tour through the streets of Noordwjikerhout and then the morning of the real parade from Noordwjik starts, therefore the idea of being in the area gives the opportunity to attend a unique event both at night that during the day,

But not only that, because from Noordwjik am zee a real cycling route starts that takes you to Keukenhof through colored fields. The itinerary , of ca. 12.5 km, provides for the departure from the lighthouse and the arrival at the Keukenhof park, but even more beautiful, you can check the state of the flowering of the fields with this floral radar and vary the itinerary as you like by following your favorite colors and blooms.

At this point, full of colors, flowers and maybe some typical local cheese, you can go back to Amsterdam or go directly to Schiphol where you can fly home with many good memories, fantastic photos and maybe some rare bulbs to plant on the balcony or in the garden once back.


Itinerary from Aalsmeer flower market to Nordwjik am zee

Keukenhof 2019: all about the Dutch park

On 21 March 2019, Keukenhof will be opening its gates for the 70th time. When it closes eight weeks later, some 1 million visitors from across the world will have visited the international flower exhibition. As such, Keukenhof makes a contribution to tourism in the Netherlands. One hundred bulb growers will supply bulbs to the park and 500 growers participate in the flower shows.

 

 The history of Keukenhof

Keukenhof started as an initiative on the part of ten flower bulb growers and exporters who create a showcase for the flower industry. In 1949, they opted for an ideal location: the gardens around Keukenhof castle.

For many years, Jacoba van Beieren was the hostess of Keukenhof. In the 15th century, she was the owner of the land where Keukenhof is now located. At that time the area was still a piece of untouched nature, used only for hunting and to gather herbs for the castle’s kitchen, which is where the name Keukenhof originally comes from.

Countess Jacoba van Beieren was born in 1401 and died in 1436. During the period from 1417 to 1433, she ruled Holland, Zeeland and Henegouwen. ‘Never a dull moment’ is perhaps the best summary of the life of this somewhat tempestuous woman, who married four times, spent a couple of years in prison, and lived in exile for some time in England. One of her favourite pastimes seems to have been waging war – she was even willing to go to war with former husbands. In 1433 she was forced to abdicate from all of her Counties. She withdrew from public life and, at the age of just 35, she died of tuberculosis in Castle Teylingen, not far from Keukenhof.

Following the death of the Countess Jacoba van Beieren in 1436, the large estate passed through the hands of several wealthy merchant families, including Baron and Baroness Van Pallandt. They asked the landscape architects Zocher, who were also responsible for the Vondelpark in Amsterdam and the gardens of Soestdijk Palace, to design a garden around their castle. The English landscape garden they created in 1857 still forms the basis for the Keukenhof park of today.

The windmill at Keukenhof is more than a century old. It was built in Groningen in 1892, and was used to pump water out of a polder. In 1957, the Holland-America Line bought the mill and donated it to Keukenhof.

 

The numbers
In the past year, the Lisse park has in fact recorded one and a half million approx. of visitors from all over the world, drawing the accesses of the previous year. The average age of the “guests” has been lowered thanks to the presence of a greater number of visitors made up of families with children or groups of twenty and thirty years old that the passion for gardening, flowers and plants is now part of every age.

 

Shortly:

• Keukenhof is open for eight weeks a year
• Annually, Keukenhof welcomes 1 million visitors
• 75% of visitors to the park come from abroad
• The park covers 32 hectares
• 7 million bulbs are planted each year
• Keukenhof presents more than 20 flower shows
• The bulbs are supplied by 100 exhibitors
• 500 growers and traders collaborate on floral exhibitions
• There are eight inspiring gardens with gardening ideas for consumers
• Sculpture garden with around 100 works of art.

 

Keukenhof estate

The Keukenhof flower exhibition is situated on Landgoed Keukenhof [the Keukenhof Estate] that developed during the seventeenth century. The first part of the current castle was built in 1642. The estate now measures some 240 hectares and is home to 15 Rijksmonumenten [listed buildings]. 50 hectares are used for the flower exhibition. The estate is owned by a foundation charged with preserving Landgoed Keukenhof.

 

Keukenhof for “the trade”

Keukenhof is the platform for the Dutch floricultural sector. For the exhibitors and participants in the flower shows, it provides a superb showcase for their bulbs, flowers and plants. The park is redesigned every single year. Keukenhof’s designer takes inspiration from the latest trends and adapts the design to suit the specific wishes of growers. This in turn provides inspiration to the visitors who gather new ideas to apply at home. In the flower shows, the arrangers also put the latest gardening ideas into practice. All of this enables Keukenhof and the growers to support and strengthen each other. Photographs of Keukenhof make their way around the world, reaching millions of consumers. The world’s press is also eager to report on all the beautiful things on display at Keukenhof.

Of the total share of visitors, 15% has links to the trade and numerous trade events are organised for growers. Keukenhof is an excellent meeting place for business contacts, and the organisation has strong links with all the relevant organisations in the sector.

 

The park

Keukenhof originally focused almost exclusively on flower bulbs, but now has much more to offer. The historic park, which dates from 1857 and was designed in the English landscape garden style by Zocher, forms the perfect backdrop for the flower bulbs. Visitors can become acquainted with cut flowers, plants and tree nursery products.

Each year, forty gardeners plant 7 million bulbs at reserved locations throughout the park. At the end of the season, these bulbs are harvested and a new cycle of planting, blooming and harvesting begins again in the autumn.

In order to ensure that Keukenhof always has a new look, the planting is redesigned every year. The plants are carefully selected so that visitors can enjoy bulbs in full bloom throughout the entire period Keukenhof is open. The seven million flower bulbs are supplied completely free of charge by a hundred exhibitors who could hardly imagine a better showcase for their products.

Keukenhof inspires its visitors with a range of different styles of gardens and interiors, in which flower bulbs and bulb flowers always play a key role. The different parts of the park vary from the English landscape garden to the renovated Japanese country garden. The garden offers surprising perspectives and exciting vistas and brings out the very best of the ancient trees. In the natural garden, shrubs and perennials are combined with naturalised bulbs. The historic garden is home to old varieties of tulip and uses these special varieties to demonstrate the tulip’s long journey prior to its arrival in the Netherlands.

The inspirational gardens give visitors the unique opportunity to gain ideas for their own gardens.

The Molenbos [windmill woods] have been develop in the woods next to the windmill for 2018 and feature bulb varieties suited to this amp, woodland environment. For children, Keukenhof has a maze, a playground, a Miffy house and a petting zoo. A treasure hunt takes them to the most beautiful places in the park.

Keukenhof has its own sculpture garden. A network of artists will be exhibiting around 100 pieces. The art exhibition is characterised by a wide variety of styles.

 

Flower shows at Keukenhof

The pavilions feature a changing selection of 20 flower and plant shows. Growers exhibit a wide variety of flowers and plants in all different colours and shapes. Of course, all of them are of the highest quality! This is the pinnacle of the competition among the growers to decide the best horticultural product, varying from tulips to roses. An expert judging panel will choose the best flower in each category.

For years, Keukenhof has reserved the thousand square-metre Beatrix Pavilion specifically for orchids. This show is the most beautiful orchid show in Europe. Another traditional leading attraction is the lily show in the Willem-Alexander Pavilion. In its 6,000 square metres, visitors can admire approximately 15,000 lilies in over 300 different varieties.

The Oranje Nassau Pavilion showcases the use of flower bulbs in interiors. It demonstrates how flower bulbs can be applied in different styles of interior design, from classic to modern. Several well-known arrangers will stage demonstrations of how the flowers can be used in surprising ways to create original bouquets.

The new entrance hall Keukenhof

The increasing interest in Keukenhof demands a sustainable solution for Keukenhof to welcome and receive national and international visitors. The new entry building provides access to the most beautiful spring park in the world. Keukenhof has a carpark for 4,500 cars and 1,000 coaches. This will have a positive effect on traffic management around the park.

Keukenhof works continuously to improve quality and service for its guests.

 

Tulpomania

The tulip is the distinctive icon of Netherlands throughout the world. And Keukenhof can do no other than give the tulip centre stage. The Willem-Alexander Pavilion is full of tulips in bloom. An exhibition being organised in the new Juliana Pavilion shows the history of the tulip, 17th Century tulip mania and today’s tulip as contemporary icon. The renovated Historic Garden contains extra information about the origin of the tulip.

 

Tourist Interest

Many international tourists still come to the Netherlands for the special Dutch icons: tulips, windmills, Rembrandt and the canals of Amsterdam. These typical Dutch icons tell the story of the Netherlands. Keukenhof works together with major tourist partners to positively promote the Netherlands.

Keukenhof’s importance to tourism in the Netherlands is huge. Annually, 1 million visitors from more than 100 countries are welcomed. These don’t only include individual visitors, but also companies, institutions and organisations wishing to show their (international) guests what the Netherlands has to offer.

Approximately 75% of visitors come from abroad, with the most important countries being Germany, United States, France, United Kingdom and China. There is a particularly significant growth in the number of tourists from America, China, India and South East Asia. The bulb sector in general, the tulip and Keukenhof in particular, are vital to the tourist image of the Netherlands.

The park acts as a large magnet, attracting visitors to its own sector as well as the hospitality industry, retail, overnight accommodation, transportation companies, museums and other attractions and events. In addition, Keukenhof attracts visitors during a period when there are few other attractions available.

Keukenhof is an icon: for the floricultural sector, for the Bollenstreek region and for the Netherlands, making a significant contribution to the image of the country. For example, the website of the highly regarded travel guide, Lonely Planet, opens with a feature on Keukenhof. Wikipedia has just one photograph of the Netherlands: of Keukenhof. More recently Keukenhof was awarded the Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor.

 

Program and theme of 2019

Flower Power is the 2019 theme of Keukenhof. The strength of the flowers that unites people and visitors who will come to the park. Holland is famous for its bulb fields and for the many flowers cultivated here. Bright colors, hippies, peace and music. Flower Power has that atmosphere of the 70s. A great theme to celebrate the 70th Keukenhof. Flower Power, the strength of flowers!

The park will remain open from  March 21st to  May 19th.
Events:

  • March23-24th : Sound of Holland: to celebrate the beginning of spring and the opening of the park, choirs and Dutch bands, will visit the park to brighten the days of the first visitors.
  • March 29-31st : Holland heritage weekend: this is the perfect Weekend to discover the nineteenth century Dutch traditions. Traditional markets, folk dances and much more to celebrate the old Dutch traditions.
  • April 5-7th: Flower power: weekend dedicated to flowers. At the market the growers will explain the characteristics and use of the bulbs, giving the possibility to buy new ones. Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th, children can participate in a floral treasure hunt.
  • April 13th: flower parade: The unmissable floral parade passes like every year from Keukenhof giving visitors the opportunity to go out and come back after the passage of colorful floats to party with bulb flowers. The advice is to arrive before 11am and, if possible, do not plan to leave the car park before 5.30/6 pm due to the traffic that will be blocked for a long time. In the 40 km from Nooordwijk to Haarlem in which the wagons pass, it is better to take it easy. For all the rest, consult the official website www.bloemencorso-bollenstreek.nl
  • April 21-.22nd: Melloy Yellow: Easter weekend
  • April 27th: Keukenhof King’s day: the day of celebration for the whole of Holland, Keukenhof also organizes traditional activities.
  • April 29th: shows of birds of prey: between 12 and 14.30, hawks, eagles, owls and buzzards, will fly above the park showing all their beauty.
  • May 11-12th: Romance at Keukenhof: Being transported to the 19th century, surrounded by people in romantic folk costumes and watching orchestras, soloists and ensembles play among the flowers. Romanticism at the Keukenhof will be organized in collaboration with De Cultuurbrigade of Rotterdam.
  • May 13-19th: woodstock festival: relive the moments of peace of 1969 among the flowers of the Dutch park with a divine music and a relaxing atmosphere.
  •  

Where, How, When

The Keukenhof park will remain open from 21 March to 19 May 2019.
Reaching it is really simple, both from Schipol airport and from nearby locations such as Haarlem, Leiden, Noordwijk, etc.
Visiting the official website of the park you can buy the entrances with bus travel included.
you can  visit www.keukenhof.nl