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On the tulip trail in Holland.

Near Amsterdam, two grand floral extravaganzas

FLORICULTURE IS AT its breathtaking best in Holland this year. Until the end of May, dazzling displays of tulips and other spring bulbs edge paths and ponds at Keukenhof, Holland's best-known bulb display garden. And through October 11, bulbs and other flowers are on display at Floriade 1992, the Netherlands' once-a-decade floral extravaganza. Both are within an hour's drive of Amsterdam.

KEUKENHOF: A KITCHEN GARDEN FULL OF BULBS

Keukenhof, which means "kitchen garden," was originally a noble's salad garden. Near Lisse in the bulb district, it showcases 6 million bulbs that grow in drifts, blooming in waves for about two months in spring.

Paved footpaths wind through 70 acres of lawns, lakes, woodlands, steams, and shrubs, all edged with rivers of bloom. In one place, we delighted in a bank of daffodils around red-flowering currant (a Western native); in another, a cool river of blue Muscari wowed passerby.

Flowers are labeled; most are available commercially.

Weather can be bone-chilling or warm. During rain, you can duck into one of the garden's sheltering restaurants or conservatories.

Keukenhof is open from 8 to 6:30 daily, March 26 through May 24. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for ages 4 through 12.

FLORIADE 1992

Sprawling over 175 acres in Zoetermeer near The Hague, this mammoth, once-a-decade horticultural extravaganza features a wide array of plants, including hyacinths (43 kinds), lilies (more than 100 kinds of Asiatic and Oriental hybrids), dahlias (6,500 plants), and scillas (60,000 bulbs), as well as fruit espaliers and perennial gardens. Maps (available at the entry) and English-speaking personnel make it easy to find your way around; to get your bearings, take the monorail to the viewing tower.

If it rains while you're visiting the show, dash inside one of the glass pavilions to see hothouse flowers and vegetables, or have a meal at one of Floriade's many restaurants. There's also an outdoor theater as well as on-site child care and playgrounds.

Floriade is open from 9:30 to 7 daily, April through October 11. Admission is $12 for adults, $7.50 for ages 11 and under.

For more information, write to Netherlands Board of Tourism, 355 Lexington Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Keukenhof tulip garden and the 1992 horticultural festival Floriade
Author:McCausland, Jim
Publication:Sunset
Date:May 1, 1992
Words:372
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