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I really needed this...
It's been that kind of winter in our part of the world. But there was not much of a winter at all in Europe, and spring, also warm so far, is early. Knowing this, I took advantage in a cancellation of a meeting during the last day of my week of meetings in Holland to make the short trip to Keukenhof, the world's most famous bulb garden.
To those who have heard of Keukenhof, the bulb that springs to mind is the tulip, one of the icons--along with windmills, wooden shoes and Rembrandt--of Holland. Typically even the early tulips wouldn't be in color yet, but not only were they in full glory, but so were the mid-season ones. As were the daffodils, hyacinths, scilla and chinodoxa. Most crocus had already passed.
The place was jammed, which was good to see. People from all corners of the world--the languages I picked out (or thought I picked out) were English, Dutch, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin, Arabic and a few others I couldn't guess. Ok, we're in Europe, but still...
My favorite gardens are a mix of restraint and exuberance, subtlety and effervescence. Whatever Keukenhof's faults might be, restraint and subtlety aren't among them. The colors are rich and saturated and bold, intense in the extreme. And I loved every bit.
When I get home tomorrow, I'm hoping to see the first signs of exuberance and effervescence in my own garden. Can't wait! It's been that kind of winter.