As a real Dutch man, I am a big fan of our flowers. And as a landscape photographer, I enjoy our beautiful spring each year in which I always find time to photograph the flowers and show the beauty of the Dutch flowers to the whole world. Most of you probably know the world famous Keukenhof, the most beautiful tulip garden in the world. Every year millions of tourists visit this garden. That’s a huge lot considering the garden is only open in spring! Every year, a hard working crew makes sure the garden looks as good as ever, including this year!
This year is ‘special’. Keukenhof is closed, for the first time in 71 years. But that doesn’t mean there are no flowers. On the contrary; the flowers look incredible and get as much attention and care as always. All the passionate gardeners do their work as they’re used to. Because even without people, nature and the show of the garden goes on.
I’ve been photographing the tulips since forever, mostly on the countryside. I photographed them from all angles you can possibly imagine, but there was one thing that I still wanted to capture one time in my life: Keukenhof without any other people. This seemed impossible, until this year’s April 2020. With the COVID-19 virus keeping everyone at home and tourists away, I knew this was my only chance of making this happen. I contacted Keukenhof explaining what I had in mind and they were so kind to let me photograph the garden for a day.
When I visited the park it looked at its best. Interestingly enough, we have experienced the sunniest April EVER in the Netherlands, making all the flowers pop very fast. Photographing in broad daylight with the strong sun was a challenge. But forget about the photography for a moment: Walking around there all alone, with only the sounds of birds and the incredible smell of all these flowers, is an experience by itself. I sometimes just sat next to the flowers and the water, enjoying the nature for 30 minutes long. It was just a magical experience. Having no people in the park allowed me to photograph paths and angles in a certain way that you normally don’t get to see because of the crowds.
This photo series is an initiative from myself in collaboration with Keukenhof. We aim to show the beauty of the park through these images. Too bad there’s no smell involved ;)
With no people around these zig zag paths become visible showing the attention to detail in the lay out of the garden.
Low angle perspectives. Left: The famous Keukenhof windmill. The miller was so kind to move it to the correct position for pictures. Right: A rare species of tulips that I had not seen before.
The world famous ‘Blue River.’ A road of blue grape hyacinths zigzagging through the trees.
In Keukenhof you can find a bunch of classic Dutch bridges. This is one of them right at the entrance, surrounded by a sea of colourful tulips.
Did I mention attention to detail? From the ground I didn’t even see this, but when I flew my drone a few meters up it appeared that these were planted in the shape of a tulip flower!
Seas of tulips around my favourite area of the park: The pool with the fountain in the middle.