Helicopter view of the flower region near Amsterdam. The colorful fields look perfect from the air, from faraway. A close up flower fields Holland shows there’s more than meets the eye.

We all fall in love with the fields of tulips through pictures taken from the air. When you go for a helicopter ride over the bulb fields it looks extraordinary. This is the typical Dutch landscape: flowers in perfectly shaped rectangles and neatly arranged by color. This is the Netherlands: land created by man.

Now step down from that pink cloud. Let’s have a close up flower fields Holland and zoom in on a single tulip.  This way we can see:

tulip in hyacinth field Holland

What does a close up flower fields Holland reveal?

Even in a land where everything is well organised and planned, something a little less perfect can happen or, in the case of the flower fields, bloom. Take a close look at the flowering fields. No need to step into the field, just stay at the side and let your eyes wander over a flower bed. Try to spot that one single tulip in a sea of hyacinths or that yellow tulip in a field of red tulips.  Beautiful,no? Then again, this single flower can be a threat to the whole flower land.

Who is that man walking through the tulip fields?

We, tourists, consumers, tulip lovers only see the beauty. During my tours and events through the Keukenhof area I like to take the time to experience the local culture, get the full story of traditions and hard work. I recommend to stay near the same field for some time. With some luck you see a man walking through the tulip field. 

Meet the bulb grower. With his head down, he carefully walks through every row. With his sharp eye he easily singles out the bad bulbs or those that don’t belong in this field. For centuries this work has been done by the bulb farmer or his employee(s). It is called ziekzoeken (En: sick seeking). For me, the sight of the man in the tulip fields is connected with a sense of pride, even nostalgia. Nowadays new drone and robot technologies make the job easier. 

ziekzoeken Holland sick tulips
Copyright: groenvandaag.nl

Why does the bulb grower remove a single tulip in a flower field?

Now imagine you buy a package of white fringed tulips at your local garden center or maybe online, directly from a Dutch bulb grower. You plant them and seven months later only six out of twelve tulips are white fringed. Of the other six, one is a daffodil, another a hyacinth and the rest orange fringed tulips. The odd ones out are smaller, weak or don’t come to full bloom. You might not mind, but think of the bulb trader who bought large batches. If he sells these to a local flower farm in the US, UK or Russia and the farmer finds out part of his bought flower bulbs are different flowers or bad quality, the trader could get into trouble.

close up flower fields NetherlandsBack to the bulb grower. He regularly makes a round through his bulb fields. He’ll remove all flowers in the bed that are not the same.  So when you take your close up flower fields Holland ideally each row should be just one kind of tulip, daffodil or hyacinth. With the bulb harvest and export the bulb grower knows that one full batch is of one and the same good quality bulb. 

What happens to a bulb field when one tulip is sick?

There is another reason why the bulb farmer removes the single tulip in a hyacinth field or the white hyacinth in a blue hyacinth field. The strangers can carry viruses or diseases and infect the whole bulb field. To lower the risk of viruses or diseases the bulb grower uses crop rotation. Every year a different bulb flower in a different flower field. This will also keep the soil healthy.

close up flower fields Holland

Where do Holland tulips bloom next year?

If you want to know where tulips bloom next year take a good look at the flower fields of this year. If it is a bed of hyacinths, next year the field will be full of tulips or daffodils. See a daffodil here and there in a hyacinth field? This means last year the field was full of daffodils. It also tells you the chances are high this will be a tulip field next year.  

How do I know tulip bulbs are of good quality?

During my bike tours and team events through the flower region near Amsterdam I will give the opportunity to buy summer and spring flowering bulbs from local farmers. They will then send you fresh bulbs from this season in October (spring flowers) or April (summer flowers). 

Where can I go for a close up flower fields Holland?

If you don’t want to damage tulips or  the hard work of a local farmer, do not enter the flower fields. There are places designed by flower farms and the flower industry ideal for macro photography or your close up flower fields Holland selfie. Just come on a bike tour with me and I’ll take you there.


Recommended tours:

Leiden - Keukenhof e-bike tour Verita's Visit Holland
Bike tour tulip fields Leiden – tour en bici tulipanes Leiden- fietstocht gids tulpen Leiden Verita’s Visit Holland
strand fietstocht Keukenhof Beach & dahlia bike tour summer guided Verita's Visit Holland
Keukenhof Beach & dahlia bike tour summer guided bike tour en bici playa flores verano strand fietstocht Verita’s Visit Holland