Millions of people all over the world were looking forward to seeing the gorgeous field of tulips in Lisse, Netherlands, during its annual Keukenhof Flower Exhibit. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the garden had to be shut down in March.
The world’s largest flower garden was supposed to open on March 21, but it was moved to April 6 due to coronavirus concerns. Unfortunately, because of the growing threat from the pandemic, the park won’t be open to any visitors this year as the Dutch country has been placed on lockdown until April 28.
The famous Keukenhof flower garden boasts of over 800 varieties of tulips, hyacinths, crocuses, and daffodils. Its 7 million bulbs bloom each year and attract 1.5 million travelers from over 100 countries.
For the first time since opening in 1950, it will be closed during the two-month tourist season of March and April. It’s usually during these months when visitors flock to the area to treat themselves to the colorful and stunning sights the garden has to offer.
Deciding to close the exhibit was an emotional experience, according to director Bart Siemerink.
“The moment you know you can’t open, you also have to tell 1300 seasonal workers that you don’t have a job for them,” he said.
Flower lovers all over the world are saddened by this news, but the Keukenhof isn’t letting that natural beauty go to waste. Even without guests, gardeners and other employees have continued caring for the pretty blooms. It would be a disgrace if its beauty remains hidden from the world, so the Keukenhof Flower Exhibit decided to bring the springtime experience online by launching a video series named “Keukenhof Virtually Open,” which features tours of the flower fields.
In the videos, gardeners will take you to their favorite places in the park while showing the flowers in bloom. They also provide interesting facts about each type of flower during the virtual tour.
“In the months leading up to spring, a lot of hard work has gone into providing visitors with a beautiful experience. The park is already blooming beautifully and will become even more beautiful in the coming weeks. Keukenhof likes to show this to people under the slogan ‘If people cannot come to Keukenhof, we will bring Keukenhof to the people'”, it says on the official website.
Although Siemerink has predicted that there will be a loss of €23 million in revenue as a result of the closure, he’s remained optimistic about the situation.
“We will survive the year, though not without a hitch. We hope to make a very beautiful Keukenhof in 2021,” he said.
About 50 staff remain on-site to groom the garden for its opening next year. Workers are also busy installing bunnies and blooming bulbs in the area.
Watch Bart Siemerink introduce the Keukenhof Virtually Open video series in the short clip below.