Tulip Fields

On our way to Amsterdam, we stopped to see the world famous tulip fields. But oh dear, we were late! We searched the whole area and there were only a handful of fields still blooming. At first we were shocked. Just five days before our trip, Jordan had visited Holland and dozens of tulips fields were still in bloom. How could they have disappeared in such a short time?

But then, it was sort of hilarious — all the tourists were crowded in front of these few remaining fields, trying to get photos to document their visit.

Next to the still blooming fields you could see other fields where all the flower heads had been cut off. The flowers aren’t harvested to sell, instead, the flower heads are cut off at full bloom, which apparently makes the bulbs grow their biggest. Then weeks later, the bulbs are harvested and sold. I found it so interesting!

Luckily, the few remaining fields made for some great photos anyway.

I’ve posted a gallery of our shots below — including some images of the cut flower heads. You can click on any image to see it bigger.

Have you ever visited the tulip fields? I remember hearing about them in junior high — tulips had recently become my favorite flower and I daydreamed about visiting the tulips fields and taking glamorous pictures. : )

30 thoughts on “Tulip Fields”

  1. I knew about the gorgeous tulip fields but only when you wrote about them the idea stuck in my head: we should definitely go and see them in full bloom! Maybe next year? Until then, I’ll try to find some Dutch bulbs for our garden ;)

    Great photos! the ones with the pink tulips are so beautiful, they look unreal! Maaan, I have to learn how to handle that dslr once and for all! My Husband keeps teaching me and I keep forgetting everything :( ! When I see pics like yours, I feel remorseful about owning a great camera and not knowing the basics how-to :( .

    1. Thanks for liking the photos. But I swear, I am a dunce with my camera. I use it like a point and shoot and sometimes I get lucky. : ) This week, I am hoping to get some online training from Pacing the Panic Room. Can’t wait!

  2. I was looking at pictures of these tulips yesterday and decided that is one of the places I want to visit before I die. So glad you had the chance to! Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos.

  3. I love the pics! They remind of some that we took when I was a kid in tulip fields near my hometown. While the tulip fields in Holland are obviously amazing, there are fields like this in the US as well. I grew up near Holland, Michigan, obviously a very dutch area! There are tulip fields, wooden shoe factories and even a tulip festival each spring! Some day I hope to make it to the fields in Europe as well.

    I’m just learning how to use my DSLR as well. I’ve found that there are some really great tutorials on-line, not even from photography sites. Some of my favorites are over on Pioneer Woman. I read them with my camera and my camera book (so I can look up where features are on my camera).

    Thanks for sharing your pics Gabrielle!

  4. The Skagit Valley in Washington state (about 1.5 hours north of Seattle) also has lots of tulip farms and has a great festival each spring: http://www.tulipfestival.org/site
    I am sure the fields in the Netherlands are amazing and much bigger but this is beautiful too and a bit closer to home. It makes for a great way to bring tons of color into our gray northwest springs.

  5. Love your pictures! I just returned from visiting my sister in Washington, and we enjoyed the Tulip Fields in the Skagit Valley by Mt. Vernon (close to Seattle) Nothing more beautiful. Thanks for the info on how they harvest the tulips. (for selling the bulbs) I always wondered what they did with all those fields and fields of tulips. I’d love to see the Amsterdam tulips someday. :)

  6. Gorgeous! In San Diego we have the flower fields, which I missed out on this year. Same thing — they don’t care about the flowers, they are in it for the bulbs. It is 50 acres of rununculas (totally spelling that wrong) and absolutely gorgeous.

    I think seeing the flowers in Holland is on my wish list!

  7. Dear Gabrielle – what lovely pictures. Takes me back to my childhood helping my Uncle Cor pick heads off daffodils in his fields in Noordwijkerhout. My Mum’s Dad was Dutch and I’m named after the bulb-farming town of Lisse! (My parents changed the spelling to avoid confusion and created lots!). Thank you, Lissa

  8. Planting tulips is my goal for this fall. I love them too. (Although daffodils steal me heart.) Then it’s just keeping the deer and ground squirrels from stealing them!

    So glad you at least got to see a few fields. They are such a short time bloomer!

  9. I like to think of tulips as the official ‘herald of spring’ , along with daffodils. You could perhaps take some bulbs home.

  10. I plan to be in Holland on 12th of June, do you think I have a chance of getting to see any tulip fields?

  11. Dear Design Mom,

    I’m planning to go to Holland next year, for some reason I can only go in mid-May. I would really love to see those tulip fields (not garden like the Keukenhof) but real tulip fields. I would really appreciate if you let me know the actual date you visited those fields and where in Holland can I find any still in bloom in mid May? Do you think it is still possible for me to see tulip field on May 11?

  12. My Dutch husband grew up on the family farm where they leased a part of it to a tulip farmer. He told me this on the night we met and the friends I was with all said to me, “Aaw Kell, all the Dutch boys will tell you they are tulip farmers!”. Needless to say, it was true, and I was quite devastated to visit the farm for the first time and see the poor headless tulips! Your photos are wonderful! What a fabulous experience you are giving your children!

  13. Hi,
    We just came back from a wonderful trip to the Netherlands. I see you took your trip last year but I highly recommend The Keukenhof Gardens (http://www.keukenhof.nl/). They will only be open until May 20th of this year. If you are coming from Amsterdam to go to the gardens, I recommend that you get to Schiphol Airport. First buy the ticket from the tourist office then follow the signs and or ask where the bus to Keukenhof leaves from. The buses take approximately 25min and they leave every 10 – 15 min from the airport.
    There are restaurants there as well as little carts that sell food, you can even take your own snacks! It is wonderful, peaceful and absolutely the most beautiful tulips we have ever seen. Bonus is that you can climb up into a windmill. The park is huge, it really takes a full day!
    Well worth it!

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