Frustrating gardening has been my experience of late. Chronic arthritis in my right knee meant that I was unable to walk very, far let alone dig the garden or move anything other than myself. Surgery I was advised was the only solution for the condition, so I have had to have a total knee replacement operation back in the U.K.
Forbidden to fly for twelve weeks post operation it is impossible to reach our Spanish Mediterranean Garden whilst receiving treatment.
Physiotherapy strengthened the muscles around the joint enough for us to embark on a ferry journey from Newcastle up on Tyne to Eindhoven in the Netherlands (Holland) to see the bulb fields and Keukenhof gardens near to the town of Lisse. This is a garden venue we have wanted to visit for many years and this year celebrates the gardens 6Oth. anniversary.
Anna the Physiotherapist thought that my attempting to walk around the vast acres of parkland would serve as a useful substitute for the therapy session I would miss. I can still hear her laughing.
Four and half hours of walking left us both feeling tired, Carol often looked enviously at my chestnut walking stick.
The gardens were not at their best the cold weather throughout the European area has pushed back springtime and we were too early to see the fields of colour that the Netherlands are famous for. One of the plant and bulb growers thought that visitor numbers were down by several thousand this year representing a sizable drop in income this year for the growers.
Our visit took place on a bright spring day and the visit was pleasurable; though I would advise potential visitors to visit the gardens later in the season so that they enjoy the best of what Keukenhof has to offer.
British gardens have absorbed many horticultural ideas from other nations and enjoy a great reputation around the world, the British formal garden tradition owes a great deal to the skills of the Dutch horticulturalists who crossed the channel following King William of Orange on his ascension to the British throne.
I should mention the 'amazing' experience of getting lost in the Garden Maze and being led back to civilisation by small schoolchildren, though personally I blame Carol.
Needless to say we did buy some Tulip bulbs which will be shipped out to us in October ready for planting. Our choice of bulbs was collection D from Warmenhoven - Export B.V.
Often we have looked at the perfection of plants offered in the plant brochures thinking them to be unbelievable, having looked at the plants in the exhibition hall we now believe and would not hesitate to order from them.