The Keukenhof flower gardens near Lisse will not open at all this year, because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The gardens should have opened on March 21 and close again on May 10, after attracting some one million visitors. However, government rules banning events up to June 1 mean the garden must keep its gates closed.
‘Everyone is devasted,’ a spokesman for the park said. ‘The park is ready for visitors, the bulbs are flowering and the exhibition tents are largely complete.’ Keukenhof gardeners planted some seven million bulbs for this year’s show.
The park is now pledging virtual visits rather than physical ones, and says it will keep flower fans up to date with videos, so everyone can appreciate this spring’s display.
‘If you cannot come to the Keukenhof, we will bring the Keukenhof to you,’ said director Bart Siemerink in a welcome video.
The coronavirus outbreak has also impacted on the Amsterdam tulip festival, which should kick off city-wide at the beginning of April.
An exhibition on five centuries of tulips at the Hermitage museum has been cancelled, and other tulip gardens throughout the city are closed to the public as well.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of public displays to enjoy, says organiser Saskia Albrecht.
‘There are bed and pots with tulips all over the city and everyone out walking the dog, or going for a walk or to work will pass them,’ the organisation said.
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