Saturday 13 August 2022

Keep out of the fields, tulip growers warn snap-happy tourists

Tourists photographing tulip fields. Photo:

Tulip and hyacinth growers are once again warning tourists to keep out of the fields of flowers so that the bulbs don’t get damaged and viruses are not spread.

With the Keukenhof bulb gardens now open after two year’s of coronavirus-related closure, the tulip season is about to start in earnest – and that means thousands of people flocking to the main growing areas to photograph the multi-coloured fields.

‘If you walk through a field and damage a plant which has a virus, you can spread it to others,’ Annika Versloot, of the Dutch bulb growers association KAVB told television news programme EditieNL. ‘We really have to prevent this from happening.’

The organisation has now placed banners at popular places urging people to keep out. Fences are not an option, Versloot said. ‘We have to make sure people stick to the paths in a friendly way.’

Psychology professor Paul van Lange told the programme that there will always be some people who refuse to stick to the rules. ‘Taking a pretty photo in the middle of the flower fields is a big draw,’ he told the programme. ‘You think you are doing something unique and you want to share it, so a sign is not going to stop you.’

Other locations

Although the bulb fields around Lisse are the most well known, other parts of the country are also catching up, and you can also view the flowers in Noord Holland, Drenthe, Flevoland and Overijssel. In particular, De Kop, about 45 minutes drive north of Amsterdam, offers walking and cycling routes past the fields.

Apart from the Keukenhof, there are various other tulip-related things on offer in the coming weeks.

Museum De Zwarte Tulp is in Lisse where much of the bulb action takes place and is housed in an old bollenschuur, the sheds where tulip bulbs were processed and stored.

In the run up to April 23, it’s Corsoweek in the Bollenstreek – the area south of Haarlem where bulb growing is concentrated. The spectacular floral procession between Noordwijk and Haarlem takes place on the last day.

Throughout April, Amsterdam has its own tulip festival with tubs of flowers scattered all over the city. The aim is to plant a tulip for every citizen.

Last year, farmers resorted to cropping the flower heads off their bulbs to keep tourists away, because of the coronavirus measures.

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