A Bike Ride and Flowers – Lisse, NL

Yesterday was one of those days where when I walked out the door,  saw the clear blue sky and could not justify sitting inside.  Plus, I need to loose a few of those winter pounds that creeped on around the middle.

How did that happen?  Well, no time to waste on that useless thought I just needed to bike myself back into shape!

I jumped on the bike.  I rode much slower than normal. Thinking now maybe my biking muscles got lazy during the winter months. I took my time riding towards Lisse, the home of my former job, the Keukenhof.

First stop a small garden in Lisserbroek.

I shared this garden last year  located in Lisserbroek.

Garden full of color in Lisserbroek

Garden full of color in Lisserbroek

Depending on when in the Spring season I stop at this small garden, the display of color is always different.  Right now this garden has a splash of color. The garden was full of pollinators.

I headed across the ringvaart canal into Lisse where I visited the Museum De Zwarte Tulp (Black Tulip).

Museum De Zwarte Tulp - Lisse, NL

Museum De Zwarte Tulp – Lisse, NL

I have lived here for 12 years and this was my first visit to this tiny but interesting museum.   I used my Dutch annual musuem card for administion and was instantly rewarded with oil paintings of the local flower fields.  They have a very nice collection of blub flower vases from many eras and sizes. I found them an interesting display.  On the second level I encountered the seasons of the tulip business. A display of the hand tools used throughout the season in the bulb industry. Most of these tools are no longer used as most bulb growers are automated.


Bulb sorting equipment

After a quick stop at the art supply store I headed out of Lisse towards the Keukenhof.

Heading towards the Keukenhof

Heading towards the Keukenhof

I stopped just short of the facility to take pictures of the daffodils blooming in the field just to the South of the gardens.  I also noticed that in the last few days the later blooming tulips have popped out of the ground.


Tulip plants in the foreground and the yellow daffodils shining with sun.

The Keukenhof was conducting the official opening of the gardens.  So I was able to get a peek of the activity around the entrance gates.  This year the theme of the garden is “Flower Power”.

Official Opening Keukenhof 2019

Official Opening Keukenhof 2019

This years theme holds personal meaning  to me. I know first hand that flowers have the power to heal emotional wounds and to change lives.  The Keukenhof provided me five years of seasonal employment. It was my second job after moving here to the Netherlands.

Each morning I was able to walk through the peaceful flower garden on my way to my very simple job. With each peaceful step, with each passing season, some of my past personal drama and trauma melted slowly away. In those five years, I was able to slowly heal some of the two decades worth of wounds caused by war and personal conflict.  I was always humbled and in simple disbelief that I was working in such a beautiful location.  At that time, I was the only American who worked at the garden.

I now looked at the new entrance to the garden with mild interest.  I think I am even luckier now, to be able to enjoy the garden on my own terms. No longer is it a place of employment or a stepping stone to living here in The Netherlands. It is simply a world class beautiful bulb garden.

I stepped back on my bike and headed towards the fields and Hillegom.

Green tulip plants popping out of the ground.

Green tulip plants popping out of the ground.

The wind in my hair, the freedom of exploration in front of me I entered Hillegom to find my favorite flower shop display on the bridge.  This explosion of real flowers is always treat to see.  It makes me happy.

Bloembinderij van der Post in Hillegom

Bloembinderij van der Post in Hillegom

I am happy to be able to share these adventures with each of my followers. I enjoy the comments and questions you leave. I am still humbled by your continued support.

Yes, to flower power! The power that flowers have to make people happy, to connect, to heal, and to change lives.

Thanks to each of you that follow and enjoy.

© The Cedar Journal, 2019, all rights reserved.