KLM iFly – Working among millions of flowers in Keukenhof

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Even if you have worked here nearly thirty years.

Then its really beautiful here.

Really fantastic.

I'm Andre Beijk.

I was born in Lisse, and work there as well, in Keukenhof.

I’ve been working here for 27 years now.

And in those 27 years I have gained knowledge of all that happens here.

Keukenhof is really unique.

It is a beautiful park.

Trees, bushes, flowers.

The whole thing is really amazing.

The odd thing about Keukenhof is that it's open only for a very limited period: two months.

We get a lot of visitors during those two months.

The goal, and it has been met for nearly thirty years, is to welcome about 800,000 visitors.

The flowers only bloom at the end of March.

Then we are covered in crocuses.

By mid-May, it is usually so warm that the spring flowers have finished blooming.

If we’d stay open longer, we’d be really spreading it out.

This would not be very spectacular.

But if they visit now, they say:This is great! That’s the lovely part of only having two months.

Currently with the mixtures above all.

People love that.

They are absorbed by the view.

They want to take it all in, so to say.

And the scents are fabulous too.

If you get a sense of the smell, you think:Where is that all coming from? There is just always a delicious scent here.

We start cleaning at six o'clock in the morning.

Blowing and sweeping.

And then we start in on the flowers.

Flowers that have wilted.

So we are busy with that for a few hours.

What kind of tree is that? – A Japanese cherry tree.

Do they develop cherries? – No, only blossoms.

We don’t need cherries.

You can divide the time up into periods.

We start in this show time.

Then we start cleaning up, as we call it.

So all of the pavilions have to be empty, as well as the entire garden.

We take out all of the bulbs.

That is two months worth of work.

Then we till the soil and maintain the trees.

We plant the bulbs on 1 October.

Through to Christmas, St Nicholas season.

Then we really have to go to work,cause all of these trees loose their leaves.

Then we need to seed the grass.

New grass every year.

All in periods of a month to six weeks.

Then, in March,we open again.

And you have to make sure you get everything finished.

Sweeping, cleaning, polishing, and shining.

And then we open at the end of March.

We are a team of thirty gardeners.

We have divided up the park in to sections.

You can’t see them, but we know where the boundaries are.

And that you can maintain in teams of two or three.

We only do this with hyacinths.

The heads are really heavy.

They droop in the rain and the wind.


I know that problem.

They won’t stay up.

It’s always found to be surprising.

What are you doing now? And then they get it.

Why they droop at home and not here.

It all began with the sales of our national product: the bulbs.

Doesn’t look so great, a dry bulb.

And then they thought: Why don’t we let them be seen growing.

Just like in people’s gardens.

So people can see what the bulb will turn into.

And naturally, the tulip is most important here.

Everyone wants to see tulips.

The tulip originates from Asia.

From there it traveled to Turkey.

The Turks loved the tulips.

We Dutch brought them over from Turkey.

And we traded in them.

We enhanced them and cultured them.

And then it became a famous Dutch product.

These are decorations for the places and corners where nothing is currently placed.

Where there is concrete and bricks, and you can’t plant anything.

So we are busy for these eight weeks to give some colour, above all at the entrances and exits.

Yes, this is the interior exhibition where we heat it in the winter.

so that we have blooming tulips on opening day as well.

People love that.

It’s also great for when it’s bad weather.

If it's bad weather outside, and raining.

everyone can come inside to enjoy the Keukenhof.

Today we opened this mosaic, because it has bloomed.

And it works! I looked at it from above.

It’s really beautiful.

Just like it should according to the drawing.

I’ve never seen this, such a row of people waiting.

It makes me take pride in my job.

If so many people see it and think it’s beautiful.

Yes, I am really proud.

Just let me grab that flower, its bothering me.

These are also lovely flowers, nothing wrong with them.

But they don’t have the right colour.

Keukenhof has to stay perfect, I think.

You can see things here that you would see outside of this park.

You can see huge bulb fields, or a green forest or park.

but here everything comes together.

Nope, it’s never boring.

In January you are already looking forward to it.

And we start the countdown: Just 15 more weeks, and then its on again.

Source: Youtube