Dutch growers debut the first mixed meadow of bulbs and perennials at Keukenhof's 75th jubilee

Perennials and bulbs have been planted together to show how to prolong spring color

Keukenhof in bloom
(Image credit: nikitje via Getty Images)

It's good news for avid gardeners needing some spring garden ideas as this year's world-famous Keukenhof floral event will debut its first-ever mixture of spring bulbs and flowering perennials to show how to create a display that flowers for longer.

The annual international showcase takes place at the Keukenhof botanical gardens just outside Amsterdam in Holland, and is celebrating its 75th jubilee this spring. Thanks to a collaboration between Dutch bulb suppliers, JUB Holland, and perennials specialists, Rijnbeek Perennials, visitors will see a magnificent display of Keukenhof's first-ever mixed meadow of bulbs and perennials.

For eight weeks each year, seven million spring bulbs are on display at Keukenhof to celebrate the Dutch floricultural sector. Tulips continue to be the main point of attraction for worldwide audiences but there is a whole range of bulbs to see, including daffodils and hyacinths.

Keukenhof in bloom

(Image credit: Martin Ruegner via Getty Images)

JUB Holland has been exhibiting at Keukenhof since the first year, providing long-flowering bulb mixtures. Since 2019, it has been designing unique color combinations to display in its borders at the showcase.

This year, JUB Holland has teamed up with Rijnbeek Perennials to create a 235 meter-squared mixed flowering field of bulbs and perennials. Perennials have previously been challenging to include at Keukenhof because not many are flowering when the showcase opens in March each year. Now, they have been planted with bulbs to prolong the flowering display.

'Our collaboration aims to show how effective it is to combine perennials and bulbs. Once the bulbs have finished flowering, perennials take over and offer a spring display that lasts longer,' says Robbert Uittenbogaard, Director at JUB Holland. 'It's also about using varieties that come back for several years,' he adds.

A mixture for prolonged color and biodiversity

Keukenhof in bloom

(Image credit: Darrell Gulin via Getty Images)

The joint border at Keukenhof will use naturalizing bulbs, including different tulips, crocus and scilla, and early-flowering perennials, including types of hellebores and violets.

'My designs for JUB are always naturalistic floral displays consisting of a multitude of varieties - sometimes over 40,' says Carien van Boxtel, the garden and landscape designer who works on JUB Holland's Keukenhof display each year. 'The planting team in Keukenhof use the lasagna style: bigger bulbs first and deepest and after a first covering the next layer is planted, finally the smallest bulbs in the top layer,' she adds.

The mixed meadow will show how bulbs and perennials can be used together to create a magnificent explosion of spring color with a prolonged flowering time. It likewise demonstrates an efficient planting method to increase biodiversity with lots of plants for pollinators.

'A succession of flowers is not only important for aesthetic reasons but also good for biodiversity. There is pollen and nectar available for even the earliest bees in spring when there is still not much to forage,' says Carien.

Keukenhof is open between 21 March and 12 May, where it is expected to welcome 1.5 million visitors.

Carien van Boxtel
Carien van Boxtel

Carien is a self-employed garden designer. She graduated in Garden and Landscape Architecture from Hogeschool Van Hall/Larenstein in Velp, the Netherlands. She designs private and public gardens. Since 2017, Carien has worked as a designer and horticultural consultant for Dutch bulb company JUB Holland, helping to create magnificent displays at Keukenhof each year.

Tenielle Jordison
News Writer (Gardens)

Tenielle is a News Writer in the Gardens team at Homes & Gardens with five years of journalistic experience. She studied BA Journalism, Media and English Literature and MA Magazine Journalism at Cardiff University. Before coming to Homes & Gardens, Tenielle was in the editorial department at the Royal Horticultural Society and worked on The Garden magazine. She is passionate about sustainable living and the role gardening has to play in tackling the effects of climate change. Tenielle is also a houseplant lover who is slowly running out of room for her ever-growing collection. She has experience successfully propagating indoor plants and overcoming common houseplant problems.