When you think of the Netherlands, it is easy to picture never-ending fields of brightly coloured flowers. Many of the country’s most famous artists have portrayed the flower fields of the Netherlands in their work, and these fields are just as spectacular when they are seen in real life. However, these flower fields are more than just aesthetically beautiful: they are also economically important to the country.
A significant proportion of the country’s agricultural exports are derived from the sale of freshly cut flowers, bulbs and mature plants, and the Netherlands contributions to the flower industry are so significant that they make up around two-thirds of the world’s total flora sales and completely dominate the European marketplace.
The best time to see the flower fields of the Netherlands is early April. Although the flowers often begin to bloom in mid-March, it can depend on the weather in the region, and visitors who come at this time of year may be left disappointed if the winter has been a harsh one. During April, the flowers should be in their prime regardless of the weather, and the fields should be a patchwork of colour.
Whilst many people only associate tulips with the Netherlands, the country actually cultivates and exports many other kinds of flower, including daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses. Compared to other flower selling nations, the Netherlands actually offers the widest variety of saleable trees and shrubs in the world. The country’s horticultural experts also breed and introduce hundreds of new varieties of flowers every year.
Thanks to improved cultivation technology, it is now possible to grow many species of plants which are not normally native to the region. However, as these plants are usually grown in vast greenhouses, tulips continue to dominate the famous flower fields. There is an almost endless array of different colour combinations of these flowers.