The American ambassador to the Netherlands and Keukenhof gardeners join forces in planting bulbs

The USA ambassador to the Netherlands, Ms Shefali Razdan Duggal, Keukenhof gardeners, and representatives of the industry body for the Dutch bulb and nursery stock sector, Royal Anthos, joined forces on 25 October to plant flower bulbs at the residence of the ambassador in The Hague.

Strong ties between the Dutch flower bulb industry and the United States. In 1951, Royal Anthos and the Dutch and United States Departments of Agriculture signed the Bulb Pre Clearance Programme to safeguard the quality and health of flower bulbs and perennials.

The scheme saw the establishment of strict standards for diseases and pests, and US and Dutch inspectors jointly conducting phytosanitary inspections in the Netherlands before shipping.

Under the Pre Clearance Programme, the Netherlands ships 1 billion flower bulbs per year.  The biggest portion of bulbs are tulips while lilies, hyacinths, gladioli and daffodils are also exported to the USA.

The bulb planting ceremony in The Hague is also a tribute to the many American visitors to Keukenhof. Fourteen percent of the visitors, who pass through the entrance of Keukenhof each year, are from the United States.

Keukenhof, the world’s largest spring flowering park, marks its 75th anniversary in 2024. The spring garden is an initiative of several flower bulb growers and exporters who wanted to create a show garden for their products.

Since its opening in 1950, Keukenhof has become a global known name. Meanwhile, more than a million people from all over the world visit the flower exhibition. Keukenhof thus makes a major contribution to the tourism and flower sector in the Netherlands.

In 2024, Keukenhof will be open between 21 March – 12 May.

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