Tag Archives: Tulips

Random Memories of Germany

13 Dec



Judy Wills

On our first trip to Holland, we took in the Keukenhof Gardens and their magnificent flowers – mostly tulips, but others as well.  I saw my first Amaryllis there – and couldn’t believe how tall those flower were!

Judy by an exhibit of Amaryllis – 1968

And the different varieties and colors of the tulips were amazing!  For some reason, I really liked the ones that were nearly black – such as Ace of Spades, and Black Beauty.  Wow! 

Ace of Spades

Black Beauty

Because it was April, many of the flowers that grew outside (rather than in the hothouses) and the trees were not in full bloom yet.

But the landscape of the gardens was still beautiful.

We stopped in Leiden at the Treslong Experimental Gardens.  Beautiful.

Treslong Experimental Gardens

Our last visit there was during the girls Spring Break from school in April, and it was cold and wet in Holland.  We almost didn’t go to Keukenhof, but were eventually glad we went, as it was actually warmer within the Gardens.  I guess all the trees provided some protection from the weather!

Later, my Mother came to visit us in Wiesbaden, and we took her to Holland.  Her visit was in May, and Keukenhof Gardens was in full bloom.

Mother (left in the red suit) in the Gardens

Much to our surprise, we learned that many Dutch people had to eat the tulip bulbs to live in 1944-1945 at the tail end of the war.  From a website from The Laidback Gardener:  Most bulbs such as hyacinths and daffodils are toxic to humans, but tulip bulbs are edible if they are carefully prepared.

And from the AmsterdamTulip Museum:  The situation in Amsterdam had grown hopeless, and in December a freeze started that would last for several months. Starvation became extremely common, and many perished. It was here, for the first time, that Tulip bulbs were eaten, along several other agricultural products not typically considered edible (such as sugar beets). 

Growers, unable to export their bulbs, began to sell them as food and market the high starch content. Doctors even began to provide recipes on how to prepare bulbs

After learning all this, we were amazed to see the fields and fields of tulips growing.  It was quite heart-warming to see how the tulip “industry” survived.

Fields of Tulips, picture taken from inside the windmill

One of our favorite places to visit in Holland was den Haag (The Hague).  And in den Haag is Madurodam.  A VERY favorite!!  From the Netherlands website:  

Madurodam provides a perfect combination of an amusement park, historical heritage and world-class nature.  With more than 5,500 miniature trees and 55,000 flower bed plants blossoming all season, the park is known for its scenic beauty.  We spent many hours going through this delightful park with its miniatures, built 1:25 scale.  Amazing!  It was a favorite of our daughters, as well.  We took my Mother there during one of her visits.  We can’t remember whether or not we ever took Fred’s parents there.  

Miniature Cathedral

Miniature Schipol Airport

Miniature windmills and canals

We stayed in a B&B on that trip with the girls.  We always enjoyed doing that on our jaunts around Europe.  The family was lovely, and the accommodations were wonderful!  I had made some chocolate chip cookies for our trip, and we shared them with the family.  I just remember telling them to come visit us in Heidelberg.  But their reply was that, thanks, but no thanks.  They would “stay” in Holland.  There was still a bit of animosity toward Germany from World War 2.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

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