Floriade 2022 Netherlands Garden Tour 1 Floriade 2022 Netherlands Garden Tour 2

Garden Club Tour Floriade 2022

April 30th – May 7th, 2022

What happens in this little country barely measuring 42,000 square kilometers is extraordinary. The Netherlands produces over 4 billion cut flowers per year, which represents roughly 60% of global trade and makes it the Silicon Valley of the flower industry.

It started with a single tulip bulb from Turkey, called the Tulipan or turban in English (tulband in Dutch). It may have been named after the shape of the turbans worn by Turkish men. Dutch merchants who sailed the world in the prosperous 17th century, trading spices and luxury products, brought the tulip bulb home to what was then called the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands.

The enterprising spirit and infrastructure of the Dutch enabled them to be the ones to put the tulip on the map instead of the Turks and they took the opportunity. They already had waterways and roads for transport, and gardeners became experts at developing new varieties for their wealthy landowners. Often, it was a mystery what flower would emerge. Tulips with stripes and flames on their petals often resulted from virus infections, which was not known at the time but the result was much admired.

In around 1630 prices rose to the point that 6,000 guilders were paid for a single bulb, the Semper /Augustus – the price of a canal house in Amsterdam at the time. Some traders sold their tulip bulbs before they even touched the soil. Tulips became all the rage in 17th century Europe, with ladies of the French court paying 300 guilders for a tulip worn in their décolletage..

Vincent van Gogh has his sunflowers, Piet Oudolf his grasses, Bas Meeuws his digital flower still lifes, Marcel Wanders his tulip and dahlia chair, Studio Drift its Meadow light installation, Ermi van Oers her Living Light plants, the photographer Elspeth Diederix her Miracle Garden, Fleurien Dingemans her Power of Flower. Google these names and you’ll get a kaleidoscope of flower impressions.

What do these people have in common? They are Dutch eccentrics with genius minds and they all love flowers. Even an absolutely non-figurative artist like Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) always painted flowers in between his abstract works. The sensational way in which they bloom, their rich symbolism, and their wealth of color are beloved in every era.

“The Netherlands” translates to “the lowlands” and there’s no secret how the country got its name! It is the most low-lying country in Europe, with almost one-third of it below sea level. Even Schiphol Airport, the country’s main international airport, is over three metres below sea level.

Our hotel is in the magical city of Utrecht, just a short distance by train from the main airport…Schiphol. Utrecht is the lively, beating heart of the Netherlands. It was built around the Dom tower, which you can see from any point in the city, so there is no way you can get lost in the attractive, car-free city centre. Utrecht boasts beautiful canals with extraordinary wharf cellars housing cafés and terraces by the water and if Gothic architecture is your thing, then you will love your stay here. As well as the Dom tower, Utrecht boasts hundreds of other monuments that each contribute to the special atmosphere in this centuries-old university town. I think you will be hard pressed on your leisure day…do you spend it in Amsterdam or here…hidden in the centre of town is the Oude Hortus, the former botanical garden of the university. Since 1723 the Oude Hortus has been located at Lange Nieuwstraat and this long history is reflected in the newly designed garden. Medical and botanical science played a particularly large role in the set-up and the diverse plant collection. The greenhouses take up a prominent place in the Oude Hortus and the heart of the garden is characterised by the pond. Here you will also see the oldest still existing greenhouses in the Netherlands….

You can take a canal boat excursion, or perhaps visit the Dom Church Tower that watches over the city. The ultimate symbol of the city of Utrecht is its 112-meter-high Dom Tower. Climb the 465 steps and enjoy the magnificent views! Museum Speelklok has a spectacular collection musical clocks and organs. The colorful flower market is held every Saturday on ‘Janskerkhof’ and don’t forget the Miffy Museum to pick up very special gifts for your young grandchildren. There are countless shops, cafes and restaurants to tempt you. Plenty to do or take the train into Amsterdam and enjoy the day there.

Amsterdam has so much to see and the food is wonderful. Be sure to bring home their famous cheese…they eat an average of 14.3 kilos of cheese per person per year!…and yes the Stroopwafel is really good. If it happens while we are there, National Museum Week will offer free entrances to many museums all over the Netherlands…we will have to check on 2022 later on….did you know that Amsterdam is built entirely on piles and has 1200 bridges?

Looking forward to travel with you…..as always…

Please Click on Each Day to bring up the Itinerary for that Day

Apr 30 2022 Saturday - Arrival day

Participants make their own way to the hotel on arrival. 7 nights accommodation at 4 Star, Park Plaza Utrecht, Netherlands

Hotel https://www.parkplazautrecht.com/

Superior Double or Twin Sharing room… wifi, hair dryer, mini bar fridge, coffee/tea making facilities, iron and board. Hotel has fitness area, restaurant and bar.

Located just a five-minute walk from the city centre and Utrecht Central Station which runs directly from the Schiphol airport and is approximately a 30 minute ride and costs approximately 10 euros (could change), the canals of Utrecht, the Beatrix Theatre and the Jaarbeurs. Highlights such as the Dom Tower, TivoliVredenburg, Museum Catharijneconvent and Shopping Mall Hoog Catharijne are also within walking distance of the hotel. The Railway Museum and the Rietveld-Schröder House are also within easy reach.

Welcome dinner this evening…

May 1 2022 Sunday - Guided Tour at Royal FloraHolland, Flower Art Museum and Hortus Bulborum Foundation

We join our guide and coach for a full day…

Royal FloraHolland Auction House, including a guided tour

Royal FloraHolland is a flower auction company located in Aalsmeer, Naaldwijk, Rijnsburg, Venlo, Bleiswijk and Eelde. Together, the auction houses are home to the largest flower auction in the world. Well over 20 million flowers and plants are sold at Royal FloraHolland every day. The flowers do not just come from the Netherlands, but from 50 other countries as well. There are 35 auction clocks and over 100,000 transactions are made every day. The most popular flower varieties are roses, tulips and chrysanthemums. You will be amazed at how smoothly this runs…


Did you know? The red tulip is the global favorite, red being a positive color in many cultures. It is the first color to catch the eye.

Flower Art Museum Entrance, visit on own.

An ode to the flower that inspires artists to create the most beautiful works of art. The Flower Art Museum in Aalsmeer focuses on the representation of flowers and plants in contemporary art. Paintings, photographs, objects and other works by contemporary Dutch and international artists are on display in changing exhibitions. A large sculpture garden with terrace is located on the roof of the building, from where you can enjoy a lovely view of the Westeinderplassen. Museum shop and café https://www.flowerartmuseum.nl/

Hortus Bulborum Foundation, visit on own.

The foundation manages the unique Hortus collection garden with its 4,000 spring-flowering historical bulbs, some even dating as far back as the 16th century. This collection consists primarily of tulips, narcissus and hyacinths, but there is also a small number of Fritillaria and crocus, primarily the C.vernus types. In addition to functioning as a gene bank, the garden has a seasonal display of thousands of heirloom bulbs, some of which are no longer in commercial production. The Fritillaria persica on display was already in cultivation as early as 1577, while the oldest narcissus is several centuries older yet. The garden, therefore, provides a fascinating overview of these immensely popular spring bloomers grown through the centuries. https://hortus-bulborum.nl/?lang=en

Breakfast Included, Lunch and Dinner on own

May 2 2022 Monday - A FULL Day at the Magical and Inspirational Keukenhof Gardens

We join our guide and coach for a full day…visit on own

Keukenhof is a park where more than 7 million flower bulbs are planted every year. Gardens and four pavilions show a fantastic collection of: tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, orchids, roses, carnations, irises, lilies and many other flowers. You will be overwhelmed by a spectacle of colors and perfumes on display not only outside in the 32 hectares of planted gardens but inside the pavilions showcasing a variety of flower displays.

Did you know? The lily is number four on the list of most frequently sold flowers, after the rose, tulip and chrysanthemum.

The history of Keukenhof dates back to the 15th century. Countess Jacoba van Beieren [Jacqueline of Bavaria] (1401-1436) gathered fruit and vegetables from the Keukenduin [kitchen dunes] for the kitchen of Teylingen Castle. Keukenhof Castle was built in 1641 and the estate grew to encompass an area of over 200 hectares.
Landscape architects Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher, who also designed Amsterdam’s Vondelpark, redesigned the castle gardens in 1857. That park, in the English landscape style, still constitutes the basis of Keukenhof.

In 1949 a group of 20 leading flower bulb growers and exporters came up with the plan to use the estate to exhibit spring-flowering bulbs, signaling the birth of Keukenhof as a spring park. The park opened its gates to the public in 1950 and was an instant success, with 236,000 visitors in the first year alone. 2022 will be the 72nd edition of Keukenhof. Cafes and shops https://keukenhof.nl/en/

Breakfast Included, Lunch and Dinner on own

May 3 2022 Tuesday - Visits to Kroller-Muller Museum and Sculpture Garden

We join our guide and coach for a full day…

Helene Kröller-Müller had a dream to create her own ‘museum-home’. With her wealthy husband’s money and help from an advisor, she purchased over 11,500 art objects. The Kröller-Müller Museum opened its doors in 1938 in the Hoge Veluwe National Park. There’s plenty to see at the Kröller-Müller Museum, but these are the two particularly interesting highlights:

The Van Gogh collection here is the largest privately owned collection of Van Goghs in the world (not counting the collection of the Van Gogh family itself). You will also find masterpieces by modern masters such as Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondriaan.

In the sculpture garden, one of the largest in Europe, you can enjoy both sculptures and nature. Distributed throughout the garden are over 160 sculptures by iconic artists, from Aristide Maillol to Jean Dubuffet, from Marta Pan to Pierre Huyghe. Museum shop and restaurants https://krollermuller.nl/en visit here is on your own

Did you know? One of the sweetest facts about the Netherlands is that the Dutch adore liquorice. So if you adore it too, you can find 80 different kinds to tempt you.

Breakfast Included, Lunch and Dinner on own

May 4 2022 Wednesday - Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, Cruise Canal Sightseeing Cruise & Rijksmuseum

We join our guide and coach for a full day…

Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam is located in the historical center of Leiden and is the second oldest botanical garden of the Netherlands. This amazing garden has a large collection of plant species from Asia, Southern Europe and South Africa. This is where Carolus Clusius grew Europe’s first big tulip collections towards the end of the 16th century. The Hortus botanicus has been collecting and doing research on plants from all over the world for over four centuries. It was established in 1638 to battle the black death. Over 10.000 plants and dozens of bird species can be seen in the Japanese, historical, winter, rose, fern and medicinal herb garden, groundnut field and tropical greenhouse. Shop and café. Visit here is on your own.

Excerpt from Atlas Obscura…

Originally known as Hortus Medicus, the garden grew medicinal herbs and by 1682 the Dutch East India Company had stocked it full of rare and exotic plants never before seen in this part of the world. Their spectacular cycad collection in the Palm House is home to one of the most fascinating plants in “captivity”, offsets from Wood’s Cycad. Other famous residents include a 2,000-year old agave cactus that dates back to the Roman era, and Victoria amazonica, a lovely water lily whose 150th birthday has come and gone. Every night at dusk during bloom season, Victoria opens up the petals of her white flower, decade after decade. The garden’s coffee plants, Coffea Arabica, are considered the “parents” of 74% of the coffee plants in the Americas.


Cruise Canal sightseeing cruise in Amsterdam (75 minute cruise).

The Rijksmuseum is the principal national museum in the Netherlands. It illustrates the art and history of the Netherlands from the Middle Ages to the present. World-famous highlights from the Dutch Golden Age, including Rembrandt van Rijn’s Night Watch and Johannes Vermeer’s The Milkmaid, can be admired at the Rijksmuseum. Start by going to the first link to help you prepare for your visit, it is a huge place, so this should help you narrow down what you wish to see… visit here on your own https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/stories Shop and Café https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en

Breakfast Included with Lunch and Dinner on own

May 5 2022 Thursday - Floriade World Horticultural Expo 2022

We will enjoy a hearty breakfast then board coach for our short drive to the Expo. The Floriade World Horticultural Expo has been held in the Netherlands since 1960. It is organised every ten years in a different location. A Celebration of Green!! It is an extraordinary park in which the Dutch horticulture industry presents its latest trends and developments to the rest of the world. Topics range from water, sustainability, flowers, gardens and architecture to culinary delights. You will be amazed at just how dynamic the ‘green industry’ in the Netherlands is! Walk through fairytale gardens and tropical greenhouses, past lovely ponds and architectural wonders. The Floriade also devotes ample attention to art, theatre and music performances as well as culinary workshops. The Floriade park will be a celebration of green and sustainable technology. New technologies for greenery, food, energy and health will be researched and implemented at this living laboratory. Visitors will be touched by what they see, smell and taste. The park consists of permanent elements and expo-specific ones. All contribute to Floriade’s four sub-themes: Greening the City, Feeding the City, Healthying the City and Energising the City. Inspiring gardens, conferences, workshops and exhibitions will be mixed with impressive attractions, surprising tasting sessions, art and culture. The site will be full of energy and action. Naturally, all in wonderful, green surroundings. Floriade Expo 2022 will be the third expo I have been to. Visit here is on your own. https://floriade.com/en/

Did you know? Carrots are orange because of the Netherlands… Back in the 10th century, carrots were originally white, purple, or pale yellow. So how did they get their distinct orange colour? The story goes that when William of Orange (King William III) helped the Dutch win independence from Spain in the 17th century, Dutch farmers honoured the King by turning their carrots orange through clever breeding.

Breakfast Included, Lunch and Dinner on own

May 6 2022 Friday - Your Day of Leisure and Farewell Dinner

I doubt you will sleep in…just too much to do and see today so get up, have a good breakfast then off you go to discover….

April 27th is the King’s Birthday!!  As you are out and about I am sure you will see plenty of orange… The Dutch Royal family bears the name ‘House of Oranje’. This literally means the colour orange. As a result it has become the Netherlands national color. On King’s Day people wear orange clothes, often even donning orange wigs or make-up. A feast requires a toast. On King’s Day, the people make a toast to the King with Orange Bitter, a bright orange liqueur. The drink was created in 1620 to celebrate Prince Fredrick Henry’s victory. Initially it was not well-known but after William of Orange became the first king, it was produced once more. Since then, Orange Bitter has been closely associated with the Dutch Royal family…..oh, and so many flags will be flying too!

Did you know?  If you are a beer drinker…. The Netherlands is the world’s second-biggest exporter of beer after Mexico.  If you love gin as I do….they also invented gin in the 16th century….

Breakfast and Farewell Dinner Included with Lunch on own

May 7 2022 Thursday - Day of Departure

After breakfast you are on your way….I wish you safe travels home with lots of wonderful memories to enjoy.

You will be likely coming into Schiphol Airport and from there making your way to Utrecht where you hotel is located.  Easiest is in and out of that airport.  Details on getting to hotel will be given with final detail email…


7 nights at 4 Star Park Plaza Utrecht, Netherlands

7 Breakfasts

Welcome Dinner

Farewell Dinner

4 Days with Local Guide

Entrances to Royal FloraHolland Auction House (Guided tour here), Flower Art Museum,

Hortus Bulborum Foundation, Keukenhof, Kroller-Muller Museum and Sculpture Garden, Hortus Botanicus

Amsterdam, Rijks Museum, Floriade 2022

Canal Sightseeing cruise in Amsterdam

Day of Leisure

Tips & Gratuities to driver and guide

Incredible Memories!

Not Included: Flights, insurance, meals and drinks not noted, items of a personal nature and extra hotel charges such as luggage porterage and daily maid servicing.

We have arranged up to 2 pre tour nights in Amsterdam prior to the tour – if you would like to come in before the tour starts. Check in time 3 pm and Check out time 12 Noon.

April 28th and April 29th, 2022 (you can choose one night or two nights – Note this on registration form)

DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station

Hotel link – click here >> DoubleTree Amsterdam Centraal – Hotels in Amsterdam (hilton.com)

Queen bed for Double or Single use and Twin beds for twin sharing

If you wish pre tour nights: PLEASE NOTE Limited availability

Price per person per night twin bed sharing/double 140 Euros (includes breakfast)

Price per person per night single room 250 Euros (includes breakfast)

Garden Club Tour Floriade 2022

April 30th – May 7th, 2022

Land package 2499 Euros per person for Twin bed sharing or Double bed

For those wanting their own room please add 580 Euros to above price (single rooms very limited)

Tour is priced in the currency we pay our suppliers at destination. Due to exchange rate volatility, we only convert to Canadian dollars at time of final payment at the prevailing exchange rates at that time. Your final payment will be in Canadian Dollars.

Note: Minimum of 20 guests must be registered for this tour to run, so please do not book your air until you are notified that we have reached this.

Email: donna@icangarden.com

Tour is subject to changes in itinerary but not tour dates

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