Holland, my birthplace, is a poetic, romantic country steeped in history and dotted with gardens, windmills, sculpture and museums. In many townships, sixteenth and seventeenth century buildings still stand. Lush meadows with many colors of wildflowers and lakes and canals team with many species bugs, plants and birds.
On my way to school I walked through rainbow fields of richly scented tulips. Growers topped hyacinths, crocuses, tulips and daffodils soon after they flowered to produce large, strong, export-ready bulbs. Millions of these fresh, fragrant flowers with their two-inch stems were then woven into intricate designs and mounted on massive floats for the street parade during the famous May Tulip Festival. People also fastened leis of these richly scented blossoms to their cars and bicycles. Brilliant flowers cascaded everywhere, their sweet intermingled scents permeating every home and public place of our town.
I remember watching groups of tourists crossing an arched wooden footbridge at the beautiful Keukenhof display garden, everyone exclaiming and pointing down at the wash of color encircling the flower-ringed pond. How wonderful I thought it was. I'd hoped one day that I could create a garden of such magnificent beauty. The vision has stayed with me ever since and this garden is the result.