Dutch tulip fest Keukenhof opens to the public




, Last Updated: 10:09 AM ET

The 65th edition of the Netherlands' massive flower show at Keukenhof, the world's largest bulb garden with over seven million flowers, opened to the public on Thursday.

"The park is now open for two months and we received our first coachload of visitors this morning, from Singapore," Keukenhof spokeswoman Annemarie Gerards-Adriaansens told AFP.

Each year the park has a different theme, usually based on a country, and this year's theme is simply the Netherlands.

"We thought it would be a good idea to return to what characterises us the most for the park's 65th anniversary," one of the park's directors, Greet Locquet, told AFP.

Millions of tulips of every colour and other flowers have been planted throughout the 32-hectare (80-acre) Keukenhof gardens in Lisse.

The park in the western Netherlands is a popular tourist attraction and claims to be one of the most photographed spots in the world.

Lying in the heart of "bulb country", between Amsterdam and The Hague, it transforms into a multi-colour feast for the eye every spring when seven million bulbs, among them 4.5 million tulips of a thousand varieties, start flowering.

About 800,000 people visit the park every year.

The Netherlands is the world's biggest flower exporter, with 10 billion Dutch tulip bulbs produced every year -- 70 percent of total world yield.

The total bulb-growing area covers more than 20,000 hectares (49,500 acres), equivalent to 40,000 football fields.