Its again this special time of the year....MY favourite time of the year in the Netherlands...For three weeks every April the part of land between Leiden and Amsterdam called "Bollenstreek" tranforms itself in a huge, colourful and magnificent carpet of colours & flowers: yellow daffodils, pink hyacinths, red/pink/white tulips....
Did you ever wonder how many tulips grow in the low lands? Its huge amount indeed: the Netherlands produces 4.32 billion tulip bulbs, of which 2.3 billion (53%) are used as the starting material for the cultivation of cut flowers. Not fewer than 1.3 billion of these (57%) are grown in the Netherlands as cut flowers. The remainder goes to countries within the EU (0.63 billion) and outside the EU (0.37 billion). The main buyers outside the EU are Japan with 179 million, the US with 147 million, Norway with 60 million and Canada with 48 million bulbs.
From total of 15 countries being tulip producers the Netherlands is also the country with the largest production area with 10,800 hectares (88%). The next 5 main countries are Japan (300 hectares, 2.5%), France (293 hectares, 2.4%), Poland (200 hectares, 1.6%), Germany (155 hectares, 1.3%) and New Zealand (122 hectares, 1%).
Thats why I like to call the Netherlands the "Tulipland...at least in April nobody will wonder why:-)