A Tulip Frenzy in the Netherlands

A Tulip Frenzy in the Netherlands

From March to May each year, parts of the Netherlands turn into vibrant seas of flowers. In spring 2024, bursts of colorful blooms were visible in satellite images of the Dutch landscape.

Scores of people travel to the Netherlands each spring to witness its flower-filled fields. Their destination: the “bulb region.” Visitors go there to see the country’s iconic tulips and other spring blooms, including lilies, hyacinths, and daffodils. The season begins in March with purple crocuses, followed by hyacinths and daffodils. It ends after tulips reach peak bloom in late April.

Many bloom-watchers flock to towns south of Amsterdam, such as Lisse (known as “the flower village”). But those who go northeast of the Dutch capital to Kop van Noord-Holland—the northern extent of the North Holland province—will see some of the region’s largest contiguous fields of tulips.

On April 29, 2024, the OLI-2 (Operational Land Imager-2) on Landsat 9 captured these images of the countryside in North Holland, 35 kilometers (22 miles) northeast of Amsterdam. Long, rectangular fields of red, yellow, and pink flowers pop out against the surrounding green and brown terrain.

More than 28,000 hectares (61,000 acres) of land was dedicated to flower bulbs in the Netherlands in 2023, according to Statistics Netherlands. Tulips grew on over half of that area. The iconic Dutch flowers need cold nights and a cold winter, which is why they thrive in the region. The area used to grow flower bulbs in the country grew by 5,000 hectares between 2013 and 2023.

NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. Story by Emily Cassidy.

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