It is a sunny Friday morning with a strong breeze. The gate is now closed where rows of tourists are usually crowded expectantly and armed with their camera to enter. We are allowed to enter through the service entrance. “You can hear the birds’ whistles much better now,” says gardener Frans. “Normally you hardly hear them through the buzz of the crowd.” We stand in a circle with an appropriate distance from each other and introduce ourselves one by one. I look around. The park is beautiful. It is a beautiful display of flowers and greenery. Father André and son Frans show us around today.
It is the first time that we as a team are back on the road for TV program “Inside-Outside” since the Corona measures. Sound engineer Arvin puts the transmitters down and gives the garden workers instructions on how to fix the transmitters. The cameraman installs the drone. Nobody shook hands and we all traveled here by separate transport. It feels strange. After working from home for two weeks, I am very happy to be able to go outside again. This also applies to the cameraman and sound engineer, who are happy that they can return to work, especially in a place that you normally never have for yourself. A moment of happiness in the middle of the crisis.
We get all the cooperation from the employees of the Keukenhof, who are happy that they can still show the public how wonderful the park is in this way. And we are happy with them, because this way we can let our viewers enjoy the unprecedented beauty of this park from the couch, between all the Corona news. While we are concerned with beautiful shots, André and Frans are busy keeping the park “clean”. Here and there they remove a dead flower, straighten a branch or pick something up from the ground. As they always have. While everything will go out in a few weeks. Every season, all flowers are taken out of the ground and the bulbs are replanted. The inspiration gardens, the designs of the gardens, they change every season.
In 2010 I was here too, when Keukenhof was the setting for the meeting of the Dutch Chris and the Argentinean Nora for the TV program Memories, which embraced each other again after decades. It was the wish of the Argentinean Nora to be able to meet her old love again among the tulips. That was a dream come true for her. I think of Nora when André sketches how wild the tourists get when they see all those flowers. How they sometimes literally throw themselves between the flowers to get as close as possible to them and to smell the scents. Keukenhof has a certain magic, that became clear to me that day.
And today, in silence and with these two passionate gardeners, I feel that magic. This park, which has been a country estate for three centuries, exudes beauty and history. It is something unique that we walk around here today with five people and are able to make the most beautiful shots in an almost empty Keukenhof. I will never forget it. Hopefully the viewer can enjoy this special view of the Netherlands’ most famous park from home!