Tulips are up in Holland's Keukenhof: Look for Van Gogh in flowers

Tulips are up in Holland's Keukenhof: Look for Van Gogh in flowers
Willem van Gogh, a relative of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, opened the 2015 season at the Keukenhoff gardens on Friday. (Keukenhof)

The famed Keukenhof gardens near Amsterdam opened for its 66th season on Friday, the first day of spring.

Visitors can expect to see a flowery likeness of Vincent van Gogh that was designed for the 125th anniversary of the Dutch artist's death. Willem van Gogh, the great-grandson of Vincent's brother Theo, appeared at the gardens' opening day.

Vincent van Gogh died July 29, 1890, a few days after shooting himself in the chest, at the age of 37.

In October, tulip bulbs were planted at the gardens in Lisse to create a flower mosaic based on one of van Gogh's self-portraits. It will measure more than 2,600 square feet, according to a garden statement.

Keukenhof 2015 is where more than 7 million bulbs will bloom, its website says. Among them are 800 types of tulips but also hyacinth, daffodils and other flowers.

The gardens this year will feature a Tulpomania exhibition that tells the history of the 17th century craze for the Netherlands' most famous import. (They came from the northwestern Himalaya by way of Turkey, and became a hot trade commodity.)

As for the grounds, Keukenhof will feature eight gardens this year, including a maze for children and a Selfie Garden (inspired by the "selfies" Van Gogh painted) just for folks who can't resist snapping a smartphone picture.

Other garden areas include one filled with herbs, another to attract insects and another for romance -- described as "an idyllic garden containing bulb flowers in soft pastel shades, slowly transitioning into the surrounding woods."

Keukenhof expects 800,000 visitors between now and May 17 when it closes.

Tickets cost 16 euros ($17) for adults and 8 euros ($8.65) for children 4 to 11 years old.

Info: Keukenhof