Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Flowers and kimonos : Keukenhof Spring 2014 ( part 1 of 3 )

Spring has finally arrived. Last weekend I went to a meeting with people from the Kimono de Jack NL at the Keukenhof Flower Show,  near the small town of Lisse , located in the West of the  Netherlands, not far from the coast.
The Flower Show is held each year in spring in a very large English style garden , that dates back to the 19th century. It was originally designed to show off the flowers from local flower growers
( mostly bulb flowers like tulips, hyacinths , daffodils ) and these are still the main attraction of the Show.

Each year , nearly 100,000 people visit the Flower Show each week. Luckily  the garden is so large, it never gets really crowded.

Long rows of  hyacinths line the paths. There's hardly any wind today and their sweet smell is everywhere.

Hyacinths come in many varieties and they all smell wonderful.

A mixed border with a footpad in the middle : the garden is full of opportunities to stroll and enjoy the flowers.

Most of the flowers are outside , but there are several large indoor halls at the show where  thousands of flowers are on display.

Hundreds of varieties of tulips and other flowers are on show here.

These are only a few examples.

The tiny blue bell-flowers of Muscari ( grape hyacinth ) : one of my favourite bulb-flowers.

This weekend , the Flower Show has a 'Old Holland' show with people in traditional Dutch costumes from past centuries. These women's caps (headdresses) are made from white cotton or lace and adorned with golden ornaments.

Interestingly , these traditional costumes are different depending on which town and region you live in. You could tell the difference between unmarried people and married people (not unlike furisode !) , widows and widowers and even religions and professions. Children had their own costumes.

Bio-powered go-cart, early Dutch model. You move the handle back and forward to move and steer with your feet.

Nice pose, young girl ! I love the way the artist has used bottle caps to decorate the fish.

After I met up with the other members of KDJ ,we went to look for a place to have lunch.

Sitting down at one of the ponds to enjoy our food and the sunshine.

Mei-ing and Carolien.

Mei-ing's lemon cake was irresistible.

Getting ready to take their own photos home from the event.

Maaike and Ben from Belgium.

Always in a good mood , Maaike is.

Wearing kimono in public always attracts attention : lots of people stop by for a chat.

or take pictures, especially Japanese people. They're always surprised to see their traditional dress worn abroad. We even met a few Japanese kitsuke-sensei there ( none of them wearing a kimono ^^ )

More people arriving : Stephanie, Lizemijn, Tim and in the back Youandi talking to Jordy, Jente and Maxime.

and Katarzyna , who had brought her baby along ( you can see him in the picture above).

While everybody stood around chatting and eating ,  I  took some musubi shots.

Linda is wearing a asa no ha (hemp leaf ) patterned kimono with Dutch themed musubi.

Maaike's musubi.

Mei-ing's musubi.
Carolien's musubi.

Youandi's musubi

Maxime's musubi.

Stephanie trying her hand as a waitress. Very elegant !

After lunch we all went for a walk around the garden and visit the displays in the flower-halls.

The sunny spring weather seems to give everyone extra energy : Stephanie running forward through a sudden shower of cherry petals.

Jente spins her furisode. Quite appropriate, since furisode means ' swinging sleeves' .
Furisode are traditionally only worn by unmarried women.

Posing in front of an old fishing boat , part of the 'Old Holland' exhibition.

At the Keukenhof, you HAVE to pose near the tulips.

Our Kimono de Jack signature shot : a rosette of tabi.

Tulips, a wooden clog, a windmill and everyone saying "cheese" : it cannot possibly get more Dutch than this.

Thanks to Lizemijn taking photographs , I was able to pose in this group shot too.

Water is an essential part of the Netherlands , so we set off looking for a more adventurous location to pose.

One small step for man, but a giant leap if you're in a kimono. Luckily, nobody fell in.

From left to right : Carolien, Linda, Youandi, Barbara, Maaike, Stephanie, Jordy, Maxime, Jente and Ben.

With so many photos , I've split this blog into 3 parts , so you won't have to wait too long because of all of the photos uploading.
(To look at the photos in full size, just left-click on any of them.)
(This post is in three parts, Click Here to go to part 2 , Click here to go to part 3)


Kumiko said...

You look wonderful in your kimono,Walter!
Tulips and Hyacinths are awesome!
Every scene is spectacular!
Maaike,her kimono is wonderful,baloon pattern is unique.
I love Linda's obi,windmill and tulip design,it is amazing.
Youandi look wonderful in her arrow pattern kimono.
Mei-ing's waved pattern kimono and orange obi combination is so wonderful.
Jente looks wonderful in her Hakama style.
I love Maxime's style.I love her kimono and obi.
Stephanie's style is so springlike
and elegant.
I have a question,
Can they wear kimono totally by themselves,or is there wearer?
Thank you for sharing these amazing photos,Walter!

Walter said...

Kumiko, thank you for commenting! Everybody puts on their kimonos by themselves without help, at home.
Then they travel by train and bus, or sometimes by car to the event.

Linda Kentie said...

Lovely photo's as always! The group photo's worked out so well. I'm glad we went to the Keukenhof instead of the spring meeting this year!

Next time I will bring some koshihimo for you Walter to tie your kimono better and a juban shirt that I'm trying to make. What size t-shirt do you have?

Great photos as always! Thank you for sharing

Kumiko said...

Oh,really? That's great!
I take my hat off to all of them.