Keukenhof inspiration

May 6, 2015 in Blog bericht, Watercolor by Michelle Dujardin

boeket opdracht klein

Early April I got a custom request from a bride to paint her beautiful wedding bouquet. I had never painted a bouquet before, but I loved the challenge to paint one. The result can be found above. While painting her bouquet, I realized that painting flowers made me feel happy. So I decided to also paint a bouquet for myself, one that I could look at home.

During that same period spring finally broke through here in the Netherlands. I now live in the house of my grandmother since she had become to old to walk up the stairs and  live on her own. But on warm sunny days she loved to come over and visit her old place and sit in the garden underneath her beloved Japanese Cherry tree.

 In the week I was painting the wedding bouquet, I also started cleaning the garden in preparation for visits of my grandmother. This year her favorite tree flowered a lot later than the year before.  Because of her great love of flowers she also had plans to visit Hollands most famous flowergardens ‘Keukenhof’ with a group of other people. But it was not to be. In stead of going to Keukenhof, she caught pneumonia, had to go into hospital and died a few day later on April 17th.

So it happened that my ‘happiness bouquet’ became the design on her funeral card, hoping it would cheer up other people as well.



The week after my grandmother died, her beloved Japanese Cherry slowly started to flower. Exactly on the day of her funeral the flowers had fully opened. I spoke a few words in memory of her, noting that the blossoms symbolized a new start: for her, her family and myself.

I have always noticed that in periods of great loss, wonderous things can also happen. A week after the funeral I got a message from Gianni, an American Facebook community friend, that he was on a trip in the Netherlands and would loved to meet in……Keukenhof. Now I have to admit that after living for more than 10 years nearby Lisse, I had never payed a visit to one of the most famous tourist spots of the Netherlands. I had my own ideas about Keukenhof: dull, for elderly only, lots of tourists etc., but I decided to go in honor of my grandmother and to make the trip she couldn’t make anymore.

Yesterday was that day. I woke up quite early and looked out of my window to see if the weather was really as rainy as the forecast had predicted. What a suprise to see that almost all cherry blossom had fallen down that night and the garden looked as if  it had been covered in pink snow!


bloesem sneeuw

After taking some picture of my own ‘Keukenhof” I went to Lisse and during that trip the weather got better and better. I discovered that some of my prejudges were indeed true, but others needed some adjustment.

There are indeed many tourists in Keukenhof (from all kinds of countries by the way) but there are also more beautiful flowers than I could have ever imagined. What I liked a lot is that you are allowed to sit on the grass and take a close look at that great variety of (mainly) tulips.

As I write this blog it is starting to rain with thunder and lightning, which is the weather that was expected yesterday!



Meeting Gianni was great and afterwards I sat in the grass to paint some flowers.


It was a perfect day and hopefully my grandmother looked down from heaven and enjoyed our day “together” in Keukenhof.


In a minute I will start to paint my second wedding bouquet. Even though it rains I will feel cheerful today.

From now on the new phase is starting, hopefully with lots of flowers!

If you have any wishes for a flower painting you know where to find me!




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