STUNNING TULIP FIELDS
With more than 10,000 hectares devoted to the cultivation of these delicate flowers, the Dutch landscape in May is a kaleidoscope of giddy colours as the tulips burst into life.
The bulbs were planted in late October and early November, and these colourful creations are now ready to be picked and sold as bunches of cut flowers in florists and supermarkets.
More than three billion tulips are grown each year and two-thirds of the vibrant blooms are exported, mostly to the U.S. and Germany .
In the first picture, an extraordinary 60 million tulips can be seen coming into flower.
The fields of northern Holland explode into a colourful springtime display Their dazzling colours are thanks to the years in the 17th century when Tulipmania swept the globe and the most eye-catching specimens changed hands for a small fortune. But like a rainbow, this colourful landscape is a short-lived phenomenon. When the flowers are gone, the land will be cultivated for a rather more mundane crop of vegetables.