A photographer gained exclusive access to the world's most beautiful garden even though it's closed

Courtesy of Albert DrosKeukenhof flower gardens.
  • Keukenhof park in the Netherlands hosts a world-famous tulip festival every spring, but is closed due to social distancing.
  • Landscape photographer Albert Dros gained access to Keukenhof to photograph the empty park in bloom.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Dutch landscape photographer Albert Dros had only been to Keukenhof’s world-famous flower gardens once before. He preferred to photograph flowers in less crowded settings, working with local farmers on the Dutch countryside.

When Keukenhof closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Dros received special permission to visit the gardens and photograph the empty fields of flowers in bloom.

Here are 15 photos that show what Keukenhof looks like without its hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Albert Dros is a landscape photographer from the Netherlands.

Courtesy of Albert DrosTulips in the Netherlands.

He published a book of his landscape photography called “WOWscapes.”

He particularly enjoys taking pictures of Dutch flower fields.

Courtesy of Albert DrosFlower fields.

He works with local farmers to arrange photo shoots in their fields.

“I’ve enjoyed flowers ever since I was a little kid,” he said. “I used to be in the garden with my grandma and always loved gardening. Now I just love colours. You can see it in the style of my photography. It’s very colourful in general.”

Courtesy of Albert DrosFlowers at Keukenhof.

The beautiful colours aren’t the only perk of photographing flowers – their fragrant smell also adds to the experience.

“I just can’t get enough of it,” he said.

Dros has always wanted to photograph the Keukenhof flower gardens without the thousands of tourists that visit each year — a task that would have been impossible before the coronavirus pandemic.

Courtesy of Albert DrosWalkways lined with flowers at Keukenhof.

Keukenhof’s world-famous tulip festival usually attracts visitors from around the world, but the park is closed for the season.

Keukenhof gave him permission to visit the empty park and photograph its perfectly curated flower gardens.

Courtesy of Albert DrosThe flower hill at Keukenhof.

Keukenhof is also offering virtual tours of the park in bloom.

He stopped by the characteristic Keukenhof windmill surrounded by tulips.

Courtesy of Albert DrosThe windmill at Keukenhof.

The windmill’s observation deck is usually packed with tourists.

He visited the park’s famous “blue river” of grape hyacinths.

Courtesy of Albert DrosGrape hyacinths at Keukenhof.

Keukenhof staff pin the hyacinths’ flower clusters up with sticks to prevent them from drooping.

Keukenhof’s cherry blossoms were also in bloom.

Courtesy of Albert DrosCherry blossoms in bloom.

Hyacinths and cherry blossoms usually bloom earlier in the season.

He ate lunch in Keukenhof’s Lake Garden, one of his favourite spots.

Courtesy of Albert DrosThe Lake Garden at Keukenhof.

Without crowds of tourists, the lakefront was quiet and still.

“It’s just beautiful as a whole, but it’s also the little details,” he said. “The paths, the swirls of flowers, the swans around the fountain. The whole thing is just magical.”

Courtesy of Albert DrosBridges across the river that runs through the park.

People used to enter the park through the Lake Garden. That historic entryway still stands, but is no longer used.

Dros told Insider walking around the empty park was “surreal.”

Courtesy of Albert DrosHyacinths at Keukenhof.

“It was a beautiful sunny day and I was occasionally just stopping without taking any photos and just enjoying the silence,” he said. “Taking it all in, hearing the birds sing, and the fountain of water. All the little things, it was just so relaxing.”

Drone photos usually aren’t allowed in the crowded park, but Dros took advantage of the empty fields to capture some aerial shots.

Courtesy of Albert DrosA drone photo of the park.

“Obviously, you can’t fly a drone there when you’re in the park with other people,” he said. “But being there alone allowed me to take some drone shots to show the structure of some of the planting of the tulips.”

He also noticed the park’s attention to detail in paths and flower layouts in a new way.

Courtesy of Albert DrosPaths snake through the gardens.

“You don’t really notice that when there are dozens of people walking around everywhere. You don’t see the structure,” he said. “Being there alone really showed me those details.”

He hopes that his photos bring the joy of the Keukenhof gardens to everyone in need of a pick-me-up.

Courtesy of Albert DrosTulips in the shape of a tulip.

Many people had to cancel their travel plans for seeing the flowers in person due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Now that the park is closed this year, I hope to show the beauty of our flower garden to the people sitting at home,” he said.

Courtesy of Albert DrosLanes of colourful tulips.

“Sometimes people can get depressed, and with these colourful images I hope to show a little bit of colour on a grey day,” he said.

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