In the northern hemisphere spring normally marks a boom in the trade for colourful blooms, with countries like the Netherlands due to celebrate tulip season.

The spring blooms are normally a high point for tourism in flower growing regions, but some nurseries in Europe and Asia have taken extreme measures to cut the spread of coronavirus.

The Keukenhof public gardens south of Amsterdam, are normally full of visitors this time of the year.

Workers picking flowers in Lisse, Netherlands, are told to maintain their distance during the pandemic. Photo / Peter Dejong, AP
Workers picking flowers in Lisse, Netherlands, are told to maintain their distance during the pandemic. Photo / Peter Dejong, AP

Yet despite the good weather the flowers are without admirers this year, due to the disruptive effects of the coronavirus across Europe.

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"It feels very bad, you can imagine," Keukenhof Director Bart Siemerink told AP. "It really hurts. For all the gardeners, for all the people involved."

Normally there are some 1300 gardeners involved in keeping the flowerbeds groomed. This year there are only 40, working to prepare the ground for next year. 2020 is already a write off for blooms.

The Dutch national flowers will have no audience this year in Keukenhof, Netherlands. Photo / AP, Peter Dejong
The Dutch national flowers will have no audience this year in Keukenhof, Netherlands. Photo / AP, Peter Dejong

Nurseries and market gardens in fields surrounding the city have also been affected. Normally a mind-blowing sweep of colour across the Dutch countryside, there are no tourists on the roads this year.

For the 7 million bulbs bought by the gardens, they will only ever be seen by a handful of people in the flesh. Although Siemerink says they are inviting web cameras and TV crews in so that gardening enthusiasts can at least enjoy a digital tip-toe through the tulips. "If people cannot come to Keukenhof, we will bring Keukenhof to the people at home," he says.

However in other flower growing regions they cannot risk people who may try to visit anyway.

In Japan's Tulip capital of Sakura outside of Tokyo they have decided to remove the temptation entirely by razing entire fields.

It wasn't enough to cancel the festival at "Sakura Furusato Hirabo" during the coronavirus emergency. Almost 1 million tulips have been mown down to prevent visits from flower tourists and potential breaches of social distancing.

says that almost '100 varieties of tulip and about 800,000 flowers' were raised to prevent visitors congregating in the fields.

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"Many visitors came on the weekend when the flowers were in full bloom. It became a mass gathering so we had no choice but to make the decision to cut the flowers," said an official for the city tourism board.

Reuters reported that the cut flowers have been donated to kindergartens.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website