National Geographic : 1968 Apr
Blonde in a bonnet refreshes at Marken, where townsfolk delight tourists by wearing the pictur esque dress of an earlier era. Many Dutch villages have their own costumes; this girl's hat comes from Volendam. Once an island in the Zuider Zee, Marken today connects to shore by a road-carrying dike, and by 1980 will lie well inland, surrounded by a polder. Drying fish nets frame a farmer, who hauls hay along a dike-top road. Here men of Makkum take eel, perch, and smelt from fresh-water IJssel Meer. Anchored in fish runs, the nets channel their captives through successive segments, steadily reducing chances of escape. with sun-splashed radiance from the well kept fields, where men in wooden shoes and leather knee pads bent to their task of main taining perfection. "Wooden clogs keep feet dry and warm in wet fields," said Paul. "Twenty-five thousand Dutchmen can't be wrong-that's the number in the bulb industry-and many of them still work in clogs. But don't think our flower and bulb growers are old-fashioned. They are the most efficient in the world, and they work hard to stay that way." Researchers Coax Blooms in All Seasons We turned off the main highway before Keukenhof and made first for the little town of Lisse and its gardens, where from the end of March to the end of May hyacinths and tulips smile in serried ranks with the colors of a thousand brilliant rainbows. Visitors pour in from the ends of the earth to admire them and order bulbs. Amid the tulip fields near Lisse, a group of small buildings houses the State Bulb Re search Center and Horticultural School. "Research keeps us busy," said pretty Anneke le Roij, who works in the bulb cen ter as a lab assistant. "Fighting plant diseases, controlling pests, developing better and ever more beautiful flowers from our bulbs gives us plenty to do. One of our aims is to have flowers in bloom the year round, not just in their special sea sons. The tulips are the most difficult. The hyacinths and daffodils are the simplest to keep flowering."