Every year, we introduce new flowerbulbs for our webshop. These are varieties selected from a wide range of flowerbulbs that I either encountered by chance, were recommended to me by fellow bulb growers or which I have fancied for some years. I choose the new varieties with love and care: I want them to be able to grow in everybody’s garden, so everybody can enjoy the flowerbulbs I sell.
Fluwel’s new introductions remain in our category ‘New in the shop’ for a year, before they move on to the regular category. You can find these varieties now, in our webshop in the ‘New’ category and also in their own category, like ‘Tulips’ or ‘Daffodils.’ Of course, I wholeheartedly hope that this new selection of flowerbulbs contains something that makes you just as happy as it makes me!
Where did I meet these new varieties?
In the first place, I receive recommendations from other growers who tell me: ‘Carlos, you should see what I have here! Amazing for your website!’ Of course, I visit them to have a look at their beautiful, new flowerbulb. What also applies to me, is the Dutch saying ‘a flying crow always finds something’. In Spring season, I like to drive around to look at flowers and to take photographs, and sometimes, during one of these journeys, I find a flower and it is love at first sight. In this case, I do my best to find out who the grower is and to ask him if I can sell some of his beautiful flowers in my web shop.
The last way to encounter new flowerbulbs, is through the Bulb Committee. They are an organisation from England of which I am a member, and they have gorgeous flowerbulbs in their trial gardens. I gladly visit them a few times every year to pick out my favourites: varieties that I would like to offer in my web shop. At events of the Bulb Committee, I meet new flowerbulbs as well as growers who can help me find new flowerbulbs. Altogether, there are lots of ways in which I find new varieties!
How do we select the varieties, now that we have all these new potentials that are all beautiful?
Well, I would like to explain this a little more extensively. All possible new varieties we might want to offer first spend a year (or two) in our trial gardens. Of course they have been planted on a grower’s land before this, but I would like to see for myself what I sell to my customers. I want to see how the bulb grows and what the flower is like, so I can judge her for myself. This is all I do during Spring: looking around flowers of my own and of other growers, so I can pick the best ones. Every time I see something beautiful, I make sure they come into my trial garden next year, so I can keep an eye on them for at least a year. All new amaryllises we offer have also spent a year under our supervision in our greenhouse.
When our trial gardens are in full bloom, lots of people come to visit. From tourists to press to our most important customers from America: they all come to have a look at my new possible varieties. The press and my customers have an eye for it: they can tell me exactly what people want the next few years, what is flower fashion and what unfortunately will not work
In our trial gardens, pictures are taken for websites and for magazines, and sometimes there are even recordings for a television show: because of this attention, I know exactly what it is that people want. I care a lot about their opinion: it is important to listen to others, especially to your customers. And I, of course, am a normal flowerbulb grower, who, as my three daughters tell me, does not know anything about fashion.
Are you curious what our trial gardens look like in real life?
Then you are very welcome to come and have a look. At the Belkmerweg in Burgerbrug we have two locations: number 22 and number 20a. At house number 22, we have our daffodil collection: my father’s work. There are thousands of sorts you can admire: all collected or hybridized by him with the most love and care a daffodil can possibly get. Next to that, at 20a, we have our trial gardens: here, you can see all those potential new varieties we are testing. At this place, press and customers come to look at what we have to offer. These varieties go from tulip to hyacinth: I want to see and show everything. All in all, it is definitely worth a look if you are in the neighbourhood!