The Flower Bulb Trade

To rule is to look into the future. This is also the case with the bulb trade. The Amaryllis growers have been chasing me, actually since the beginning of January, to pass on our Amaryllis wish list for next year. It is also somewhat understandable because if, as we do in the Fluwel web shop, you want to offer the newer varieties that are only available in limited quantities, you must be there on time and not let the bird jump over the string.

Stephan is also busy at the moment buying the Dahlias for next year. That is also an interesting story, cutting and growing Dahlias, I will talk about that another time. First the Amaryllis.

So this week was another day in the Westland area to visit our Amaryllis friends. Always fun, Amaryllis growers are just like bulb farmers with the small difference that they are working in a sheltered greenhouse where the wind and rain do not bather. Furthermore, they are exactly the same as the growers who grow Tulips and Daffodils or Dahlias. Talk enthusiastically about new varieties and grumble when something doesn't go well. 

Although I must say that there was little grumbling, the Amaryllis has been very popular even after the corona, when they suddenly became very popular because people started making things cozy in and around the house. It has increasingly become a valued, reliable flower bulb for the living room and Amaryllis growers make a good living from Amaryllises at the moment.


Fortunately, because in previous years there was occasionally a lot of grumbling. Often this grumbling is not entirely justified and it is just grumbling for the sake of grumbling, but last year the grumbling about the price of gas was especially justified. One of the Amaryllis growers told me about it this last week. He doesn't use much gas at all, is largely self-sufficient with solar panels and large warm water tanks, but every now and then he also needs gas to cover his shortage. He did not have a contract with a price agreement and for years he was used to paying between 15 and 20 cents for a cubic meter of gas. But during the energy crisis there were days when the price of a cubic meter of gas rose to almost 2 euros for a cubic meter in the most extreme cases. Let me put it into perspective; you are used to paying somewhere around 1.5 Euro for a liter of petrol. Fine, that's it. 70 Euro, tank full, we can go another 1000 kilometers. And then suddenly, not one and a half euros but 15 euros for a liter. Not 70 Euro in the tank but 700 Euro. That's what some growers with greenhouse experienced. This hurts, and that's a good reason to grumble. Fortunately, the craziness is over and it was just fun talking to those guys again.

It was also very nice to see the first Daffodils in full bloom along the road in 's Gravenzande. Perhaps you have already spotted it and are wondering which Daffodil it is that always blooms so extremely early, at the same time as the Snowdrops. Nine times out of ten this concerns the Rijnveld's Early Sensation. Unfortunately, a Daffodil that is rarely or never grown in the Netherlands because it freezes of completely every few years due to a heavy frost period in February or March. In Cornwall, on the other hand, it is grown on an enormous scale for flower picking from early January. In the south of Egeland it hardly freezes and the Rijnveld's Early Sensation is doing just fine there.

It's nice to see how the Daffodil is grown on a large scale in the United Kingdom for picking flowers, while Dutch growers are busy growing Daffodil for the production of bulb. The English do not dig their daffodils every year, they often leave them in the ground for three years to pick flowers and if they clump up too much they consider digging them and replant. Once they are above the ground, the excess bulbs often end up in the sheds of Dutch flower bulb traders and so they end up in mixtures that are planted on the roadsides. And if it doesn't freeze, we can enjoy it, isn't it beautiful. 

Nice, I thought I was going to write a news blog about the Amaryllis, saw a Daffodil blooming, and I completely wondered of with my story. How could that happen?

Back to the Amaryllis, next week is the last week that they are available in the Fluwel web store. Last year I told you that if you planted a beautiful red Amaryllis at the beginning of January, it would be in full bloom on Valentine's Day. Brilliant idea of ​​course and guess what; not a single extra bulb sold. Who knows, maybe things will go better if I advise you to give an Amaryllis bulb as a gift as a Valentine's surprise. It's probably not going to attract full houses, but hey; we don't have that many Amaryllis bulbs anymore. And we want to pot a few to sell in the gift shop at Land van Fluwel later. Don't feel obliged, but it is and will of course remain a very happy flowering plant in the living room in all those sober winter days.


What else to tell about the Amaryllis. Oh yes, I walked around our daffodils field this week to see if all that rain from last autumn had done any damage. I was really worried about it, there has been water on the field so many times after a heavy shower, I was really worried. Luckily, I have not seen a single suffocated bulb, everything I dug up looked fresh with a nice wig of roots on it. 

Talking Daffodils again, how is that possible? Maybe because the first ones are already blooming in my greenhouse. Every year I plant one pot of almost all the varieties I grow to bloom in my greenhouse.

Camborne is the first this year to show her cheerful flowers. It might be nice to know, it will soon also be available in our web store. Under 'Fluwel special Narcissus' you can see the almost all the varieties we grow on our nursery. Now that I am quite sure that they have survived the extreme wet autumn well, I will soon offer them in the shop, hopefully next week. It might be nice to have a preview and see what's there. Close to 50 species, so there is plenty to browse. 

Kind regards,

Carlos van der Veek