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There are dressage horses and there are work horses.

Daffodil Pacific Rim

This is an old Dutch saying that that is usually used in the human world but my father said it often about the Daffodils. Especially about the Daffodils that got famous by winning prices on English flower shows. Beautiful Daffodils that were hybridized until perfection; perfectly symmetrical flowers with trumpets straighter than a stove pipe.

Begonia Lace Picotee Apricot

But wait a second, I am making the same mistake as many green journalists and garden magazines are guilty of, to write about something that is not available. When it is time to plant Daffodils they write about Dahlias and when it’s time to plant Dahlias they write about Daffodils.

Dahlia Creme de Cassis

I get that it might be nice to read about the flowers that you might see in your neighbor’s garden or your own, but the least you can do then as a journalist is write that when you are mentioning the Daffodils that are blooming at the moment, that when the dear reader buys Dahlias now, they can, in fall, when they get those same Dahlias out of the ground, put Daffodil bulbs in the same empty holes, and when their time has come, in the middle of May, the Dahlias that they have kept neatly preserved in their barn, can be planted around those same Daffodils, but no those journalists do not care about what can be put into those holes except for critical remarks. (short sentences, that’s important in a good newsletter)

Eucomis Indian Summer

Ah and there you go, I almost did it myself and wrote about Daffodils while there are many other beautiful bulbs in our warehouse that can be planted right now. Next week it will be Easter, and then I will write about world’s most beautiful flower, the Easter flower, the Daffodil.

Dahlia Tropical

But now about the Dahlia and the Begonia. Some days ago, when I was driving on the highway in the direction of Den Helder and looking at the Daffodils that grow on the side of the canal, I saw Daffodils that have been there for as long as I live. It made me wonder how old a Dahlia or a Begonia could get. This is what I am going to ask my readers is what I thought. Neighbor Nijboer, the good man of whom we bought the barn that we later turned into Land van Fluwel, showed me once some Dahlias of which he asked which variety they were. Just like him, I did not know, and sadly he also did not remember where they came from. For more than twenty years he had those Dahlias in his possession, or maybe even longer because when those and those got married, we even picked some flowers of them, and their children are in their mid-twenties now so these Dahlia’s must be older than twenty. His Begonias he did not have that long yet, maybe at most ten years.

Nerine Vesta

So, during my drive along the beautiful perennialized Daffodils, I was wondering how many of you dear readers also have some of these old farts in your garden. When it comes to me and flowers, I am very spoilt of course; I am in the position, to throw my Dahlias gracefully on the compost heap each year so I can try new varieties next year. Strangely, I do not do that with my Begonias, which I keep every year, though I do not know why.

But how many of you actually have kept your old Dahlias, Begonias, or other summer flowering bulbs plants neatly preserved inside to enjoy them the next year again. I would love to hear this from you, I find it fascinating.

But the sun shines again, so I will go outside now.
See you next week,

Kind regards,
Carlos van der Veek