The Flower Bulb Trade Reading An Important Day For Daffodil Enthusiasts 6 minutes Next In the split

An Important Day For Daffodil Enthusiasts

Dear reader,

As of today, no fewer than 483 different varieties of Daffodils are available in the Fluwel web shop. Really, 483? Yes 483. I sometimes think 'what have I gotten myself into', but actually I just love it. Due to my hobby that has gotten out of hand, there are now over 1000 different varieties of Daffodils at our nursery and this year we are offering all varieties in the Fluwel web shop of which we have a reasonable stock.

The daffodil collection behind my parents’ house

It all started over 50 years ago when my father, Karel van der Veek, became infected with an inimitable 'daffodil collecting virus'. The first symptoms of this virus infection were harmless, my father simply planted a collection of then unknown split-crown daffodils and some other novelties behind his house to show them to the flower bulb growers down the road. Not even 100 different varieties bloom there, but it was a success from the first day. It seemed as if the entire bulb industry came in the spring to my mother Wil's house for coffee and to have a look at the new Daffodils as well.

Together with my father

The result was that other Daffodil hybridizers with new varieties, and also Daffodil growers with something special, brought some bulbs to add to the collection. Dad was a trader in daffodil bulbs and, like no other, he was able to bring new, yet unknown varieties to the attention of flower bulb growers and traders. It started to catch on more and more and within a few years hundreds of bulb people came to visit every spring and the collection grew to well over 1000 different varieties of Daffodils. Flower bulb exporters brought their customers from all over the world to our place to show them the news in the world of daffodils. My father and I (I had now really started helping) sold millions of Daffodil Bulbs.

Mother Wil with one of her flower arrangements on a flower show

Among the many interested visitors were also a few passionate Daffodil lovers from America and England who bred, grew and sold Daffodils for a living. At home they had a small nursery where they grew new varieties for selling on, but they soon noticed that our daffodils grew much quicker, grew better bulbs and produced larger flowers. The question quickly arose whether we did not want to grow their new varieties. Then they bought them back and then resold them to their customers, often real hobbyists who exhibited them at Daffodil shows to try to win a prize for the best Daffodil.

Brent Heath among his Daffodil seedlings we were growing for him

This way we got in touch with some iconic Daffodil People. A couple of them, I'm talking about the 1980s, were Becky Heath and her husband Brent, who at the time ran 'The Daffodil Mart' in America. A couple to whom I owe a lot, they asked me at the time if I was interested in buying and exporting the bulbs for their successful business in America. I always wanted to start a business so together with my brothers we could give Fluwel a go.

One of the first pallets of bulbs we shipped to the US

 Another colorful person was Frankie Charlton, a window cleaner from Sunderland, England. He had a whole bunch of tough, overgrown, burly guys working everywhere in Sunderland, dangling from the tallest buildings in little baskets to clean the windows.

Frankie got a little older, his knees became wobbly from all that climbing, so he preferred to stay on the ground and spend more time on his great hobby: Cuddling daffodils. He was a master in growing Daffodil flowers for the flower shows in England and he also sold special Daffodil bulbs in England and America to fellow hobbyists under the name Choice Bulbs and Miniature Bulbs. Frankie also asked us to grow his Daffodils and a large part of our nursery consists of varieties that I grow for him. I should actually write 'grew for him' because Frankie has now stopped and sold his business to us. We grew hundreds of varieties for Frankie, he managed to source the most beautiful and newest varieties from everywhere and then send them to us to propagate as quickly as possible.

Joyce & Frankie Charlton on the Daffodil show at Wisley Garden in London

Now the entire range of Daffodils from Choice & Miniature Bulbs can be found in full glory on the Fluwel website for the first time, supplemented with all kinds of old and special varieties and Daffodils from our own breeding. It may be interesting to know that this exact same range is available in America. They are available from Chris Harley who offers them in his online store under the name Qdaffs.

Chris Harley enjoying life after a shooting session

Feel free to take a look at our site under Fluwel Special Narcissus and be surprised by all the beauty that the Narcissus has to offer. If you are not (yet) a real Daffodil connoisseur, I hope that you are somewhat resistant to choice anxiety, because there really are all kinds of Daffodils to be found. Some in color combinations that you may not have thought possible, but also eeny-meeny miniature Daffodils or the species Daffodils still growing in the wild. Too much to mention, just surf through it and you will see.

Narcissus Medway Gold

If you would like to take a look at our nursery, you can do so. This year they are planted next to the Fluwel warehouse at Belkmerweg 20a in Burgervlotbrug and everyone is always very welcome. You can also see the entire range of spring-flowering flower bulbs from the Fluwel web shop or pick a bunch of tulips in our picking garden, which are next to it.

Our Daffodil collection around the far end Wind turbine

If you really want to lose yourself in the Daffodils, join the World Daffodil Tour from April 15 to 19. You can see the program of the tour in an earlier newsletter If you are interested, send an email to for more information.

Kind regards

Carlos van der Veek