No News to Blog About
I’ve been extremely busy this week, so unfortunately, I have been unable to type up a long story about my adventures of this past week. It would have been possible if I had not accepted an invitation to come speak at the Tulip Festival in the United States during Easter weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there, but it always feels weird to leave home when everyone is busy with Daffodils, orders, Tulips… Next week, on April 16, the spring-blooming flower bulbs will be available to order again! If you order them early, they’ll stay comfortably in our warehouse under perfect conditions until we send them to you in the autumn, so that when you receive them, you can plant them right away.
So I’ve been flying all over the place lately, and I’ve been busy writing descriptions for new flower bulbs that’ll be introduced on our website, so I figured that in this newsletter, I could just show you a little bit of my hometown and all its blooming flower bulbs. They’re a little later than usual this year, it’s been just a bit too cold for the flower bulbs to grow at a fast pace. But the sun has been out over the last week, and that helped a lot. The Daffodils are getting to their peak and the Hyacinths are in their full glory at the moment. Beautiful.
KAVB Garden in Hillegom
In the spring, my days seem to be shorter than they are during wintertime, which is strange but true. On Monday mornings, I have to make an appearance at the trial gardens from the BKD (the service that sees to the quality of flower bulbs and whether they are fit to be send to other countries) and the KAVB, the Dutch Flower Bulb Society. The KAVB gardens always have new flowers that have been sent in by growers who want to ask the ‘rights’ to a certain new flower bulb. A group of professionals then has to establish if that new variety is truly different than what’s already out there, and if you can actually distinguish it from other types of flower bulbs. A fun and educational task, but it has to be taken very seriously, so it takes a lot of time.
Fluwel stand at the Keukenhof a few years ago
This garden is in Hillegom, close to Lisse, and if you’re in the neighbourhood, you might as well visit Keukenhof while you’re at it. Just to have a look how our flowers look there, and obviously to see all the other beautiful stuff that growers and architects have planned for that year. And if I’m there anyways, I’ll always see a friend as well, and then the first day of the week is already over.
Another interesting fun fact is that for flower bulb growers, Keukenhof feels a bit like a show garden. Yes, there are a bunch of tourists, and it is a staple of Holland, but to us, it’s just to see what the others are doing. You can apply to send in your flowers as a rower, and if you are accepted, you get a patch of garden where you can show your products. You get a few directions from the planners of Keukenhof, but not too much, and you can basically show what you want others to see. You just send in your flower bulbs during the autumn, labelled and sorted, and then Keukenhof will plant them and take care of them for you. An amazing stage to show your flowers.
Every summer, Castle Keukenhof also hosts a Dahlia show. Google ‘Holland Dahlia Event 2023’ for more info, and don’t forget to order Dahlias for yourself if you want to have them in your own garden this summer!
Keukenhof does not have to actually buy any new varieties to make sure that every year, they show the newest of the newest, and the best of the best: growers want to show their best flowers, so they naturally send those in to be exhibited at Keukenhof. Tourists aside, Keukenhof is a great stage to show your products to colleagues and other people who are actually in the same field as you.
Poldertuin Anna Paulowna
Now not a lot of people know this, but Anna Paulowna knows a similar place: the Poldertuin. This garden is gorgeous and an absolute recommendation if you find yourself in North Holland during April or May. This garden is like a park, the county Hollands Kroon uses it as an opportunity for growers to show their flowers to colleagues and the public. It’s a hidden gem in the flower bulb world: a lot smaller than Keukenhof, but just as beautiful.
But I have to go now, I actually just wanted to let you know that there is no newsletter this week!
Carlos van der Veek