The Dahlia

Dahlia Romantica

Today, I plan to make you fall in love with the Dahlia. I’m sure you’ll be convinced somewhere during this newsletter: the Dahlia truly deserves every bit of love she receives. Every gardener should be placing her om a pedestal: Dahlias carry flowers for a long time, and in a large number. Even when autumn is approaching, you don’t need to worry: the Dahlia will be there to give your garden those last few rays of sunshine.

Dahlia French Can Can

Take Dahlia French Can Can, for example. Like many other Dahlias, she is my favorite. I would like to start off by telling you about her, but no, first I have to apologize for not sending out a blog last week. I’ve occupied quite some mental real estate trying to figure out what excuse would sound believable, but to be honest, I just got the day wrong. I was sure it was Wednesday when it was already Thursday, and I didn’t find out about my mistake until it was too late. It was like I went to sleep Wednesday night and woke up Friday morning.

Dahlia Edge of Joy

Exactly the day at which I always write my newsletters had now seemingly vanished from my schedule. I did have a bit of a reason: my Daffodils are looking very nice already, and I spend most days documenting them. And, in addition to that, we also had a flower show to visit!

Lentetuin 2017 BC

This flower show was Lentetuin Breezand, but re-imagined. A long, long time ago, I’m talking BC now (Before Corona), the show was held in an indoor sports hall in Breezand. Just about every flower bulb grower living in North Holland, and quite a few from other places, came to visit the show with their families, which meant that apart from flowers, there was a market and it had the atmosphere of a village fair. When the show had to be re-imagined after covid, a lot of the growers’ lives had changed so much during the previous two years that they were now too busy to organize the show. Many people’s businesses had grown, as gardening has undeniably become more popular during lockdown, and flowers are needed whenever anyone needs a pick-me-up for any reason.

This shortage of time experienced by the previous organizers came to the attention of the flower girls that Breezand is also known for, and they were fully prepared to take over the organization. They managed to escape the almost industrial look that the men always gave the show and breathed new life into it by adding flair, love, romance, emotion: everything flowers are about. If you have the opportunity to visit, you really won’t regret it: it’s a flower show like never before.

Lentetuin Daffodils by J.G. Weijers and Fluwel

The growers had their doubts about the new energy of the show, but luckily, no one actually had the time to come over and try to intervene. Farmers, pretty stereotypical men sometimes, if you ask me.

Roselilies, still available in the Fluwel webshop

The show opened and it was extraordinary, truly a show we’ve never seen before. The organization had chosen Music as their overlaying theme, and I want to express my admiration to the team that created the bouquets and arrangements. This beautiful work deserves all the recognition it gets and more, and it is extra fitting that last week it was International Women’s Day to add to the joy.

I can already hear you ask: but did the growers do nothing, then? Why, yes, they did: there is also always a section of these very neat, perfect pots: this is what the flower bulb export industry wants to see. This year, these pots were exhibited in the grower’s own warehouses. We put it together with seven of us who wanted to show the flower bulb industry our selection: Hulsebosch, Weijers, Rotteveel, Smit, Vink, Fluwel, and Vriend. Jan Ligthart also provided some of his new Tulip seedlings to be shown.

Music coming from the piano

In North Holland, there were about ten warehouses that exhibited flowers at the same time that in Breezand, the creative show was in full swing. There was so much to look at, if you did not get a chance to go this year, I definitely recommend making time for it next year.

Another work of art at the show in Breezand

Over 500 interested people came to have a look in the Hulsebosch warehouse alone. Imagine being able to talk about your favorite hobby for three days straight: it just happened to these people here.

It was a good week, but it completely made me forget about the newsletter. My apologies.

Grape hyacinths creating a zebra crossing

Very sorry to not have talked about Dahlias after all. I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunity left to fall in love with them… see you next week!  

Move ‘em on, head ‘em up. Head ‘em up, move ‘em on… Rawhide

Kind regards,

Carlos van der Veek