The Winter Blues

Last Wednesday was an amazing day for Eric and me. We visited one of the largest hybridizers of Amaryllises in Het Westland; Penning Freesia.

We were shown around by no one less than the hybridizer himself: Marco Penning, a man that walks around here smiling all day long. I can imagine why, looking at all the beautiful flowers that he hybridized. What else can you do except for being exceptionally happy.

Marco Penning and Eric Breed.

Following are some of his dearest:

Wow, take it easy, these are not for sale yet. I know that some of our readers are voracious bulb lovers and they may be thinking; I am going to ask where you can order them. Alas, that is not going to happen and you will have to do it with these photos for now. Here some others, that are also not for sale yet:

See, what a wonderful commercialized newsletter, showing photos of flowers that are not yet for sale. What I do want to show you, is how this works. Marco Penning is an Amaryllis and Freesia hybridizer, and he has to sell his products as well. The buyers of Marco’s Amaryllises are not consumers, but breeders of Amaryllis bulbs and growers of Amaryllis flowers. Whenever a breeder of Amaryllis bulbs buys a certain species of Marco, they usually only buy a few. After that, they still need to multiply them and grow them until they are big bulbs again. After a breeder starts breeding the bulbs it takes at least three years for me before I can buy them and start offering them to you.

Here you can see a greenhouse with flowers of which most of them are flowering for the first time. It takes at least ten years before these are available on the market.
But, this is only the introduction to the title of this newsletter; The Winter Blues.

The cold greenhouse at Eric’s.

Whenever I take Eric home to Lisse we always take a stroll around his farmland and his greenhouse. ‘Can you see anything special there mid-winter?’ one might ask. Oh definitely, there is actually quite a lot to see. On the field the Galanthus elwesii, Iris reticulata, and Crocus sieberi are flowering already, and in the cold greenhouse hoopskirt Daffodils, also known as Narcissus bulbocodium are flowering as well. ‘This is what helps me through the Winter Blues’ is what Eric said to me... ‘maybe would be nice to offer your customers as well; a Winter Blues Delight’. A collection of some species that people can plant in a secluded section of their garden or in a pot, and that will 
grow without any work and will bloom effortlessly in the month of February.

 Iris reticulata Harmony

It is indeed very true, there are plenty little flower bulbs that will bloom with ease when planted in a sheltered spot or in a pot that is in a cool but frost free place in February.

Crocus sieberi Firefly

We are going to look what is available for you at the bulb growers around us so we can offer you a nice collection of Winter Blues Delight next fall. From now on, your winter months will look much happier.

Kind regards,
Carlos van der Veek