The Fluwel nursery contains the following disciplines:
- Trial garden
- Cultivation and breeding of Narcissus
- Cultivation and breeding of Crocus
- Cultivation of new tulip varieties
Fluwel’s trial garden
Not all the varieties we offer in our web shops are grown on our own nursery, many are supplied by bulb growers in the neighbourhood. From all the deliveries from the different suppliers we draw a sample to plant in our trial garden. Especially our American mail order customers, but also local customers, can be surprised by disappointing results caused by bad quality bulbs or delivered bulbs that are not true to their name. Since we stand for our quality and always refund the bulbs that do not perform according to expectations, we want to be able to determine what went wrong. Planting samples can be very helpful in those cases. In the trial garden we also plant a lot of new varieties given to us by bulb growers for consideration before adding them to our assortment. This is nice added bonus of the trial garden, because seeing new varieties gives us inspiration and ideas for renewal and improvement of our flowerbulb assortment.
We also plant a good number of new bulb mixtures and combinations yearly. Making good mixtures is not as easy as it sounds, as not all flower bulbs work together. For a good combination you need similar blooming time and, even more important, harmony in the colours and shapes of the flowers. Well thought over theories, which you think will work well, can be truly disappointing when you see them in real life blooming together. Fortunately they do not all fail and searching for new mixtures and combinations is one of the nicest things to do.
Cultivation and breeding of Daffodils
After his father, Karel van der Veek, passed away Carlos continued his highly admired daffodil breeding programme. Literally hundreds of new varieties are to be found on our nursery. All varieties that do not have a name yet and are judged every year on their blooming and growing qualities. Every year varieties are discontinued, but on the other end, brand new seedlings come into bloom for the very first time each year. The first Fluwel seedlings are in production and available (in our retail web shop to be found under ‘Fluwel narcis”)
Besides this we are also is part of commercial Daffodil growing, a vast number of special varieties are grown on request for American and English mail order companies. Small niche markets like specialist web shops selling to members of the English Daffodil Societies or mail order companies specialized in the sales of old heritage daffodils. An interesting additional job for us because these customers request the most unusual, exclusive and beautiful varieties of bulbs to be grown and multiplied for them. This is not only nice, we also learn a lot by doing this.
Cultivation and breeding of Crocus
This started in 1998 as a hobby but has become a serious job to do. At the moment we grow about 250 different crocus seedlings. These are the results of a breeding programme bringing around 40.000 seedlings into bloom. It was out goal to select the very best out of a very large number of seedlings bred from the best crocuses available. After 3 years of growing the seeds we graded out the 10 % of the fastest growing ones and dispatched of the rest. These 10 % were planted and left in the soil for 3 years and during these years we selected out the seedlings growing the nicest and most floriferous clumps. So from the initial 40.000 seedling a less than 1 % was left for further selection.
Nowadays we dig all the seedlings up every year, count them, weigh them and only the best growers are allowed to stay in the collection. At this moment the challenging task is to select the fastest, but even more important, the healthiest growing seedlings in every colour. Until now we do this without the use of any soil and bulbs disinfecting chemicals, they really have to prove themselves and show that they are able to survive under all conditions. A very interesting job to do. At the moment the seedling stock is still too small to offer any bulbs but within a few years you can expect our first introductions.
All our crocus seedling are pictured on the Facebook site of Fluwel in the album ‘Crocus zaailingen’.
Cultivation of new tulip varieties
When it comes to tulip bulbs, we do not have a breeding programme ourselves but when you run your nursery together with tulip enthusiasts like Jeroen and Eric it does not take long before you grow tulips. Eric has a nose for good garden tulips, not long ago he found a small collection of superb lily flowering garden tulips from an old man who wanted to retire... 5 new varieties added to the nursery! Jeroen always keeps his eye open for good tulips for the cut flower industry. In the months of winter, when he is not occupied by Fluwelland, he runs our tulip cut flower production and good new varieties are always welcome. It is a nice task to be involved in tulip growing and marketing of new tulips.