Peonies Reading Big News 6 minutes Next The Fat Frits

Big News

…but that was just to catch your attention: First, I want to tell you more about our previous newsletter. I’d spent quite a few words hyping up an amazing new Allium called Chicago, but it turned out that they had not been made available in our web shop yet. A bit of a beginner’s error, my apologies for that.

It must have been because my head was still full of Peonies. It still is, if you’re wondering: they’ve not yet left me alone. I could have made some space for this beloved Allium,but it didn’t happen. Chicago was added to the webshop this week, so for everyone who still wants to try out this beautiful variety for themselves, there is still time to purchase her.Allium Chicago

But that’s not the Big News I was referring to. That news is way more important, and I am absolutely delighted to be able to tell you about this: Our newest Fluwel team member, Vlad, has moved from Berlin to North Holland with his family. You may already know that Vlad has been working for Fluwel for about a year now, but until now, he worked remotely, from his home in Berlin. Quite a big change, the difference between a modern, large, and diverse place like that and our quiet, coastal town. Beach, dunes, fresh air and a fifteen minute drive to the closest supermarket are their daily life now, but it seems they are adjusting well. He is taking his bicycle to work every morning like any respectable Dutch citizen does.For those of you who read our newsletter more sporadically, I’ll catch you up: Vlad and I met years ago, it might even have been the first year our web shop opened. Vlad was one of our first loyal customers, and because his love for flowerbulbs runs as deep as mine does, he was very quick to get in touch with me. He wanted to know more about the behind-the-scenes of the business and the flower bulb world, and he travelled to The Netherlands to visit our nursery and warehouse with great enthusiasm. There wasn’t a blooming flower in the area he hadn’t seen whenever he visited; I picked him up at the train station at the crack of dawn and we were in the flower fields until it got too dark to see them. His energy never seems to run out, and he wanted to learn everything I knew. In turn, he also taught me a lot of things.I have very rarely met people with his dedication and never-ending curiosity regarding flower bulbs. It is crazy to imagine Vlad growing up in Moldova, where flower bulbs are not exactly a part of daily life, and yet he managed to nurture this enthusiasm of his. He moved to Berlin when he was quite young still, and started his working life at Hello Fresh, a service that delivers vegetables and other ingredients to cook fresh meals at home when you do not have the option to go to the supermarket every week. Over a year ago, he called me from the front steps of his office: He had handed over his resignation. He wanted to switch to a career in flower bulbs, where his true passion was, and if it was at all possible, Fluwel would be his first choice. I asked if he was sure, and that was it for his application process. So now he and his family have made their final move to The Netherlands, and if you call our office with a question, he might be the one picking up the phone.So that was the biggest change of the week. Back to the Peonies–you know I wasn’t finished with them yet. There are still varieties that are in full bloom. In the photo above, you can see the warehouse of a Peony grower. He has put every variety he carries into a vase to show them to interested parties.Peony growers usually sell flowers as well as bulbs. In this photo, you see how Peonies get sent off to florists and the like. They’re not even really in bloom yet, and they are already a joy to look at.Vlad and I are working at the Peony assortment still. Here, we are looking at White Cap. Just a little more patience… you can almost order them!

Peony White Cap

Another thing I should not forget to mention in this time of year are the Dutch Lily Days. Lily growers open their shops to show you their products. Growers from all over the world travel to The Netherlands for this event, just to see if there is anything new on the horizon.

Most Lily growers grow their bulbs for other dealers, who then sell them on to other growers, so that they are grown at more places. But there are also growers who focus on growing Lilies meant for private gardens (like yours!). It matters a lot whether a Lily is brought up in a greenhouse, completely sheltered and protected from outside influence, or if they are grown outside, where they encounter lots of other living things. They have to be able to deal with that if they are to do well in your own garden. Garden Lilies are way more robust and resilient than greenhouse Lilies are.LilyCompany, located in Andijk, grows a lot of them, and most of the Lilies we offer in the Fluwel web shop come from them. Obviously, Vlad and I have visited them to see if there was anything we should be adding to our assortment, too. There were an enormous amount of options, truly a joy to be able to walk around between them. Time to finish up: I’m going to go back to my Peony descriptions now!

Kind regards, 

Carlos van der Veel 

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