The Dream Team
“What was your favourite part of work during the last few weeks?” I asked this of the teenagers that have spent part of their summer holidays working at Fluwel. (Un)fortunately for them, there are laws that send them back to school, starting Monday, so I wanted to invite them for a last thank-you lunch at Land van Fluwel. I do this every week, so colour me surprised when the unanimous answer to my question was ‘lunch at Land van Fluwel!’ –it appears that dozens of fun jobs counting out Daffodils were wasted on them. Because yes, I have to admit, every Friday I take the Daffodil Dream Team out to lunch at our own park’s restaurant, whereas otherwise, they’d be eating their homemade cheese sandwiches. The team can actually sneak out without many people noticing, as they are working exclusively on the small, hand-processed orders of QDaff and our Candy Store, whereas the large warehouse concerns itself mostly with the large American orders that fill up entire containers. Their team sees a full container leave some days, which consists of 21 wooden pallets, with 45 crates per pallet, which makes for about 1000 crates every single day. My smaller crew sometimes only packs ten bulbs of a certain variety–which is all that can be sold sometimes in order to keep growing the variety as well as selling it. The Dream Team had over 1800 packets of bulbs to prepare, and they are just about finished with them now, just in time to go back to school. Hopefully, they have been able to get some new supplies with their hard-earned summer money: school supplies always make the start of the year a little bit better. About the Dream Team: I must explain that they have earned their name because they are not quite awake before the first break. They probably could not tell a pickle plant apart from a Daffodil when they arrive at 7:30 in the morning… so yeah, Dream Team.
So, enough about the warehouse, let’s go outside. Now that the busiest part of the season is over, I have more time to enjoy the Dahlias. The Dahlias I have at home, next to our solar panels, are doing incredibly well. They have been cleaned of weeds several times by the aforementioned Dream Team, so they look very good. I sent them out to clean the weeds from the fields whenever they seemed to fall asleep from the continuous dusty air a warehouse tends to have, so that they could return revitalised and with a bit more vitamin D. I like to go outside during the day sometimes as well: there are so many flowers that are in their prime now, it’s always unfortunate that that coincides with the warehouse peak. I tell you about our trial gardens sometimes, and about how it’s possible to come have a look any time you’re in the neighbourhood. This week, I met a colourfully dressed lady from Harderwijk that came to have a look at the assortment. When we started talking, she had lots of stories about the Dahlias in her garden that she had ordered from our webshop. She even showed me dozens of photos on her phone screen, and as a grand finale, she had an actual live stream of her garden, where she just caught her neighbours’ red cat doing his business in her flower beds. She told me she did understand the poor animal: his owners had the audacity to fill their own garden with stones and tile, absolutely no place for an animal to live. Live Streaming gardens is not something I see everyday, but I can imagine that true garden enthusiasts need it in order to keep an eye on their loved ones during holidays.
Let me repeat once more that if you ever find yourself in the neighbourhood of Burgervlotbrug, you are very welcome to visit our Trial Gardens at Belkmerweg 27 and Belkmerweg 20a. If you see anyone there, don’t be shy to say hello–anyone would be happy to tell you more about what you’re seeing.
The Belkmerweg that holds the Fluwel Trial Gardens is about 10 kilometres long, and therefore crosses through several villages. In Sint Maartensvlotbrug, you can currently enjoy a large field of Begonia’s. You can see another one of those at the Zeeweg. Both fields belong to the Kolken Family.
Another fun fact is that when we leave the warehouse at 20:30, we make some noise with the car to move away the truly gigantic colony of geese that reside in the field behind the warehouse. There are hundreds of them all day every day, and when they leave at night, they make a spectacular amount of noise–geese are actually supposed to be just as good at guarding a house as some dogs are, and if you’ve ever heard them, you’ll easily believe that. Once you’ve seen the teeth a geese has in its beak, you’ll never forget it.
My last word of advice for this newsletter is kind of the same as always, but I don’t want to get the comment that I did not warn my loyal readers in advance: be on time when ordering Tulips. Yes, especially Tulips. I’ve told you before about the very suboptimal weather this Spring brought us, and the Tulips have been most heavily affected by that: the available numbers are simply lower than they usually are. If you have favourites, order them today. Daffodils and other varieties were not as affected: for those, you can wait until you’ve finished planning (though ordering everything at once is obviously more environmentally friendly :))
Carlos van der Veek