Time for Cake

Finally, I have time to write a newsblog again. I have been waiting a long time to tell you all about the fun stuff I’ve done this year. Lots has happened between the Daffodils and other flower bulbs. But to start things off: This week, I received my sixtieth birthday cake.How did that happen so soon? I feel like I was just in school, but instead of me, my children are now in university, half of them nearly done, too. I don’t feel sixty at all, but that’s what everyone aged sixty says. The true proof of your actual age can always be found in your own kids: whenever they get the chance, they let you know that you are, in fact, an old man. Another big piece of evidence is the existence of two extra guys at the dinner table. As a father, you do have this slight fear that your daughter will bring home a bit of an idiot, one of those boys that can’t change a tire and that would bring a car door with them on a hot day just so they could open the window if it got a little too hot (a popular Dutch joke for you). But we seem to be doing fine, they’re nice enough, and they like whiskey, too. But those new people are also signs who let you know how old you are. Especially if it’s serious enough that they apparently came by on your birthday. But still, birthdays are fun, and there’s only one alternative that I’m not ready for for a long time. So, sixty it is.Ken Harrop and Frankie Charlton. They spent two days surrounded by Daffodils, trying to pick out the best ones 

Back to the bulbs. I’m sorry you’ve missed out on reading my personal newsletters over the past few weeks, but things have been very busy and I simply did not have the time to write. We have the Fluwel web shop, as you probably know, but we also do a lot of export to clients in the UK and in the US, and representatives of those companies always visit The Netherlands in this time of year so they can see with their own eyes what kinds of bulbs they’ll be buying for fall. Time flies when I’m showing them all our available varieties, visit Keukenhof, and look for new stuff for our own collection now that everything is in full bloom. Days are over before you know it, and if there’s one thing I don’t want to do when I get home late, it’s firing up my computer to type for another hour.One of my highlights of this Spring was the World Daffodil Tour. Vlad told you a little bit about it in last week’s newsletter, but words don’t do the beautiful displays we saw justice. This setup in the Chapel of Egmond was one of the best, it was absolutely phenomenal.I’ve never seen an exhibition like this, and I truly mean that. The participants of the World Daffodil Tour were all speechless, true Daffodil enthusiasts they all were, so they got a glimpse of heaven that day. It was absolutely breathtaking.The chapel was a quiet place, the coloured glass gave the light beautiful colours, and the heavy wood of the furniture complemented the Daffodils like no other furniture could. It was the perfect way to put the Daffodil on a pedestal. And we were lucky to even be able to have lunch here: when Eric and I were looking for a place to do this day’s lunch, we asked if we could use the chapel. That way, we could ask if there were some local growers that wanted to come around to meet all the attendees of the Tour. Then, the growers got the idea that if they were to set up a bit of a show for the Tour, maybe they could keep it open a little longer for all the townspeople… and maybe we can then even make some money from it? They didn’t even know they were doing it, but they accidentally organised one of the most beautiful Daffodil expositions in the world, and I am serious when I say that. This was the event all our attendees were still talking about that night, and most of these people have seen quite some Daffodils in their life.Another great thing about this show was how humble the organisation was. Three guys from the village simply worked their backside off for a day or so, knew they were onto something nice, but still remained in the background during the show itself. There was only one loud thing there: the daffodil.A picture of our heroes: Jos Kuiper, Jan de Waard and Michiel de Waard. Fantastic job, guys, we couldn’t thank you enough for the experience you providedI’m already at my word limit, and there is so much left to tell you! But I have to go outside to plant my last Dahlias. If you haven’t started yet, there is still time. Dahlias are almost universally beloved flowers due to their insane amount of flowers, so you can still give those to yourself this summer and autumn. 

Kind regards, 

Carlos van der Veek. 

And the photos: all photos were taken by Ali from de Tuinderie, located in Zuidlaren, Groningen. Ali is one of the many amazing people we met this spring, and she was the first attendee of the World Daffodil Tour to enter the chapel and was therefore able to take photos when it was still completely empty. Ali knows how to use flowers like no other, and she has her own site as well: www.de-tuinerie.nl. Be sure to have a look for some inspiration!