Where to start?
Holland. What a completely amazing place. The people were friendly, the weather was amazing, the flowers were inspirational.
I’ve never been to Holland before. As a florist, I’ve obviously heard so much about it, but never had the opportunity to visit.
From the sunflowers outside the airport as you arrive into the country, to flowers in every in shop and restaurant, this country is so different to anywhere I’ve ever visited before.
Friday night was late, and Saturday morning was early! but, it was so incredibly worth an early start, especially waking up to this beautiful canal view …
The first stop was to a germini grower. What first hits you when you enter the greenhouse, is the sheer size and scale of the place! There are flowers growing in perfect rows as far as you can see. The process they go through once picked is technical too. It’s all about the right amount of flower food, the length of time they have to drink and then chill before they’re packed and ready for auction. It’s the time and care that’s taken that makes these germini one of the best grown in Holland.
Second stop, hydrangea growers. Once again, the size, scale and technicalities that go into the growing of these gorgeous flowers are just not something you would ever be
able to understand without seeing it first hand. This grower splits his greenhouse into four seasons, and hydrangeas of each colour and variation are available at any time. I was excited to see new varieties which are just starting their journey as new test plants, which – if they do well in the test – will be available commercially for another two years.
Porto Nova is the best Red Naomi rose grower in Holland. This place is the biz!! Walking into the greenhouse, you have absolutely no idea how big the area is that you have just walked into. Hopping up onto the pickers trolley was like I stepped into another world. More than five hectares of red roses! The most amazing thing is, there is another greenhouse of five hectares just down the road, and they have just bought 10 hectares (that’s a total 200,000 sq metres) of land to grow twice the amount!!! Porto Nova currently cut 100,000 roses EVERY DAY!! So in a few years time, once the new greenhouse is up and running, they will be picking 200,000 every single day. Can you even imagine???
Last stop on Saturday was SK Roses, who grow the most gorgeous avalanche roses. The owner here was so enthusiastic about his roses and future plans you couldn’t help but be inspired. Five hectares of stunning white roses, which again is soon to be more than doubled, with a new and exciting greenhouse being built nearby.
After a Sunday of exploring, Monday was a super early start and a visit to the auction in Rijnsburg. Watching this was an experience in itself. The seven screens of flowers to buy is just the face of what is going on behind the screens. The speed of the trolleys being driven around carrying the flowers to each of the companies who have just bought from the screens is crazy! As they then arrive at each company, they are unpacked, re wrapped and sent to those who have ordered.
The system they have here appears chaotic, but it works! How each customer gets the correct order is beyond me, but it’s a faultless system that has been going for years, and will continue I’m sure for many more years. It’s really indescribable through a blog, but if anyone offers you the chance to see it, snap their hand off!
Holland is such an incredible place. When I wasn’t visiting growers, or the auction, I was exploring the city, the street markets, florists and flower stalls. This trip has been full of inspirational ideas and I am so excited to get started!
I will definitely be returning to Holland sometime soon! I have fallen in love with this place and there is so much more to see.
In the meantime, I’ll keep you posted on my new ideas and plans!