This past April Rachel, from Tallulah Rose Flower School, organised the school’s inaugural visit to Holland. We were an excitable group of florists, growers and enthusiasts.
Leaving the airport, we were immediately greeted with vivid row, upon vivid row, of bright, blousy, tulips, each one raising their head to say Hallo! The next door neighbour to our hotel was one such field. The kaleidoscope of colour was a real assault on the senses and to wade through such, seemingly neverending, beauty, was cheesily dreamy.
The next morning we rose early to visit the colossus which is Royal Flora Holland. It is the largest flower market in the world with flora and fauna from all corners of the globe being auctioned. It is ENORMOUS. We cant stress that enough. The speed and precision with which the 10,000 + workers work to move the plethora of blooms on auction is frankly mindblowing. We felt teeny. But very lucky as we gained further insights into the huge industry of which we are a part.
We then had the privilege of visiting Meijer Roses. They are a family run business which has been going strong since 1970 and known for growing high quality, fragrant, blooms. They are the creators of the Sweet Avalanche Rose, Avalanche, Pearl Avalanche and more recently, the Four Seasons bloom. We were given a tour by the owner who very passionately, and humourously, guided us through their greenhouses, and fridges (where we confess we wanted to dive into the huge containers full of velvety roses) and explained their history, their processes and their ambitions for future growth. We were utterly gobsmacked by their statistics that they grow 80,000 blooms a day! Thats a staggering 30,000,000 a year!
We visited the Frans Hals Museum, a 16th Century Dutch Golden Age painter, in Haarlem which exhibits much of his work and that of his contemporaries. We were lucky enough to visit the museum over a period where, for a few weeks annually, floral artists create installations within the gallery spaces of the museum. The juxtaposition of a contemporary floral construction within a period room hung with dutch masterpieces was both decadent and thought provoking but mostly inspiring.
Our trip culminated in a visit to the flowerbomb that is Keukenhof. Keukenhof is a collective of growers who tend the land and proudly show their handiwork for 8 weeks between April – May every year. Land rainbows as far as the eye can see, varieties of blooms that create rivers and streams and tulips cleverly disguised as peonies. It was a little bit of heaven. Which was made even more heavenly by the consumption of the obligatory dutch waffle!
Tallulah Rose will be organising this trip again and we heartily recommend you treat yourself and go.