I recently had the opportunity to spend a day in Amsterdam at the Floraholland trade show, which was just fantastic; so many fabulous flowers and plants. Add to that some great displays, new products and some tall, enthusiastic Dutch men and what more could a girl want?
The show was held in Aalsmeer, at the home of the Dutch flower auctions where over 50% of all the world’s cut flowers and houseplants are traded – that works out at a staggering 11 billion flowers a year, or 20 million a day. No wonder the Dutch work so hard at developing new varieties and coming up with endless
inventive ways to sell their product.
I flew to the Netherlands just for the day to visit the show, which although may sound exciting, it didn’t feel like it at 4am! The early start was worth it though, just to get back in touch with what makes this industry so exciting.
The fair was buzzing with visitors and exhibitors, most of whom were growers so they really knew their stuff. This was an opportunity for them to show off new varieties of flowers, some of which were breathtaking, some really quite weird. Take the gerbera ‘Pasta Pennoni’ for example, the most amazing flower with bright yellow curled petals that were quite solid and spaghetti like to the touch, not at all like the traditional gerbera we all know and love.
I also spotted blue orchids – I kid you not – although these were only dyed blue, the true blue phalaenopsis orchid hasn’t been developed yet (and who ever does such a thing will be a very rich person indeed) These plants started off life as ordinary white flowers before being turned into this rather unlikely shade of turquoise.
And if blue orchids weren’t enough, how about ones that light up? Another inventive company has designed an orchid whose gift wrapping includes LED lighting. Never underestimate the ingenuity of the Dutch!
One product that I was particularly excited by were cut cyclamen flowers – most of us are familiar with the cyclamen plant, with its pretty pink flowers and delicately marked leaves, but a cut flower version is something quite new. They last for up to two weeks in water and come in a range of colours from pale pinks through to red. Look out for them at a florist near you, hopefully in the not too distant future.
There is always something to stop you in your tracks at these shows, and an office swivel chair covered completely with Christmas cactus was causing quite a stir, as was the giant chandelier suspended over a throne of cymbidium orchids.
With Christmas just around the corner it was the cheery Santa on a swing that caught my eye. He may not be high flower fashion but who could fail to be charmed by him? I think I might put one on my wish list this year.
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