Holland : Why it should be on your bucket list!

Travel to Holland with Paula Coleman of Elite Events, Inc.

When people think of Holland, they think of flowers! And, rightly so… after all Holland is one of the worlds’ largest flower producers. In my opinion, Holland Flowers are superior to flowers grown in other parts of the world. I think it is the Dutch people, and their love for their craft that makes Holland a truly special place that you should visit, and visit often!

Holland should be on everyone’s bucket list because there is literally something for everyone! My first trip to Holland was in 2004, and the trip proved much too short a visit because of all there is to see and do! I vowed to return, and every time I do, there is something new that I didn’t see on my previous visit! Holland offers over 2500 Museums to delight every passion, it is also home to the world’s oldest amusement park, Royal Delft Pottery, Diamond Trading, Gouda Cheese, Dutch Masters Vermeer & Rembrandt, and of course Tulips! Art & Culture abound in this remarkable country. I am a floral designer first, but I also love history and culture. And, there is no better place to combine so many interests than Holland! I longed to create a trip for designers & enthusiasts alike. One that would include cultural aspects that make Holland what it is today. Let me show you what you’ve been missing!

• Anne Frank House – Secret Annex where her famed diary was written during the German occupation of the Netherlands
• Rijksmuseum – Dutch Masters works including Rembrandts “Night Watch”
• De Efteling – Worlds’ oldest amusement park!
• Keukenhof Gardens – The worlds’ most beautiful spring garden with over 7 million bulbs in bloom at once!
• Van Gogh Museum – Worlds’ largest collection of Van Gogh paintings
• Aalsmeer – Famed Dutch Flower Auction, 20 million stems sold daily!

Contact: Paula Coleman, Floral Stylist ~ Owner Elite Events, Inc.
info@eliteeventstravel.com (812) 945-3596 www.eliteeventstravel.com

Travel to Holland with Paula Coleman of Elite Events, Inc.

Travel to Holland with Paula Coleman of Elite Events, Inc.

Travel to Holland with Paula Coleman of Elite Events, Inc.

Travel to Holland with Paula Coleman of Elite Events, Inc.

Travel to Holland with Paula Coleman of Elite Events, Inc.

Travel to Holland with Paula Coleman of Elite Events, Inc.

Visit Holland & France with Elite Events!

Elite Events Travel To Europe - tulip fields

Holland & France: A Flower Lover’s Journey

Do you have a love for flowers? Do you love culture, gardens, & beautiful scenery? Well, you’re in for a spectacular floral experience during two upcoming flower trips to Europe!

These trips were designed for flower lovers! Designed to be both inspiring & fun…to stir your creativity and enlighten your mind! And, designed to broaden your horizons & expand your world view! Both journeys to Holland and France offer exclusive behind-the-scenes access to experience flower growing, arranging, and gardening up close & personal. To meet the designers and growers and learn from their heirloom, centuries old, European techniques. To experience one-on-one floral design workshops for in depth knowledge. And, to revel in cultural experiences, establish floral contacts, make new friends, and create lifetime memories!
Limited spaces still available! Reserve your space before it’s gone!

What’s Included:
• Private, Behind-the-scenes tour of World’s Largest Flower Auction
• Intimate Group Size for 1-to-1 interaction
• Designed for all Skill Levels
• Private, hands-on Floral Design Workshops
• Private Tours of Van Gogh Museum & Rijksmuseum
• Day Trip to World Renown Keukenhof Gardens
• Tour Tulip Bulb Fields on foot & by boat ~ a flower lovers dream!
• View Artisans making Copper Vessels
• Visit a 400-Year-Old French Market ~ Named prettiest in France!
• Private Garden Tours
• Accommodations, All Meals, & Local Transportation Included

Contact: Paula Coleman, Floral Stylist ~ Owner Elite Events, Inc.
info@eliteeventstravel.com
(812) 945-3596
www.eliteeventstravel.com

Elite Events Travel To Europe - Visit the Gardens of Keukenhof

Enjoy a floral design class with Elite Events Travel To Europe

Elite Events Travel To Europe - Fritallaria

Elite Events Travel To Europe - visit Keukenhof Gardens in Hollad

Flowers from Holland

Our friend Joost of Florabundance Wholesale recently traveled to Holland to see the trade shows – IFTF and FloraHolland. He shared some photos of the flowers he viewed on display and we thought we’d share them with all of you –

Ashley by Alexandra Roses

Ashley by Alexandra Roses

Amaryllis

Amaryllis

Anemones

Anemones

Antique Carnations

Carnations

Ashley Garden Roses

Ashley Garden Roses

Blush Ranunculus

Ranunculus

Buttercup Garden Roses

Buttercup Garden Roses

Sunstream Euphorbia

Sunstream Euphorbia

Hydrangea

Hydrangea

Japanese Lisianthus

Japanese Lisianthus

Lisianthus

Lisianthus

Lisianthus

Lisianthus

Midsummer Garden Roses

Midsummer Garden Roses

Ranunculus

Ranunculus

Ranunculus

Ranunculus

Shine On Garden Roses

Shine On Garden Roses

Spray Roses

Spray Roses

Fleur Friday

Florabundance Holland Design Days

Hello!
I’m off in Holland with Florabundance this week. Follow along with our Holland adventures on Instagram –

Flirty Fleurs on Instagram
Florabundance on Instagram

We have an incredible itinerary of floral treasures to see while in Holland and I cannot wait to share highlights here on the blog when I return!

tot ziens (Dutch for see you later!),
Alicia

Visiting with Holex

Holex Flower Holland - Pink Ranunculus

Ranunculus

It’s so easy to overlook the amount of work it takes to bring all the amazing flowers we love to use to our flower markets, and then to our shops and studios. With the fragility and perishability of flowers, it’s critical that flowers are cared for with tremendous care and efficiency. On my visit to Holland last fall with Joost of Florabundance Wholesale, I had the pleasure of visiting one of the world’s premier fresh cut flower export companies. Holex, which was founded in 1982, is located at the Aalsmeer Flower Auction and is a leader in exporting flowers worldwide.

Holex Flower Holland - Hellebores in Holland

Joost behind the hellebores

Holex specializes in airfreight shipments of fresh cut flowers to destinations around the world. Their main markets are North America and Japan, but they also ship to the Middle East and China, as well as trucking to Russia and throughout Europe. Holex relies primarily on commercial airliners to transport their flowers—passenger planes have a strong record of leaving and arriving on time, which is critical for perishable product. Holex ships flowers to NYC seven days a week! They also ship flowers to hubs in Boston, Miami, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. They can ship direct via FedEx through the hub in Memphis, TN, too.
The tour of the Holex facility is particularly impressive because of their proximity to the auction, which assures tremendous exposure to new and interesting varieties of flowers. One of the new varieties that caught my eye is spider amaranthus.

Holex Flower Holland - Green Spider Amaranthus

Green Spider Amaranthus

Holex Flower Holland - Black Ranunculus

Ranunculus

Holex Flower Holland - Astilbe

Astilbe

Because a perishable agricultural product is inherently risky, Holex takes the inspection process of flowers very seriously. While touring their facility I had the opportunity to witness a number of inspections. Every single bunch of flowers is looked at under lights and over white paper . The inspectors are searching for bugs, worms – any little creepy-crawly thing possible! The US and Japan have the strictest import laws on flowers, so shipments to these two countries are handled with utmost care. In fact, the Japanese government sends their own inspector to work at Holex to ensure premium quality. All flowers are first inspected at Holex, and then inspected again when they reach the port of entry in the US.

Holex Flower Holland - Flower Inspector

Checking over flowers that have just arrived in from the auction floor (Aalsmeer, in case you weren’t sure!)

Holex Flower Holland - Inspecting flowers for bugs prior to shipping.

Flowers have just arrived from the auction floor and are being inspected for bugs.

Holex Flower Holland - Flower inspector looking for bugs prior to shipping.

Another flower inspector, looking for bugs under bright lights and on white paper.

After the flowers go through the entire Holex process (they arrive, are photographed, inspected, cooled, and packed for orders) the final process happens—all flower boxes are placed in the cooler, at which point special machinery blows cool air into the boxes. (You know those holes you see at the ends of the flower boxes? That’s where the air is blown into the boxes to cool the flowers one more time before they embark on their travels!)

Holex Flower Holland - Photography Studio

Photography Studio

Holex Flower Holland - Carts of flowers in the cooler prior to packing.

Carts of flowers in the cooler prior to packing.

Holex Flower Holland - Dutch Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas destined for Japan.

Holex Flower Holland - packing hydrangeas

Hydrangeas headed for packing

Holex Flower Holland - packing flowers for shipping

packing for shipping..

Holex Flower Holland - preparing to ship flowers to their final destination

Packing up the flowers to ship to their final destinations.

Holex Flower Holland - flowers packed on pallets

Packed on pallets

Holex Flower Holland - cooling flowers

This is where the flowers go last prior to going out the door, all the boxes are placed in front of massive air coolers. These push cool air into the boxes to keep the flowers cooled for shipping. That’s what those holes are at the ends of the boxes – pushing out the warm air.

Holex specializes in the wedding and event business so they make a point of keeping florists informed about the product they’re ordering. To this end they’ve set up a special photography area where every single flower that comes through the door is photographed. All their photographs are uploaded onto a website and updated constantly. On average they take 500 new photographs every day! To view all these real-time images, sign up for an account on their website—it’s a great way to keep up with the incredible varieties of flowers available to us!

Contact Information:
Holex Flower – Holland
Dirk van der Zwet – Email
www.holex.com
Holex Webshop

Holex Flower Holland - Green Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas

Holex Flower Holland - Euphoriba Milii

Euphorbia Milii

Holex Flower Holland - White ranunculus

Ranunculus

Visiting IFTF in Holland

IFTF

Last month I had the pleasure of traveling to Holland with Joost, the owner of Florabundance, and attending the IFTF show (International Floriculture and Horticulture Trade Fair). The show was fantastic – aisles and aisles filled with huge displays of flowers. Seriously, I felt like a kid in a candy store!! The booths are all decorated differently, some do large floral arrangements and some keep it simple and fill containers full of flowers and let them shine. Either way, there is a lot to peruse and take notes on. A good portion of the displays are by flower breeders so this is the chance to see what is coming to market – a lot of these flowers will be grown by farms around the world, including farms here in America.

For those of you are interested in attending an IFTF show — good news — their next show is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles, California!! They are expecting a large turnout of California Flower Growers. The show will take place March 11-13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center – you can read more about it here.

Here are some of the highlights from the show (more images can be seen on my instagram account)

International floriculture and horticulture trade fair

Heart of Red Naomi Roses at IFTF in Holland

Heart of Red Naomi Roses

Rose display at IFTF

lilies arch at IFTF

Arch of all lilies

Joey, Paula and Joost

Joey, Paula and Joost

Joost and David Austin

You never know who you might run into at IFTF – here Joost is showing David Austin how cool Instagram is!

DeRuiter Rose Display

DeRuiter Rose Display

DeRuiter Rose Display

DeRuiter Rose Display

Alexandra Roses

Alexandra Roses

Yves Piaget and Princesse Charlene de Monaco by Meilland

Yves Piaget and Princesse Charlene de Monaco by Meilland

Sissi Mikado by Rosen Tantau

Sissi Mikado by Rosen Tantau

Silver Rain by Rosen Tantau

Silver Rain by Rosen Tantau

Reflex Spray Rose

Reflex Spray Rose

Qualisa Roses

Qualisa Roses

Madame Bombastic Roses

Madame Bombastic Roses

Kahala Roses

Kahala Roses

Glory Days by Schreurs

Glory Days by Schreurs

El Fuego Garden Rose with green eye

El Fuego Garden Roses

Combo Rose

Combo Rose

South African Flowers

Purple Vanda Orchid

Purple Vanda Orchid

Lisianthus

Lisianthus

Display of pink flowers by Ball

Display of pink flowers by Ball

White and pink striped lisianthus

White and pink striped lisianthus

Orchid Display at IFTF

Orchid Display

Lisianthus

Lisianthus

Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums

Carnation

Carnation

Antique collection of carnations

Antique collection of carnations

carrying bundles of roses

At the end of the show attendees could be seen carrying out huge bouquets of roses. If I hadn’t been catching an early AM flight back to the states I would have grabbed an armful of roses, too!!

Fleur Friday

Holland IFTF Flower Show

Rose display at IFTF in Holland

My Favorites from Holland

Hello Flower Friends!
Well, I’m back from a whirlwind trip to Holland! It was a great trip to attend both IFTF & FloraHolland shows and to see lots of new flower varieties. I traveled with Florabundance Wholesale to the shows which was super cool and I think Joost, the owner of Florabundance, knows just about everybody at the shows!
I have tons of images to sort through and lots of interesting things to tell all of you, but for today I am keeping it simple and posting my 12 favorite flowers that I saw last week. (Blame it on jet lag .. it’ll take a bit of time to get all these photos sorted out!).

Gravity Roses

Gravity Roses

Reflex Spray Roses

Reflex Spray Roses

Anastasia Star Pink Mums

Anastasia Star Pink Mums

Anco Pure Vanda Orchids

Anco Pure Vanda Orchids

Antique Carnations

Antique Carnations

Fabulous Carnations

Fabulous Carnations

Grand Pastel Ranunculus

Grand Pastel Ranunculus

Green Spider Amaranthus

Green Spider Amaranthus

Kahala Roses

Kahala Roses

Nerines

Nerines

Ruffled Pink Lisianthus

Pink Lisianthus (exact name unknown)

White Cloud Garden Roses by Alexandra Farms

White Cloud Garden Roses

If you see something you like and want more information on ordering any of these be sure to check in with Florabundance Wholesale – they’ll be happy to help!

Who Wants To Go To Holland??

tulip fields in holland
I love visiting The Netherlands, it’s a flower lover’s dream!
Last November I documented on Flirty Fleurs the trip I took to Holland with Joost, owner of Florabundance.
Well, good news for anyone who would love to experience a once in a lifetime trip and get behind the scenes access to amazing floral industry places! Joost is leading a trip to Holland this April!
Arrival in Holland on April 25 and return to the USA on May 1st.

What you’ll experience:

  • April 30 the Queen of The Netherlands, Queen Beatrix will be succeeded by her son, the Prince of Orange, Prince Willem-Alexander. Just ahead of her 75th birthday, Queen Beatrix announced she will become a princess instead, abdicating in favor of her eldest son, Willem-Alexander, who, at 45 is to be inaugurated (the Dutch do not “crown” their monarchs) at the end of April as only the fourth king of the Netherlands, and the first male in the top job since 1890. Being in The Netherlands during this time will be very exciting
  • Design session with Pim Van den Akker, learning European design techniques
  • Visit Keukenhof, the world famous tulip garden open only 8 weeks each year! (quite possibly my favorite place on earth! Search ‘Keukenhof’ on the blog and you’ll see my previous posts about visiting Keukenhof)
  • Visit the blooming tulip fields and stay in the beach town of Noordwijk
  • Visit various growers (I got to visit the rose hybridizer, De Ruiter)
  • Visit behind the scenes at Aalsmeer – the world’s largest flower auction, Cultra and Holex
  • First class transportation and hotels included. Most meals are included
  • Private touring van with Joost, a Dutch native and floral industry expert, as the guide

  • The cost is $3,500 + airfare.
    Limited spaces available.
    Reserve your space with a deposit by February 20th, balance due March 15th.
    For more information, please contact Joost directly:
    joost@florabundance.com
    http://www.florabundance.com/
    P: 805-456-5919


    Joost in the tulip fields

    orange tulip field holland

    A visit to the Rose Breeder – De Ruiter

    Rose breeder and propagator
    We were quite fortunate to visit De Ruiter while in the Netherlands. De Ruiter is a breeder and developer of cut roses, potted roses, Freiland roses, patio roses, outdoor roses, rose hips, landscape roses, also cut Hypericum and potted Hypericum. I think it’s absolutely fascinating to see where all these roses we use daily in our arrangements actually come from. De Ruiter is located in the heart of Holland, it’s here where they develop the new colors and varieties of various roses.

    Following Orjan through the magic doors:
    Rose breeder and propagator

    Believe it or not, they can test 10,000 potential rose plants before finding one “hit” which they will pursue growing for market!
    Once they decide on a rose that they would like to produce for market, on average it will take 8 years to get it there.
    They have to be tested for consistent color, the head size, and production of stems per square meter.

    They use artificial pollination to breed the roses. I had no idea that they could cut the rose stems into 2″ sections to do “starts”:
    breeding roses

    They are not grown and transported out of the country in soil, soil carries diseases which need to be avoided:
    rose starts

    Seedling plants stay in the greenhouse for about three months and up to one year (12 months), before deciding if they will be sent to Kenya or Ecuador:
    de ruiter roses

    Little rose starts, the blue and purple tags signify if the seedlings will be grown in Kenya, Ecuador or Europe:
    rose seedlings

    Orjan explaining how the propagating process works:
    de Ruiter rose breeders

    The green houses are structured to house roses at different stages of the growing and testing process:
    rose testing green house
    Rose breeder Holland
    rose breeder in holland
    rose grower in holland

    Red Knight:
    Open Red Rose
    Palazzo:
    Palazzo Red Rose

    Orange Crush:
    Orange Rose

    Joost & Orjan studying the petal structure of Bella Canzone:
    growing roses

    Bella Canzone, isn’t she pretty??:
    Pink Garden Rose

    Misty Bubbles:
    purple spray rose

    gathered roses

    roses being graded and packed

    For more information on de Ruiter check out their website: http://deruiter.com/en

    Thank you, Orjan, for taking the time to walk us through the greenhouses and explain the breeding and propagating process, I quite enjoyed the visit!