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.
(812) 945-3596

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

Visiting with Holex

Holex Flower Holland - Pink 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


Holex Flower Holland - 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
Holex Webshop

Holex Flower Holland - Green Hydrangeas


Holex Flower Holland - Euphoriba Milii

Euphorbia Milii

Holex Flower Holland - White ranunculus


A visit to Aalsmeer Flower Auction

I’ve wanted to visit Aalsmeer for awhile, wanted to see it with my own eyes. It really is an impressive operation.
Via Wikipedia – The auction building of the flower auction in Aalsmeer is the third largest building in the world, in terms of floorspace, covering 990,000 m² (10.6 million sq ft).
It’s quite easy to go to Aalsmeer from Amsterdam, 30 minute bus ride and that’s mostly due to stoplights & traffic. Once there the visitors entrance is clearly marked. It costs 5 euros for entrance. Once you pay you are permitted to walk around on a viewing platform, it’s a very long walkway the wraps around the building & along the way they have signs which explain what you are seeing.

Arriving at Flora Holland

Entrance arrangement

A sign explaining what we are seeing on the auction clock.

The auction board

There are four auction boards to watch.

Hydrangea on the auction block, I raised my hand to buy it! 🙂

Where the buyers sit.

I wonder how many buyers this place can handle?

explanation of how the testing center works

Flowers in the testing room

At the border

Quality First

The heart of the auction

after purchase the carts receive a sticker for their destination


white hydrangea





gorgeous sweet peas



lineup to go into the auction

hypericum berries

green hypericum

carts and carts of flowers

check out that blue hydrangea!

plum/purple hydrangea

magenta hydrangea

my fave - green hydrangea

This space just goes on forever and ever.. so many carts, so many flowers

calla lilies

click here to watch a video I took at Aalsmeer, it’s pretty impressive to see constant movement:
Aalsmeer Video

So, what do you think? I took tons more photos and found it hard to narrow down. I loved being here, watching the constant movement. Wondering where the flowers would be sent. Figuring I was seeing some flowers on their way to our wholesalers here in Denver. It was a really cool experience, if you love flowers make sure you visit here someday!

For more information be sure to visit Flora Holland’s website.

Tomorrow.. floating flower market of Amsterdam!