This year we expect to harvest and market around 150,000 stems again. Practically all our cut flower peonies are put up for auction at the Flower Auction FloraHolland, location Aalsmeer. Proudly, we can share with you that our Top 10 of buyers consists each year of flower exporters that supply the top segment of flower users in the world. We are told that our flowers usually find their way to event planners, exclusive houses of flowers and decorate large weddings and parties. We put our heart and soul in growing and processing our peony flowers, and it gives us great satisfaction when this is gets appreciated so well.
If you are interested in buying flowers from us directly, you are very much invited to contact us. Tailor-made service is what we pride ourselves in. Presently, there are many initiatives that encourage and facilitate a shorter supply chain, where the end sales point can directly order from the grower. Because we are passionate and convinced of the quality and service we provide, we welcome this very much. We cannot imagine ourselves a healthier trade than a situation where the end seller is in direct contact with the source, to obtain and discuss his or her needs!
Old fashioned hand labour and Top-notch Quality
We aim for top-quality flowers only. In the first place this means 100% healthy product with untainted foliage. All our flowers are graded with great accuracy for stem length and bud size. Furthermore all our peonies are disbudded in time in the field, resulting into an optimal bud size and minimum damages of breaking the sidebuds.
Bunching our peonies is done fully by hand, in our opinion machines cannot deliver good quality bunches. Bunching by hand rules out any damaging and results into compact bunches. Last but most definitely not least, we find it extremely important that peonies are cut at the right stage. Standard we try to supply all our peonies in the stadium that has VBN-ripeness code '2-3'. Honesty and accuracy of supply information has always been important, but have become crucial in the current digital era. We give it all the attention it deserves, also reflected by our 100% score in the flower auction's Quality Index (Q.I.).
With us, harvesting and processing flowers is all hand labour - no machine touches our flower stems. We are a genuine family business, our flowers are only touched by 'own hands'. Next to the fact that this creates a very nice atmosphere to work in, this also leads to an optimal involvement with the product. This is an important part of our business philosophy. In our opinion, this contributes greatly to supplying the high and reliable quality peonies in which we take so much pride.
Unpredictability of spring seasons
The picking and supply season of our peonies, in an average season, starts early May and runs until late June. Although with all that climate change going on, it is becoming harder and harder to speak of an 'average season'...
The very earliest date we have harvested the first stems of reference variety 'Red Charm' in the past decade was on 30 April (2014), and the very latest date was on 30 May (2015)! By itself, this does not say anything about the duration of the harvesting season for this variety. The weather circumstances are always the decisive factor. Every year is a complete surprise, and that's certainly part of the charm of our business.
Very often we receive the following question from buyers and other people in the flower business, in the earliest months of spring: "When will we have flowers available?" With peonies this is more or less impossible to predict so early in time! To illustrate this, the two photo series underneath will give you an impression of how extreme the differences between growing seasons can be. These cases are of some years ago, but these two consecutive years form the finest example. Exactly one week has passed between every photo and the next.
The first series of photos was taken in 2012 (cold spring), 9 weeks passed in that year from the first until the last photo (17 March to 20 May). This in great contrast to 2011 (second series of photos), when spring was exceptionally warm and it took only 5 weeks from first to last photo (27 March to 1 May). When you look at the pictures closely, you will notice that the difference is made towards the end of the development. The same development the crop made in the last 5 weeks before harvesting in 2012, only took them 2 weeks in 2011... Like we said earlier in this story: Impossible to predict, and the charm of our business!