It is spring and that means the Dutch Ranunculus season has started! This special flower knows how to steal hearts far across the border. We visited ranunculus grower van Egmond in Valkenburg where Jan van Egmond, together with his son Mark, grows gorgeous ranunculuses in more than 26 varieties!
“The Dutch ranunculus season started three weeks ago and will continue until about mid-May. Afterwards, we focus purely on weddings until July and the colours we focus on are white, pink, champagne and apricot,” says Jan in his greenhouse. Although Jan has been growing flowers for over thirty years, he has only been growing Ranunculuses for six years. He did it right from the start: he grows twenty-six varieties of ranunculus throughout the season, twenty of which are azure colours and six are amandine colours. “We have four beds of each colour in the greenhouse, so there is always enough available of each colour!”
Besides ranunculus, also campanulas, dianthus green wicky, achilleas and limonium are grown at Kwekerij van Egmond. “I like the variety. That is why the nursery is in production all year round, only from mid-January to the end of February we have a rest period,” says Jan.
Since six years, his 23-year old son Mark is also the owner of the family business. Father and son have no staff. Mark: “We calculate it so that the four of us can manage the total 15K m2 greenhouse. As a little boy, I walked around the nursery and started working there when I was 17. First I started a sports education, but that was not my thing… The flowers were calling me and this is how I got into the business!
The Ranunculus is grown in a greenhouse without energy, which means no lamps, no heating and no gas. The flowers are planted in the open ground. “We try to grow as sustainably as possible. Ranunculuses like it cold. If the temperature gets too warm, the plant stops giving flowers and goes into ‘rest’. The energy then goes into the roots instead of the flowers. This is why we can not have Ranunculuses in August, when it is too warm and too bright,” explains Jan.
Every flower is unique
Dutch Ranunculuses complement the foreign imports of Ranunculus well. The imported Ranunculuses arrive in October and November and when they run out, the Dutch Ranunculus takes over. But what makes the Ranunculus so special? Jan and Mark unanimously agree: “Every day this flower looks different! A true metamorphosis: Ranunculuses are determined. You will never get 100 per cent uniformity, but that is exactly what makes this flower so beautiful. Ranunculuses are all slightly different and you will never find two that are exactly alike. They are like people: every flower is unique!
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