The Netherlands is really a flower country and the Dutch are real flower lovers. What is there to say about flowers?
I for one love them and can’t imagine a life without flowers. My house, garden, and balcony are filled with flowers and blooming plants. I see flowers when I go to the park, in the streets, and at the shopping malls. When I go to a party or visit a friend I take flowers with me as a little gift. And I’m not the only one. Almost everyone I know, men and women feel the same about flowers. Flowers are part of our weekly shopping, It’s a way of life to have flowers in and around your house. Flowers make life happy. And if you ask me what my favorite flowers are? I must say “Violets”.
Shopping: where to buy flowers and blooming plants
There are lots of places where you can buy flowers, for example at the florist, shopping malls, garden centers, hardware stores, markets, petrol stations, railway stations, and roadside stalls at farms that grow flowers,
Markets: flower and plant markets
There are many special flower and plant markets in the Netherlands, you can find them in most cities. In Amsterdam, there is since 1862 a floating flower market on the Singel. This canal is part of the Canal Belt, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The flower market consists of moored sloops, on each sloop is a greenhouse built, a mini version of the greenhouses that you will find throughout the Netherlands, and that makes the Netherlands such a popular international destination among flower lovers all year round. Whether you are looking for tulips, daffodils, snowdrops, carnations, violets, peonies, or orchids, you are guaranteed to find each of them in their own season at the Flower Market. In addition, house plants, herbs, seeds, and flower bulbs are also sold here. Flower market Amsterdam.
Flower and plant market on the Janskerkhof in Utrecht, a fragrant sea of flowers on the ancient market square. The market is every Saturday from 08:00 to 17:00 in the center of Utrecht. Flower and plant markets are very popular due to the wide range of flowers, bulbs, and indoor and outdoor plants. These markets are therefore frequently visited by both the local population, but also by Dutch and foreign tourists. All the same, what could be more photogenic than a flower market?
Flower market Amsterdam, Singel, 1012 DH Amsterdam. Opens every day from 9.00 till 18.00 hours.
Flower market Utrecht, Janskerkhof and Oudegracht, 3512 JE Utrecht, Only on Saturday from 9.00 till 17,00 hours.
Watering flowers and blooming plants
Flowers and blooming bloomers need a lot of water. In the Netherland water is never a problem, we have lots of water, so to say the Netherlands is a wetland country. So far, watering plants has not been a problem, only in extremely dry hot summers has the government requested not to water the gardens too much.
Tradition, Dutch flowers for the Vatican in Rome at Easter
It is a 35-year-old tradition that there are Dutch flowers on the balcony of the Vatican when the Pope pronounces the blessing Urbi et Orbi at Easter for the faithful who have gathered on St. Peter’s Square in Rome. The flowers are a gift from Dutch growers, they send many thousands of Dutch flowers to Rome in the week before Easter for decoration. During the Easter speech, the Pope thanked the growers in Dutch for the flowers.
Botanic gardens, Arboretums, and plant museums
There are more than 20 botanical gardens in the Netherlands with the most special plant collections. A botanical garden is a plant museum and is usually associated with a university. A botanical garden is kept for scientific research, conservation, exhibition, and education. A botanical garden gives you a glimpse of the worldwide diversity of plants. Soon there will be a separate article with an overview of botanical gardens, arboretums, and plant museums in the Netherlands.
Flower expositions and flower parades in the Netherlands
Floriade, World Horticultural Exhibition
Address: Sturmeyweg, 1324 KN Almere, the Netherlands.
Floriade is open daily until 9 October from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Ticket Floriade: https://floriade.com/en/price-information/tickets/
More than 400 national and international participants present innovative developments and their best products. Think of solar panels as vertical facade gardens. Don’t miss the cable car, this ride takes you over a course of 850 meters and gives you a spectacular view over the Floriade from a height of 35 meters.
Keukenhof, The most beautiful spring park in the world! More tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths than you ever could imagine.
Address: Stationsweg 166A
2161 AM Lisse Keukenhof is open from Thursday 24 March to Sunday 15 May from 8:00 am to 7:30 pm.
Information and tickets: https://keukenhof.nl/en/
Flower parades in the Netherlands
If you want to see flowers go to a flower parade. During spring and summer, there are several beautiful flower parades organized. The most beautiful flower parade is in April “Bloemencorso Bollenstreek”. Make sure you get there in time so you’ll get a good spot. There are about 20 huge floats and 30 vehicles richly decorated with flowers that cover a 42km itinerary from Noordwijk to Haarlem.
Season flowers and blooming plants
Every season has its own type of flowers. In autumn the garden centers are full of flower bulbs and in the spring they sell spring- and summer bloomers. Flowers are not only kept in Dutch households but are also a part of the street scene. Flowers and flowering plants are grown both indoors and outdoors at garden centers and landscaping companies. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different flowers. In the Netherlands, there are many popular flower varieties per season. In springtime flowers like daffodils, hyacinths, violets, and tulips are very popular, in summertime petunias, ice flowers, and sunflowers. In autumn asters and anemones are very popular.
The Netherlands has a great diversity of wildflowers. The government is encouraging municipalities to grow wildflowers in parks, roadsides, and other public places. Gone are the days when weeds were sprayed. The Dutch are encouraged to build facade gardens before their houses. Wildflowers that you will find in the Netherlands are, for example, daisies, poppy, dandelion, thistle, parsley, red clover, cornflower, foxglove, knapweed, Brunel, field forget me not, plantain, buttercup, columbine, snapdragon, and orris.
To conserve insects and birds the Dutch are encouraged to build insect hotels. An insect hotel is placed in a sunny spot and has many crevices and cavities to attract different kinds of insects. Material to build an insect hotel is, for example, reed, roof tiles, plant remains, pine cones or loam.
Flowers from bulbs, tubers, or rhizomes
Flower bulbs grow well in the Netherlands because the soil and the weather are good. Flower bulbs cannot withstand very cold winters and very hot summers. Behind the dunes in North and South Holland is good soil for bulb cultivation. Bulbs do well in sandy soil with sufficient fertilizer and lime. In the Flevopolder, farmers adapt the clay soil: they mix it with sand and lime so that the bulbs also grow there very well.
Spring bulbous flowers are crocus, daffodil, hyacinth, and tulip.
Summer bulbous flowers include lilies, Callas, dahlias, gladioli, and irises.
A tuber is solid inside and is a thickened piece of stem or root of a plant. A bulb is a complete plant. You can eat some bulbs and tubers. Think of an onion (bulb) and a potato (tuber). You can clearly see from an onion that a bulb consists of all kinds of layers. Just cut an onion in half. If you leave an onion in the ground, a new plant will grow out of it. It then comes out of a button in the middle of the bulb, well hidden between all the layers. If you don’t eat a potato, a new plant will grow out of it the following year.
The rhizome is the offshoot of a plant that continues to grow underground and from which a new plant grows. Such an offshoot grows from the mother plant and can have leaves and nodes. A node is a place where the petiole attaches to the leaf. A new plant can grow on each node. The plants that grow from a rhizome have the same characteristics and properties as the mother plant. There are many different types of rhizome plants, for example, Cobbler’s Plant, Canna, Peony, Lily of the Valley, Hellebore, Garden Geraniums, Water Lily, Baby’s Breath, Solomon’s Seal, Mint, Rhubarb, Blackberries, Raspberries, Asparagus, and Ginger.
Spring / Summer / Autumn / Winter flowers
A Daffodil, in Dutch we say Narcis, is a spring bulb flower. The Daffodil is a genus of bulbous plants of the daffodil family (Amaryllidaceous). The name Narcissus comes from Greek mythology. Daffodils are spring bulbs and need a cold rest period. Daffodils can be left to naturalize peacefully; they multiply automatically and every year there will be more flowers.
Hyacinth, in Dutch we also say Hyacinth. Hyacinthus is a genus of bulbous plants of the hyacinth family (Hyacinthaceae). The well-known richly flowering and fragrant varieties, which are also placed in the living room, are descendants of Hyacinthus orientalis, which originated from Syria and Iraq. The hyacinth was discovered by Europeans in the 16th century and soon the first bulbs were transported to Europe and the Netherlands. The original color was blue, by intensive crossing new varieties and colors were later created.
Camellia Japonica is blooming from March till May. The flowers of the Camellia are impressive and beautifully colored. In Japan and China, camellia has been cultivated for more than a thousand years and is considered a symbol of good luck. In 1692 the VOC brought this winter rose to the Netherlands and since then thousands of cultivars and hybrids have been bred.
A Dutch proverb is “sitting behind the geraniums” which means that when you are old you have nothing more to do. Geraniums come in many colors white, pink, and red. Geranium is an easy plant that is easy to keep in a planter on a patio or balcony. Whether the plant smells good, I don’t think so.
Saint Jude’s Medal
The lovely Saint Jude’s Medal (Lunaria annua) blooms at Easter. The Judas medal blooms in the colors purple and white. The plant gets its name from the round seed pods that resemble pennies. The plant is attractive to butterflies, and honeybees and bumblebees are also happy with it.
There is an endless list of the most fantastically beautiful colorful intoxicating-scented summer flowers. My favorites are the Hibiscus, Virginia creeper, Honeysuckle, Sunflower, Roses, and coneflower. And so I could go on and on naming plants. Certain flowers and their smell bring back unforgettable memories.
Autumn asters (Compositae of Asteraceae) bloom from late summer to autumn and then add a lot of color to the garden. Asters attract butterflies and bees. Bol asters are especially popular in the Netherlands
Flowers | Winter bloomers
Christmas rose | Hellebore
The Helleborus blooms around Christmas. In addition, there are other colorful Helleborus species that bloom in winter. The Helleborus orientalis in particular is a beautiful variety, which flowers in February and is available in different shades.
Dutch proverbs and saying about flowers
- Sleep like a rose | Sleep like a baby, peacefully, a good sleep
- Putting the flowers outside | Painting the town red. Have a great party.
- No roses without thorns | Pleasant things also have their unpleasant sides
- Life isn’t always a bed of roses | Life is not always good; everyone has setbacks from time to time!.
- Tell someone something under the rose | Tell someone something secretly
- The most beautiful flowers bloom on the edge of the ravine | The best results carry the greatest risks
- Happiness is the art of making a bouquet of the flowers that you can reach – Living happily with the given possibilities
- Searching for a flower in a Fig Plant – Searching for the untraceable
- Each flower finally loses its scent and color | Each life end eventually
- Be a wallflower | Not to be noticed