A one on one with our growers – Rick van den Hoek

A one on one with our growers – Rick van den Hoek

How are things now with our own growers?

Our flower growers: they’ve been working so hard for years to harvest to most beautiful seasonal flowers especially for us. Without them we wouldn’t have flowers! For many of them, these times are rough. Needless to say, we want to know how they’re doing. So that’s why for the coming weeks we’ll put a spotlight on our growers. This week we chat with Oriental lily and French tulip grower Rick van den Hoek.

A short introduction

Vita Nova is a family company that’s been in business since 1950. The company has been working with flowers for three generations and is, up and until this day, passionately growing French tulips in spring and Oriental lilies in autumn. On a weekly base they process about 150,000 flowers!

How are you doing?

Rick: “I’m well. My family is healthy and that the most important thing. From a business perspective, we’ve had to make some changes due to the coronavirus. The first few weeks we didn’t have a real positive outlook on the situation, because the prices at auction dropped significantly. The large numbers of cutflowers that we normally supply, were suddenly left without any buyers. These were tough weeks, but we’re getting back up on our feet again. We are trying to catch up again, in order to process more flowers. The demand for flowers is also picking up again.”

Are you currently harvesting?

“Yes, we are in full production at the moment. Right now, we’re harvesting French tulips. A stunning flower in your vase, if I may say so myself.”

What’s so special abou this flower?

“We all know the beautiful classic tulip that is often used as a fairly short flower in your vase. But what a lot of people don’t know, is that tulips come in all sorts. Especially the French tulip with extra lang stems and petals in different shapes and colours. The parrot tulip ‘Green wave’ and the ‘Princess Unique’ for example, look quite different from the tulips you’re probably used to! The petals are multicoloured and have wavy edges. Making them extra special. Also, these tulips grow quite differently. Compared to the classic tulip - which grow on crates in soil - we plant our French tulips directly in the gound. This way the bulb grows in its natural habitat. The stems can grow 20-24 inches tall.”


How do we give these flowers a happy long life in our vase?

“Tulips keep on growing in your vase which make them really nice to have. They’re quite sassy flowers. First they stand up straight, then they hang over the edge of your vase and still turn their heads sideaways to the sun. If you regularly change the water and cut a bit of the stem, you’ll have a full two weeks of tulip-joy!”

Want to know more about “our” growers? In this blog Marco Verschoor tells you all about his special fritillaria growery.