“Our plants are greatly valued, that's a dream come true"

Hans Verboom and his son Jos run their nursery in the Dutch Zevenhuizen and grow a large number of special varieties of Hellebores.

‘Hellebore specialist’ is a good way to describe their company, because they grow their plants with the utmost care and respect for nature.

Whilst walking around in the nursery, Hans tells me how years ago he switched from growing trees to Hellebores. It was an exciting step, not knowing how it would turn out. “Until that one day, we were in the business for three years already and I had delivered my plants at the Dutch wholesaler Waterdrinker. They called me to asked where the plants were. Turned out the first customer in the early morning had purchased them all! That was when I knew we'd made the right choice", Hans recalls.

My visit is during the busiest time of the year. "We work towards these few weeks during the rest of the year", Jos explains. The phone rings almost non-stop and everyone in the nursery is working their socks off. "We deliver directly to our customers. That has its pros and cons. But it certainly means we are in close contact with our customers", Jos laughs. 

Hans Verboom Kwekerij Verboom

Hans: “We work almost entirely on an organic base. But the lice can sometimes be perseverant. If you have lice in your Hellebores in the garden, try planting a clove of garlic next to the plant. And give fertilizer each spring and autumn for extra resistance."

Hans continues and tells me about the development of their own variety, the 'Verboom Beauty’. This Hellebore is an excellent variety to keep indoors. The flower buds seem to burst out of the ground, symbolizing new life, which makes the 'Verboom Beauty' extra desirable around Christmas time. And they're working on more varieties that are suitable for the living room. For a successful market introduction they plan to ask the help of florists.

Some customers place their orders as early as August, I regard that as a big compliment! 

Growing Hellebores is a league of it's own. One of the difficulties is choosing the right pot size. Jos: “After one year we have to estimate how big the plant will become. We rather have a smaller pot packed with flowers than a plant that looks off in a larger pot.” And it applies to most growers; the weather is a big influence. "It hasn't been cold enough yet, so we are a bit behind schedule", Hans explains. These are tense weeks, because they have to sell all their supplies before the end of March.

I want to know what makes them happy as a grower. "When I see all the new seedlings growing well, Jos says. And when our organisation is running smoothly." Hans ads: That people have great appreciation for our product. Some customers place their orders as early as August, I regard that as a big compliment!"


More about Kwekerij Verboom on their new website www.winterangels.eu