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