I had just graduated from Wichita High School North, and my summer destination was to be Eikenlaan 12, Bennebroek Holland. My parents, along with the Heemskerks (Jon Heemskerk was our Dutch Bulb supplier at the time) had arranged for me and their son Niels to trade places for the summer. I’d go and work at DeVroomen Bulb Export in Sassenheim, NL, and Niels would come work at the garden center that summer. Neils went with my family to Minneapolis for an industry meeting, and I got to vacation in Freesland (in the northern part of Holland) with the Heemskerks. Traveling the canals of the country was a highlight of the trip. I’m sure Niels loved the corn fields of Iowa just as much!!
A few of the experiences that I enjoyed that summer were things like discovering plain yogurt, watching Jackie Stewart win the F1 race at Zandvoort (where his countryman and future F1 champion James Hunt scored his first podium finish), riding mopeds into Haarlem and taking the train to Paris.
I learned so much about the bulb industry that summer. Receiving the newly harvested bulbs in large wicker baskets, sorting the bulbs, preparing them for storage and later packaging for export around the globe were all part of the process. I have always enjoyed traveling to the Netherlands and with our present bulb supplier and good friend, Piet Stuifbergen, I have enjoyed many miles on bikes through the countryside.
Now is the ideal time to plant spring flowering bulbs for a show of color early next spring. With early blooming bulbs such as snowdrops and crocus to later blooming types such as tulips, spring color is available from late February into May. With tulips, all colors of the rainbow are available, as are the unique striped tulips.
Selecting and planting pansies at the same time will give you a show of color next spring like you’ve not seen before.
I always plant bulbs in groupings for a display. Depending on the type, spacing can be as close as 2-3” for crocus and smaller bulbs or 6” apart for tulips and daffodils. Watering the bulbs thoroughly at planting time is important for getting bulbs off to a good start. Hi-Yield Dutch Bulb Food is specially formulated for bulb establishment.
The weather is great for all fall planting, come visit the stores today!!
Your friend in the garden,
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center
Bring a Bit of Holland Home.