After 11,309 miles of Floral related travel this year I am happy to report that I made it through with many tales to tell. Most of them I hope you have read by now right here on Flowersandcents.com, or via my newsletter as I have done my best to document my travels through my camera lens and my words.
These were the last shows for me this year and they did not disappoint.
At both events there was the unsettling reality that there are two ongoing wars happening very close to Europe’s borders. While there was no obvious concern if you managed to talk with folks the feelings are there.
One interesting example of this was the photo at the entrance to the ITIF hall. The image depicts a man throwing a rock in protest. This a copy of a Banksy painting (he is a famous graffiti artist) where De Ruiters (a rose breeder) chose to replace the rock with a bunch of Born Free Roses.
IFTF is the annual floral expo held each year in Vijfhuizen, Netherlands hosted by HPP exhibitions. It is held at the same time as the FlorHolland expo in Aalsmeer Holland hosted by Royal FlorHolland the huge flower auction.
The FlorHolland expo is mostly for the members of the auction to show their best offerings in one giant room located within one whole floor of the building. For anyone how has not been there or seen the building in action it is worth a google search for “Aalsmeer flower auction”.
There were several cut flower growers and breeders exhibiting Notably Ball, The Dutch Flower Group and Malima Gyp and isle after isle of potted plants, orchids, roses, and all things floral. Floral demonstrations and educational programs were everywhere, this is a good event and should not be missed. With that said the thing I like least about this show is that there are no windows in this giant hall, so it has a very drab feeling.
Some vendors display at both shows which must be very expensive.
The IFTF expo is about business and orders were written and hope abounds. This is the most international show that I attend, with booths from Italy, Colombia, Ecuador, Iran, China, Taiwan, India, Turkey, Israel, many countries in Africa and of course, The Netherlands.
Bunching machines, bouquet machines, box companies and much more await you at every turn.
I was invited to the showroom of the creative company “2dezign” where they are showing a new collection of iron pots with beautifully designed wrappings. These will soon be available in the US. The interesting thing about these is their light weight considering they are made of metal.
Roses, roses, roses. While there were many other flower types represented, the rose remains the most displayed flower. Booth after booth of beautiful roses were there for the delight of the attendees.
Trying to differentiate yourself in this sea of white, pink, red, yellow, orange, and innumerable variations is not simple. As a result, many have tested the limits of what can be done to make their flowers more desirable. Painted, dyed and sparked flowers can be seen shouting out their new more beautiful selves.
I am still surprised that these oddities are popular. Many have told me that they do sell well in certain markets, like China.
Other growers and breeders have taken a different path and begin with the production with Garden roses. These flowers once restricted to your garden have become the wedding flowers of choice in a dazzling array of colors, shapes, and fragrances. Alexandra Farms is the pioneer of these varieties including many David Austin varieties. RosaPrima and others are also offering these new varieties.
While many are showing flowers there are many vendors offering everything floral related. There is a company called Greenhouse sustainability which offers a host of products to help growers deal with the carbon footprint left as a result of growing flowers.
We are all aware that the carbon footprint as a result of flying flowers around the world is real and how to deal with it has limited solutions but there are some.
I am happy to be home for a while and eager to continue my interviews of interesting people and companies. Thanks to all the folks that told me that my reporting is interesting to them. I am honored when my works mean something to others.
Finally, I have a request. My very reputable and quality conscious sponsors here on my website and in my Newsletter pay me hoping you will click on their banners and engage in business. Please click on banners…….
I will be launching a new website here at flowersandcents.com. It was time to refresh the look and feel. Stay tuned.
Until next time.
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