Garden Writers
Amsterdam Belgium 2006
July, 2006

Tuesday July 4th was Our Day with Darwin Plants. Our first stop this morning was to the home of Marco van Noort, This was a surprise visit for the group and even more of a surprise was the fact that there was a film crew there filming Marco for an upcoming episode on Recreating Eden. He chatted with us and toured us through his display and test beds all the while we were being filmed. From Recreating Eden “Nursery owner Marco van Noort is a true Renaissance gardener, drawing upon traditional methods at a time when Holland’s billion-dollar flower business relies heavily on high tech. Van Noort uses bees for cross-pollination, and the result is award-winning perennial hybrids: proof positive that nature cannot be replaced.” Our next stop was the private garden of Dick Maas. Dick is the owner of a large perennials production nursery, and an avid plant collector. Many of the varieties he has gathered over the years have been artistically incorporated by his wife into the beautiful garden surrounding their house. Dick will be on hand to explain with great enthusiasm the story behind each of the varieties on show! The dwarf Verbascum 'Braveheart', introduced in 2006 was discovered in Scotland by Dick Maas and has now been renamed to Verbascum ‘Flower of Scotland’. There are two pictures of it here… We then visited a production nursery owned by Kees van der Aardweg. This production nursery supplies many perennial varieties to Darwin Plants, and others. A number of new introductions and future possibilities are to be seen here. Following lunch we visited Kebra Perennials Production Nursery. Kebra are entrusted by Darwin Plants to nurture many varieties through from the very smallest plug stage to field-grown plants ready to export to nurseries in Canada and the USA (and the rest of the world!) This is an opportunity to see some of the processes that plants have to go through as they are produced, and gain an appreciation of the amount of work that goes into supplying plants to the trade. Many new varieties and future possibilities are to be seen here. Campanula 'Purple Sensation' and Euphorbia 'Mini Martini' were discovered by Mark van Kesteren at Kebra Nursery.

We finally end up back at Darwin Plants. They were delighted to announce that Darwin Plants had been granted a Royal Warrant as nurserymen to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. (UK) This is given in recognition of Darwin Plants having been chosen to supply plants directly to the Royal Household for the past 5 years. Darwin Plants are the only Dutch company to be given this. We enjoyed a great evening with a BBQ included and got to chat further with Marco, Dick, the Darwin team and the film crew.







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