Fun and Flowers in Holland

I feel like it has been forever since I attended a flower workshop. When Florismart announced they were hosting a workshop with The Parfum Flower Company and Max Hurtaud I absolutely jumped at the chance. I was not disappointed. 

My Monday started with a wedding set up at Lartington Hall before heading home to pack and catch my flight to Amsterdam that evening. 

I was collected from the airport by Huig from Florismart and whisked off to the Parfum Greenhouse... Not a greenhouse where they grow the roses (more about that later) this space is purely for creative use! What a wonderful space it is! 

I spent the evening with Lesley, Sharon, Iris, Laura, Shauny, Simon, Henk and Vicky creating designs to show off the 2000 Roses The Parfum Flower Company provided. 

Tuesday was the day of the workshop! We started the day with a hearty hotel breakfast before heading back to the greenhouses. 

We enjoyed a pleasent morning with Arnold of The Parfum Flower Company. He has worked for them for 5 years and his passion for the gorgeous Roses just shines through! His talk was informative and inspiring! 

The Roses sold by The Parfum Flower Company are Grown in Kenya and Ecuador. Each location having different effects on the roses. 

Ecuador produced roses that grow slower and open slower, with thicker stems making them perfect for retail work. Kenya produces roses that have thinner stems but open quicker, perfect for wedding work! 

They select their roses for their scent and beauty. They have a spray rose named English Mist, Dior based a fragrance on its scent. This variety produces so few flowers the only people to get their hands on it are the Dior store in London! 

We stopped for lunch before the workshop. It was the most wonderful lunch prepared by the Wife of Walter who works for Parfum. It was absolutely delicious! 

Max runs a very hands on workshop allowing us to work at the same time as him creating each step as we go. He showed us some fantastic techniques that we can take forward and adjust to suit our style and work. Thank you max for a very enjoyable afternoon! 

We finished our day with a demonstration from Max where he showed us a beauty of a bouquet full of the gorgeous Roses and a hand made frame work. 

It was lovely to be watching a demo rather than being the one doing the making. Max was easy to watch and full of chat, telling us all about his upcoming adventures. 

I can tell you we all slept well that night!! 

Wednesday was a new day and another adventure! We hired bikes from the hotel and set off in convoy to Aalsmeer, about a 25 minutes ride. We headed to a beautiful bakery for breakfast. We had Croissant, sandwiches and these delicious little treats!! 

From the bakery we took a stroll to the Historical Gardens of Aalsmeer. This is a collection of very old green houses and gardens. I could of spent hours wandering around but we had an informative tour, which was in fact very helpful. It transformed some plants and glass houses into history and stories. They are renovated alot of the greenhouses but there are till a few that have wooden structures rather than the modern steel frames. 

These gardens were just gorgeous, I think I could of stayed for a couple more hours but alas we had to move on! 

Our next stop found us back on our bikes and heading to a Sweet Pea grower. As we arrived at the greenhouses you could smell the Sweet Peas. I have been to a few different flower growers over the years and each time I visit a new variety I'm completely blown away. 

There were rows upon rows upon rows of plants ranging for 5/6ft all the way up to 10/12ft. The effect was magical! 

We were able to wander through the rows, which allowed us to take in the huge scale of some of the plants. They grow the sweet peas in two different ways. Some they let grow and use mechanical trolleys to reach the top. Others they pull down as they grow so the flowers are at a manageable height. The flowers for cutting are always at the top! Each plant lasts 8-12 weeks... In comparison to rose plants which produce for 10-15 years the sweet pea production seems extremely fast paced! 

From the greenhouse we headed to the packing room where the nimble fingered staff grade each stem at light speed! 

Another bike saw me back to the hotel and ready to head to the airport! Sad to be leaving Holland but very much looking forward to seeing my Husband and Dogs! 

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