Summer flowers grower Johan Boere:

“I really enjoy working with the seasons”

At the edge of the Green Heart region along the Drecht River, the summer flowers grower Johan Boere (38) has a company extending over 3 ha. The nursery is named after the rural surroundings: Meer en Drecht. Johan started the company in 2000. His father raised cows and sheep, but Johan wanted to be involved with flowers.

"My father tried to convince me that I should do something else, but this is what I want. I enjoy the dynamics of cultivation and working with the seasons. When I turned 21, I conceived the idea of starting with summer flowers, and I took over my parent's plot of land. I really like what I'm doing. I am simply not interested in cows. But with summer flowers you can really be distinctive. Doing it yourself is what I really like.

Winter and summer
You know what is really great about this job? I am as free as a bird. Obviously, the busy period from May through to the end of September is really dynamic and then I work a lot. But from October it gets quieter, and I can spend time drinking coffee with my girl. Or I can take the kids to school by bicycle. Isn't that great? No boss breathing down my neck. In the winter I am especially occupied with cleaning the nursery and preparing planting material from the perennials. In the summer around 8 assistants from Eastern Europe come work at my nursery. They just turned up about 10 years ago."

Increasing demand
Johan cultivates all different kinds of summer flowers. The main ones are Asterantia, Veronica and Phlox. Ninety percent of the sales comes through the auction clocks, the rest he arranges himself through direct sales to e.g. the retail sector. The demand for summer flowers continues to increase. The product is popular and hip.

Growing bigger with lots of varieties
The best aspect of summer flowers in Johan's view is that you are working with nature every day. He points to a plot that is buzzing with butterflies and bees. "Isn't that fantastic? A natural balance at the nursery. I really like growing bigger by marketing small amounts of different varieties. That is our business philosophy. It is better to have a wide-ranging assortment than lots and lots of one variety and not be distinctive."

Source: Royal FloraHolland

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