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Christmas comes to a Dutch greenhouse

It is poinsettia season in the Netherlands, and while the first of these plants leave the greenhouse, various local choirs test the acoustics while practicing in one of those greenhouses. At poinsettia grower Marjanne van den Berg, the first "Christmas in the Greenhouse" will be held on Saturday evening, November 25.

It was her daughter Fleur's (18) idea. As part of her environmental course, she had to organize an event. "My parents participate in the annual national 'Kom in de Kas' (Come into the Greenhouse) campaign, which is held in April with great success. People can visit nurseries and learn about how various flowers and plants are cultivated," says Fleur.

"April isn't poinsettia season, but the growing process is fascinating to see. That's why I thought of having 'Christmas in the Greenhouse,' a cozy evening with music, lights, stalls, and lots of poinsettias." Marjanne hopes the campaign will have a national follow-up and will soon enthuse fellow growers at an international trade event.

Poinsettias have become increasingly popular in recent years. "The plant with red and white flowers has a familiar, nostalgic look that perfectly suits Christmas," says Marjanne. "But make no mistake, nowadays, these plants come in numerous striking colors: from pink to purple to lime green."

"And that makes them extra popular," she concludes. Some 60 Dutch growers supply about 15 million poinsettias via the Royal FloraHolland cooperative. At 38%, Germany is the most important export country. Van den Berg is the largest poinsettia nursery in the central Netherlands, with some 400,000 plants on 2.2 hectares.

Christmas in the Greenhouse is free to visit on Saturday, November 25, from 5:30 to 11 p.m. No fewer than five regional choirs will perform Christmas carols: De Zeesterren, Fruitig GeFlipt, Wij durfe, Jubilate Deo, and Zanglust. There will be plenty of activities for young and old. Naturally, there will be poinsettias and Christmas trees for sale. Address: 20 Karnheuvelse Street, Est, the Netherlands.

Photos: VidiPhoto

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