Honesty present at Keukenhof
Piet (left) & Levi Evers about Lily Honesty: 'Magnificent for at least 14 days and idiot proof'.
Keukenhof is the best place for the Dutch flower and perennial plant industry to make a statement. That is hardly a surprise. What is a surprise however, is the fact that it’s hard to get lilies sponsored for the lily show at Keukenhof, says Piet Evers from Bredefleur in Moerkapelle.
This year, he is showcasing Honesty amongst the other varieties, which he is sponsoring. Ever since Keukenhof has been displaying lilies the new way, the 55 year old grower has sponsored his products. “It’s a huge and missed opportunity that only so few companies are willing to sponsor. In this trade, we have to do things together. Keukenhof is the ultimate shop window of The Netherlands. Everyone is taking pictures. It is a great and internationally renowned stage. More companies should really be sponsoring. The main complaint I hear is that our customers do not come to this event. However, people forget that it’s the consumer, who is our final customer. If we don’t sell any flowers, we won’t buy anymore bulbs. If bulbs aren’t sold anymore, there is no need to develop new varieties anymore either. Conclusion: you have to be there.”
Tens of thousands
Promotions is not only reserved for Keukenhof. Evers regularly supplies flowers for shows at campaigns, to decorate Cash and Carries or flower shops. “We give out promotional flowers every week. Included are a banner and flyers, which companies can use. We are highly active when it comes to promoting. All our lilies have their own printed sleeve for instance. Occasionally, we add a flyer to every bunch. We easily send out tens of thousands of flyers when doing this.”
Lily Honesty was specifically chosen to introduce to the market, says the grower. Since Evers and his brother Jakob Evers from Double Check Lily are the only two growers growing this variety, there isn’t a surplus of it on the market. “Bredefleur produces according to demand and is specialised in sales through traditional wholesale. We basically sell to anyone and any place where flowers are sold. All our products are top grade quality.”
Holding its colour
It’s the colour of the flowers, which made Bredefleur choose this particular lily at the time. “Five years ago, we received a few Honesty bulbs for testing. The colour was what struck us the most. This is the first LA lily with the colour of Tresor. LA lilies often come out pale but this one holds its colour.” This variety comes from nursery Marklily and is grown by 6 bulb growers.
There are more benefits to Honesty. Evers is naming a few: “It’s a good variety to grow year round. During Winter, the tips of the foliage can be a bit more sensitive though. The flower heads are tight and placed at the top of the stem. It is what we call an idiot proof variety. Meaning that it’s an incredibly strong lily and keeps well during transport. You can cut this variety quite young and all the buds will still open. The flowers also remain splendid until the last bud comes out. The flowers are slightly trumpet shaped and it has a good vase life. It will stay magnificent for at least 14 days, no worries at all. During cultivation, the flowers develop uniformly and at the same time, making Honesty an easy variety to work with. With bulb size 16/18, we always manage to get 4 to 5 headed lilies.” The length of the stem is average and is being cut according to the demands of customers.
Together with Double Check Lily, Bredefleur supplies approximately 2.5 million stems per year. One disadvantage of this compact lily is that it’s not great for air freight. “It’s quite heavy in weight, which makes it too expensive to ship by air”, says Evers. His son, Levi Evers, is very excited about the decorative value of a single stem lily: “There is no other flower, which has the same decorative value as lilies. With just one single stem, you already have a lushly filled vase. There is no need for extra foliage to dress up the vase. This is what sets lilies aside from the crowd.”
Text: Lilian Braakman
Photography: René Faas
Piet Evers talks about lily Honesty
Honesty is a deep orange Longiflorum Aziatic lily. It’s accommodated by growers association Honesty of CNB and is exclusively grown by Bredefleur and Double Check Lily. It is because of its exclusivity, which enabled this lily to enter the market as well as it did 5 years ago, according to Piet Evers, owner of Bredefleur.