Amsterdam bulbing

John Grimshaw
Thu, 20 Sep 2007 22:42:36 PDT
Lee - there are all sorts of things to look at in Amsterdam... some of them 
are very bulbous.

Much depends on how long you have for exploring. If you could get to the 
flower auction  in Aalsmeer that would be an interesting experience. Funnily 
enough I never went to an actual auction while I lived in Holland, but used 
to love visiting the wholesale florists and plant-sellers who occupy part of 
the cavernous auction building - see There you get a 
concentrated experience of the Dutch horticultural industry as they sell 
something of everything that passes through the auction to smaller 
traders/florists etc who don't need 10,000 roses all at once. You can just 
walk in and prowl about but you need an account to buy anything.

What they offer of course depends on season but is always amazing. I once 
was able to buy bunches (50 in each) of Oncocyclus irises, imported from 

In Amsterdam itself the floating flower market is interesting, even if 
touristy, & there are a couple of bulb sellers. To those accustomed to the 
dullness of an English or American florist's offerings a visit to even a 
local Dutch florist's shop is a revelation.

For a non plant-related activity Amsterdam is of course full of cultural 
interest, which could be combined with a horticultural theme. You could go 
to the Rijksmuseum to study flowers in old flower pieces - not to mention 
the Rembrandts etc. There are some surprising plant images in the Van Gogh 
Museum too. For food I would recommend an Indonesian meal - the Dutch East 
Indies connection is quite strong. I used to go to Sampurna, an Indonesian 
restaurant  ( by the flower market and have a rijsttafel - 
a selection of all sorts of small dishes of delicious things.

Let us know how you get on!

John Grimshaw

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Sycamore Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP

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