BLOG: Grower report De Jong plant

We’re greeted with garlands and cakes. Coincidentally, today’s the day that Eelco has been working at De Jong Plant for 25 years. He and his colleague Danny answer all my questions. Read on, and find out all about the nursery responsible for  so many beautiful garden hydrangeas. While I enjoy a slice of cake, Danny and Eelco start telling me about the company.

The history of our company dates back to more than 40 years ago, when the brothers Cor, Wil and Jos de Jong started their tree nursery in Boskoop in 1978. We’re specialists in garden hydrangea. The nursery has now grown to 12 hectares, so we’ve got plenty of space to grow lots of different varieties. Hydrangea is by far our most important product, but we also grow a number of other garden plants such as tree peonies, lilacs and lavatera. The delivery of these plants falls precisely in the period before the hydrangea season begins. Insignificant numbers of hydrangeas are already sold before buds or flowers appear, but the season really gets going in late April and lasts until mid-September.

What’s makes your company so strong?
Our range! We believe good, personal relationships with hydrangea breeders worldwide are essential. We help them by testing new varieties at our nursery, and our many years of experience means we’re brave enough to make courageous decisions. We have to order our cutting material 2 years in advance. If we notice a good-quality new species or series, and we believe it will be a positive addition to our garden centre range, we buy large quantities immediately. Sometimes you place a product on the market after 2 years and it flops, but usually we can make lots of customers happy with these innovations.

“We aim to distinguish ourselves through our innovative range and the quality, appearance and uniformity of our plants”

Hydrangea Deep PurplOf all the different varieties you grow, what’s your personal favourite?
That’s a very difficult question. As a grower, I can see the strengths of each series. ‘Forever & Ever’ is a hit because it keeps developing new buds. The ‘Runaway Bride’ is obviously unique in terms of its appearance. Personally, I find the ‘Black Diamonds’ series with dark leaves very beautiful. I’d have to think carefully about whether I have a favourite… Actually, what always attracts my eye when the plants at the nursery bloom is the ‘Deep Purple’ from the Music Collection.

What are De Jong Plant’s expectations for the future?
Our company has always attached great importance to development. We’re working on so many changes and improvements that it’s impossible to mention them all. Nature and the environment are important themes in these developments. In 1990, we became the first nursery in Boskoop that fully recycled water. Since then, we’ve always invested in making our company more sustainable. Currently, the best improvements are in the actual plants. We’re working with breeders on developing species that are naturally robust, compact, strong and therefore more resistant. We’re also developing species that require less water. When it’s dry, we can use our own groundwater source for our nursery, but for consumers this is an area where improvements are possible.

Finally, how is your relationship with Javado?
Excellent! Did you know that Javado’s garden plant buyer Cees worked here for years? We think it’s great how Javado has developed in recent years. Hardly a day goes by without an order. Javado’s great strength is therefore in the day trade, as it’s one of the biggest players in this area.

Published on: 21 July 2020