We generally regard Dutch flower bulbs as harbingers of spring. In severe climates, the crocus is a delightful sight, reassuring us that winter won't last forever. Moreover, who can resist the charisma of the lovely paper white or the elegance of the golden Daffodil? Then, of course, you have hundreds of varieties of tulips– big and small, tall and short in limitless choice of color!
Dutch flower bulbs have been a standard of quality in flowers for centuries. Generations of experience have produced 12,000 varieties of flower bulbs. When people think of Dutch bulbs, they almost automatically think first of tulip bulbs. Most flower bulbs that are sold in North America are Dutch flower bulbs. Flower bulbs are one of Holland's biggest exports and Dutch growers dedicate a huge amount of land to growing and cultivating these beautiful flowers.
Tulips are the most common bulb flower; you see proof of that in the hundreds of tulips blooming in your own neighborhood every spring. There are more tulips grown and exported in Holland than any other bulb flower. Other common Dutch bulbs are lilies, gladioli, and narcissi. Dutch growers export approximately 9 billion bulbs every year.
Of the billions of bulbs produced in Holland, almost all of them are exported to the United States. The majority of Dutch flower bulbs are sold for consumers to plant in their gardens every fall, but many Dutch bulbs are purchased by professional flower growers who force the bulbs to bloom and then sell them as cut flowers to the fresh flower market.
While you're enjoying the bloom of your fall flowering bulbs, remember that it's also the time to find and plant discounted Dutch flower bulbs. Also known as Holland bulbs, or Netherlands bulbs, Dutch flower bulbs are on sale at many retail outlets and catalogue stores throughout October and November.
Dutch flower bulbs are remarkably versatile. If you don't get them in the ground before frost, you can still plant many cultivars indoors for naturalizing in the spring. October and November are also excellent times to pot fall flower bulbs for late winter or very early spring bloom. However, remember that after potting your bulbs you need to simulate winter for them. You can do this easily by punching a few "breathing" holes in a plastic bag, placing it over your pot and refrigerating your pot for ten to twelve weeks.
Dutch bulbs are the most beautiful flower bulbs in the world; season after season they continue to welcome spring. As you plant Holland bulbs in your garden, think about the distance they traveled so that you could enjoy them.