When it comes to our lilies, we always turn to Dutch cultivator Paul Ravensberg. Why? Because we only want the very best for our bouquets. And Paul’s flowers not only look good, but they keep good company: chickens.
A few years ago, Paul came up with a creative alternative to chemical pesticides. He adopted 14 hens from Red een legkip (Save a hen), a charitable foundation which rescues and rehomes battery hens who would otherwise be slaughtered.
These retired hens now spend their days pecking away the weeds. And as a bonus, also lay fresh eggs every morning. “Our flower pickers love having the hens around,” says Paul. “They also get to take an egg home with them at the end of the day.”
It must be said that Paul’s greenhouse in Rijnsburg has turned into a bit of a chicken house. Inside, it’s spring the whole year round: the best climate for lilies, not to mention the lucky hens. They keep warm and cosy – cuddling up on the heating pipes at night – but can also roam freely outdoors.
Since it was founded in 1931 to cultivate flower bulbs, this progressive, family business has always looked to the future. 40 years ago they decided to focus purely on lilies. Hence, why their flowers are of such excellent quality.
At bloomon, our favourite lilies are those that are cultivated sustainably. And we’re happy to spread some ‘hen happiness’ in the M bouquets this week. Look out for the orange Lilium ‘Caesar’s Palace’.
Too bad, we couldn’t also deliver an egg.