Day 1: Departure for Amsterdam by Aude and Pierre, BP22

Our appointment for departure for Amsterdam was on June 17th at 6 am at the Paris School of Florists. We left on time by coach.

At around 10 am, breakfast at a motorway rest stop was on the schedule so we picked up some food from the area restaurants.

Then we went through Belgium, where we ran into a lot of traffic jams. Some of us got some shut-eye during the trip and some had their eyes wide open to watch “A Star is Born” with Lady Gaga. They had some fun at the same time.

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We took a lunch break at around 12 pm. Some had their sandwiches, others went for a bite to eat at McDonald’s.

Then we went back on the road to head for the Kinderdijk Mills. We arrived at the mills at around 4 pm to give us enough time for a visit.

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Nineteen windmills were built between 1738 and 1740 as part of a water management system to fight against floods, and today, they symbolize Holland’s water management system. In 1997, the site was proclaimed as a World Heritage by UNSESCO.

The mills at Kinderdijk were built to keep the Alblasserwaard Lowlands dry. Arranged opposite each other, they form an emblematic image of Holland.

Here’s a look inside the tiny spaces for the one-time tiny people:

Day 2 Morning: The Aalsmeer Flower Market and the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden by Alexia and Lise, BP22

The second day started after a 5am wake-up. We went to visit Aalsmeer, which is the biggest flower market in the world! 2

We started on the upper gallery, which allowed us to watch the workers. They were all on electric carts towing cartloads of flowers to transport and prepare for purchases.

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Then, we saw the flower auction salesroom which operates on a clock auction, meaning that the traders have to buy the goods the fastest as possible as the prices go lower and lower on the dial.

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The last stop was the laboratory, where botanists search for new species and varieties.

 

Next visit was to the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden.

 

The garden was created in 1575 by the Uiversity of Leiden in collaboration with a botanist. This was a huge help for medical students.

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It has very old trees and the largest collection of orchids in the Netherlands.

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We spent time in the greenhouses to observe carnivorous plants and walked in the Japanese garden.

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It was a really great morning!

Day 2 Afternoon: Monster Beach and Zuidkoop by Fyona and Marie, BP22

When it was time for lunch, we went to a restaurant at Monster Beach. Following that, bathing and swimming were on the agenda.

After this time out, we went to visit Zuidkoop Natural Products, which is a large design studio where you can find architectural designers, draftsmen, and florists who work together on big events.

They also sell their products online or directly to individuals and professionals. They work independently as their staff also includes all the professions such as masons, carpenters, painters, etc. needed to realize all their projects.

This visit after the outing on the beach was intense because we were sunburnt, so we were really happy to go back to the hotel to take a short rest before heading out to town.

 

Day 3: Waterdrinker, Mauritshuis Museum, and Gloriosas by Marion, Estelle and Océane, BP22

  • Waterdrinker: Cash & Carry at Alsmeer:

We woke up at 6 am to take the bus to go to Waterdrinker, a wholesaler, whose concept is to sell plants, cut and dried flowers, accessories, and tools to professionals in floristry working in Europe. One can buy online as well as on the premises with specific codes given out by the staff. First, we visited the establishment with its commercial director, who gave us a rundown of the history of the company, and then we were free to discover and buy every product that we fancied.

 

  • Lunchtime in Delft: 

After the Waterdrinker visit, we took the bus towards Delft, where we had lunch at a  place called Nieuwe Kerk.

  • Mauristhuis museum in Den Haag:

In the early afternoon, we were off to the Mauritshuis Museum, where we could admire most of Vermeer and Rembrandt masterpieces. La jeune fille à la Perle from Vermeer and La leçon d’anatomie from Rembrandt are always on exhibition there.

The Mauritshuis is home to the best Dutch paintings of the 17th century, featuring more than 200 masterpieces by Dutch and Flemish masters.

We used audio guides to help us understand some of the most famous paintings of the museum and we were free to take many pictures for our final reports of our Holland trip.

  • Gloriosa Producer: Wim Brouwer: 

We went to see Wim Brouwer’s gloriosa production in Nootdorp, a family business that he inherited from his father.

Crown Jewels Gloriosas are cultivated in an environmentally sustainable manner, which means no crop protection products are used for their cultivation. Crown Jewels Gloriosas do their best from gaining an optimal balance between quality and the environment.

Flowers are cultivated in a closed substrate growing system so that no excess water or fertilizers can leak out into the environment. In the case of excess, water is retained and reused.

For now, Mr. Brouwer is trying to carry out tests to develop new colors. Main colors go from red to flaming pink, but we can also find the original colors of yellow, white, orange, and purple.

 

Day 4 Afternoon: Treasure Hunt in Amsterdam by Alexandrine and Laurie, BP22

Upon returning to the hotel after our morning visit to the Orchid Greenhouse, we were sent all afternoon on a treasure hunt in Amsterdam to take pictures of buildings, houses, and other Amsterdam architecture according to eras and styles that were given to us as an assignment from our art teacher. We had to take pictures of the following topics.

Firstly, the facade of a house dating back to the Medieval Ages, whose style is characterized by pediments or gables possibly with shutters, like in the picture below.

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Secondly, we needed to take photos that represented typical facades of homes from the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century. Often these houses are recognizable by their baroque style with curved and rounded pediments, like in the picture below.

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The third photo was to be that of a façade of a home in classic or neo-classic style. This style is more geometric with possibly a Greek style pediment that would correspond more to the 17th or 18th century.

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Finally, there was to be a photo of a monument or building dating from the Golden Age of the 19th  century with its neo-renaissance style, one representing the beginning of the 20th century with its art nouveau or art deco and the last one from the end of the 20th century with its functional, international and geometric characteristics.

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Day 5: Back to Paris by Justine and Binwei, BP22

Friday was the last day of our trip to Amsterdam, and according to the set schedule drawn up a few weeks in advance, we had to leave the hotel at around 7 am, visit the greenhouse of a carnation producer at around 10 am, and then leave to head back to Paris at around 11am to get into the city at around 6pm.

Well, as the saying goes, “Plans never vary as fast as change does”, as actually, we ended up arriving home far ahead of schedule than predicted, which is more or less a good thing we guess 🙂

So to be on target, on Friday morning at around 6:30, everybody gradually started to wake up and prepare to leave. The hotel was getting a bit noisy, and at around 7am, almost everyone was on the bus. The hotel prepared a breakfast bag for everyone with an orange, a croissant, and a chocolate bar in it, along with a small bottle of water.  We have to say that the breakfast was not to our liking as the croissant was very unappetizing, still, it was better than nothing since we really needed some nourishment.

At around 9:30 am, we arrived at the carnation greenhouse and were welcomed with a second breakfast, organized by the owner/manager of the greenhouse. This time it was made up of cakes, coffee and juice that all met our approval. After that, we started the visit with the very pleasant boss, who accompanied us from start to finish. She explained how her family started the business and told us that she was the third generation who had taken it over.  She also told us how many species they had on the production site, what environment the carnations needed to grow in, and how they managed everything. The visit was beautiful and amazing, and we have posted some photos below for you all to see:

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We left at around 10:45, and started to head back to Paris, and surprisingly, we didn’t encounter any traffic jams. On the motorway, we took a one-hour lunch break to have a simple meal, and then we continued on the road.  Really so surprisingly, there was no traffic during the rush hour, so in the end, we arrived in Paris at around 4pm, a very successful ending to our 5-day trip!

 

 

 

 

Become an environmentally responsible florist by Anne, Mylène, Anaelle and Kristell, BP11

“Oyez Oyez jeunes gens !” This is a critical day, our planet is ailing because of us.

It is time to change our working habits! As florists and human beings, we depend on the well-being of nature. We are aware that florists can be confronted with several difficulties due to the location of the shop, especially in Paris, and because of our customers’ shopping habits. Luckily though, solutions do exist for us florists to become more environmentally responsible, just by carrying out some small well-intended practices. Here are some thoughts we’d like to share with you.

For starters, we could begin by changing some of our habits in a florist shop:

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-With the wrapping for example, by using paper instead of plastic and natural fiber as ties.

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-We could stop giving out paper bags and instead sell reusable fabric bags, showing the shop’s logo?

-Let’s try to reduce water consumption by adopting measures that already exist (water recuperation units, water flow regulators, among others)

-How about composting our own rubbish? That way we could make our own compost for plants and for customers.

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– Why don’t we form partnerships with local producers for our cut flowers and plants?

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– It could also be wise to use bikes and electric cars for deliveries.

Thank you for coming this far in the read. And now, please help us to build a better world with your actions or your suggestions! ✌ 🌍