I've learned a lot of things about Michigan in the short time I've been here. Last year I learned about the "yoopers" and the "trolls." This year I learned about "Hollanders."
There are strong Dutch and Danish influences in Michigan. I did go to the Danish festival for a few hours this summer, but only recently learned more about the Hollanders. I'll admit I've always been a bit confused about why people from Holland are called Dutch. Then I found out they are also called Hollanders. And that while Holland is part of the Netherlands, people use the two names interchangeably. Um. OK. Yeah. That's not confusing at all. LOL
Here in Michigan there is a city named "Holland" and guess what I found there? Tulip bulbs, wooden shoes, and Delftware at Veldheer's.
The thing is, Veldheer's doesn't just sell delftware (Dutch Pottery) and wooden shoes. . .
They make them there! From scratch! Visiting their gift shop is shopping and a mini manufacturing tour combined as the work areas are behind large glass windows so you can see how everything is made.
The Delftware in particular left me a bit slack jawed as I comprehended that the pieces are molded onsite. Later I read online they make 400 different pieces of Delft.
So first they mold the pieces. . .
And then they paint them in a finishing room.
And then they're put out in the gift shop for people to purchase.
And if wearable wooden shoes and Delftware aren't your thing. . .
You can choose from an assortment of wooden shoe-like products. For instance the soft and fuzzy wooden shoes bedroom slippers or tiny wooden shoe key chains.
But this is what I came for. The Garden Center. That's where the tulip bulbs are! I've loved tulips since I was a kid since we had a few that would come up each spring. When I got older and discovered Parrot tulips and the frilly Peony tulips I was hooked. Sadly, in California they aren't perennials because it doesn't get cold enough in the wintertime.
Though that doesn't stop everyone from planting them as annuals. Remember Rich Santoro aka The Bulb Guy in San Jose? I blogged about him two years ago when he planted over 5,900 tulip bulbs in his backyard that he then opens to the public to enjoy each year.
At Veldheer's I wasn't disappointed. There were rows, and rows, and rows, full of bins of tulip and many other types of flowers bulbs. Eeeeeeeek! I was like a kid in a candy shop! So many to choose from. There were two main criteria I had to use while shopping: How much would they cost? And how many holes did I want to have to dig to plant them? At only $1 a bulb I decided to get about 8 varieties.
Turned out I didn't dig holes. I dug trenches. The bulbs need to be planted 6" deep and 6" apart. I also amended the soil with a compost/manure mixture, added some 12/12/12 fertilizer and black dirt, then mounded the dirt back up over the trenches.
Now I have to wait until spring to see if I did everything right. And hope the deer don't eat them. Apparently they love tulips. And maybe the voles too.
The first snow came a few days ago and dusted the ground. I was thinking of my tulip bulbs buried 6" down, all set, nice and cozy for the winter.
This is what Veldheer's looks like from the road. You can't miss it. If you love tulips you should come visit in mid to late April when the tulips and daffodils begin blooming or the first week of May to attend "Tulip Time" when visitors come by the millions to see the millions of tulips in bloom. I'm hoping to be there. I'd love to experience 5 million tulips in bloom. Parrot tulips, wisteria, peonies, and water lilies are my favorite flowers.
Along with tulips in the spring from June 1st to mid October Veldheer's has a 10 acre perinnial garden filled with thousands of Dutch lilies, daylilies, peonies and other rare perennials. I saw one windmill from the parking lot but there are others as well as a herd of American Bison. I read on the website you can catch a glimpse of the bison from the parking lot but if you pay an admission fee you can see them close up.
They even have space for RVs to park summer, fall, and winter. Sounds like I need to take The Glampette and head to Holland next year. BTW, I'll soon be posting about a recently discovered winery I'd like to visit just south of Holland. Maybe I can visit both at the same time during a mid-summer or early fall getaway.
To visit Veldheer's here's some helpful info. View more on their website linked below.
Veldheer's Garden Center & De Klomp Wooden Shoe and Delft Factory (website)
12755 Quincy St.
Holland, Michigan 49424 U. S. A.
616-399-1900 or 616-399-1803
9:OO AM to 5:00 PM - Mon/Fri
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM - Saturday
Closed - Sunday