De Kwakel, July 2019 – More exciting and better. That is the motivation for Aldershot Greenhouses in Ontario, Canada to supply pre-finished hydrangeas from the breeding program of the Dutch/German Hydrangea Breeders Association (HBA) to growers in Canada and the US. ‘We put game changers on the market.’ Len Vander Lugt from Aldershot welcomes you in their booth 2903 at Cultivate’19 next week.
From being a producer of fully finished plants, Aldershot developed over the years into a supplier of pre-finished hydrangeas to growers in Canada and the USA. Aldershot made a good start with Early Blue, as the variety turned out to be very popular with growers. Vander Lugt knows from experience that sometimes it is difficult to convince growers to pick up on a new product. ‘Growers like to stick to what they already know. But they hardly needed convincing as Early Blue is such an easy, compact grower with an abundance of beautiful flowers that also blooms very evenly. Everybody wants it.’
Hydrangea Novelties at Cultivate’19: 13 to 16 July
Len recommends Hydrangea Jip as the new game changer on the US market. The striking bright blue Jip has a better shelf life and is easier to keep blue than existing varieties. Vander Lugt is also impressed by Felina, Florentina, Double Pink and the dark-colored Velvet Beauty, four new offerings that HBA ranks among the new Legend series. ‘The bicolor Velvet Beauty with its dark red and green shades is a bit deeper in color. I think it will be a huge hit with consumers in the fall,’ he thinks aloud. ‘The forceable paniculata that HBA recently introduced is exceptionally suitable for the cold winters that Canada has to deal with. There are so many exciting, novel varieties, Vander Lugt says enthusiastically. He can hardly wait to show a number of them to interested growers during Cultivate’19, the horticultural trade fair in Columbus, Ohio. ‘The new varieties we will be displaying at Cultivate’19 have been subjected to the mandatory quarantine period and have been thoroughly tested at our nursery.’
Vander Lugt knows that innovation is necessary to meet the changing needs of consumers. ‘The hydrangea market in Canada and the US is still growing. I want to offer growers hydrangeas that are also purchased at times apart from Mother’s Day or Easter. The new HBA varieties from Aldershot are so surprising and excel in quality that consumers who see our hydrangeas in the supermarket immediately think: I want that.’
The Vander Lugt family has been running an ornamental plant business in South Ontario, Canada since 1954. Len Vander Lugt has owned and operated Aldershot Greenhouses since 1990. He grows various pot plants including potted roses, potted chrysanthemums (Mums) and since 2000 hydrangeas (only HBA varieties). Hydrangeas are marketed as cuttings, semi-finished plants and as end products on the Canadian and North American market.
Aldershot Greenhouses is a family business; son Aaron Vander Lugt joined the company in 2009 and has been general manager since 2015. Duane Vander Lugt started as inventory & procurement manager in 2016. www.agl.ca
Foto caption: From left to right: Aaron Vander Lugt, Ryan Whitney, Len Vander Lugt and Adrian Kemper