I had the most wonderful time in my life this past summer. I went on a 2 week escapade around Europe and one of the magical places I spent my time was Holland. The biggest highlight of this trip was the FloraHolland Auction. If you don’t know much about this world renowned auction house, let me tell you! The Aalsmeer flower auction has been marketed as the busiest floral auction house in the entire world. They are constantly auctioning all sorts of orchids, greenery and florals from all over the world. It has been reported that they trade around 20 million flowers daily. Sounds like a florist’s dream, right? That’s because it is!
The auction starts at 7 am and lasts until 11 am on most weekdays, but because there is a lot of walking, they recommend that you arrive as early as possible! So, naturally, I arrived right at 7 am. I was told that auctioneers actually arrive and start bidding at 6 am, but that’s not the only time that flowers are arriving. The florals at this auction house are arriving and departing all day, every day. There is no time of the day that these flowers aren’t moving around! I know what you’re thinking, how can one place house this many flowers? This place is huge, ranging at about 220 football fields, just to give you an idea.
When you arrive, you are ushered many feet above the floral floor onto elevated walkways that allow you to look straight down at the millions of stunning florals! There were semi trucks and little carts buzzing around the entire time I was there. On the tour, they took us by the auctioneer booth which is set up like a mezzanine and hundreds of auctioneers sit to look at two simultaneous screens auctioning off these gorgeous blooms. Everything is done on these little computers attached to each desk so the room seemed very quiet. We were on the outside of a sound proof window so I don’t know how loud they actually were.
Overall this experience was one of the most amazing I’ve had as a florist and a tourist. I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Holland!
Until next time,