Holland Flowering, my book on the Dutch horticultural industry, was based partly on ethno-graphic research among flower growers and others in the industry in the Netherlands and Ethiopia.
Growing tulip bulbs on the moon, and a tulip shaped island in the North Sea. Frederick Ruysch’s Wunderkammer and contemporary bloemencorsos. A Dutch-Chinese billionaire, aka the Orchid King, recreates a ‘Dutch’ town in northeast China complete with a replica of Amsterdam’s central station and the International Court of Justice. A retired grower recalls a life in flowers, from the Second World War to the European Union. Dutch development policies in Ethiopia today and its former civilizing mission in Java. Auctions, cooperatives, networking, commodity culture, Dutch masculinity, and globalization. These are some of the imaginaries, themes, curious details, and perspectives you will encounter in this book. All of them pivot around Dutch flower culture today and in the Dutch Golden Age, and directly or indirectly link to Aalsmeer’s flower auction, the world’s largest, located not far from Amsterdam.
Some of my essays have accompanied recently released box set collections of two extraordinary bands: Reynols, an Argentine group organized around the creative spirit of Miguel Tomasín, their drummer who has Down’s syndrome, and The Hated, who were based in Annapolis, Maryland during the 1980s. You can read them here and here.