FREE COLLECTION: 5,000 hydrangeas! But you had to do something with that. Saturday morning it was traffic jams in Hoogerheide. Due to high energy prices, the Meewisse Arboretum stopped selling hydrangeas and so all the plants had to go for good.
In the parking lot, two laughing women carry a Fiat Panda. One says, “We brought plants for the whole street. We live in the back of the lowland with seven houses. So we have a plant for everyone.” Their car is swollen. Both the back seat and trunk are full. “But you can still drive. We have mirrors, right!”
Moreover, a woman comes out holding a plant in each hand. “This is for nothing! And this is in these precious times. You have to take advantage of that, right?!” It is the coming and going of people. “I started at nine in the morning, but if you’ve already seen what’s gone here already!”
She answers, “When you see your company go to hell like this. That’s really bad.” “But people today are also coming in to get plants that they normally can’t afford. One thing outweighs the other.”
Gas price ten times
However, owner Anton Mewes is experiencing it on a lovely day. “It’s a mixed feeling of course. But it was cute once. We were already planning on it, but with this energy crunch we can no longer ignore it.”
Suppose Anton continues to work as a hydrangea farmer, he will lose about 75,000 euros on gas in January. “The price of gas has increased tenfold. Last year it was still 7,500 euros.”
“I was expecting such crowds, yes!” A girl who drove from Bergen op Zoom to Hogerheide with her mother laughs. They take with them “only” five hydrangeas. Unpretentious, looking at all the fully loaded cars and trailers in the parking lot. “It’s a beautiful decoration for our garden,” says the mother.
the end of the era
For twenty years, the Cuban dominated the lives of Anton and his wife Bernadette. Saturday at the end of the morning, more than half of the 5,000 plants have already been collected. On Saturday evening the couple left with an empty greenhouse.
“We will then conclude the period of floriculture,” says Anton Sober. “First we were in roses, then in hydrangeas. Now we’re moving into vegetable gardens for people. We’re taking a new path, and that’s part of doing business.”
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