Monday 19 April 2021

Balcony beauty: Here’s an easy way to enjoy tulips in the city this spring

Photo: Upperbloom

Spring is drawing near and with it comes something synonymous with Dutch culture: tulips.

Tulip season in the Netherlands runs from the end of March until mid-May and is an annual joy for both locals and tourists alike. But with lockdown still looming large, the usual trip to the Keukenhof Gardens won’t be possible this year. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to enjoy tulips from your home.

Being surrounded by flowers and plants in your home holds many benefits. A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress and make people feel calmer. This in turn can boost productivity and concentration by up to 47%, another study found.

Whether it’s their visual beauty or their physical air-purifying qualities, a little green space in your home can do wonders for the mind in these unprecedented times.

A blooming business

One person who can testify to this is Sam van der Zanden, co-founder of Upperbloom. In the summer of 2018, Sam received a beautifully filled planter from his mother which instantaneously brightened up his otherwise gloomy balcony.

‘It was the gift that kept on giving,’ Sam says. Determined to make more balconies bloom across Amsterdam and, while understanding that caring for plants take time, Sam and his friend Tom came up with a business idea: balcony planters.

‘We developed a service that will allow everybody in the city to enjoy a green balcony or terrace without the hassle,’ says co-founder Tom van Ruitenbeek. ‘We look after the flowers and plants with the right treatment and potting soil and the only thing you have to do is give them enough water.’

Tom and Sam’s basic but brilliant idea has catapulted them into a flourishing business that currently operates in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht. Their service is circular in design and they try to maximise reusability and minimise waste production by using recycled materials for their planters. Creating jobs is also top-of-mind for Upperbloom and they employ people in the greenhouse who would otherwise struggle to find work.

How it works

‘With your Upperbloom subscription, you rent our planters with a clean, modern look,’ Sam explains. ‘You have three designs to choose from: a hanging planter, a high-standing planter or a low-standing planter.’ Starting at € 9.90 per month for two planters, Upperbloom makes it easy and affordable for everyone to enjoy greenery in their homes. After your first purchase, each additional planter costs € 4.95.

Upperbloom offers two or three plant arrangements or swaps per year. Clients can then choose whether they want a new arrangement in spring/summer and again in autumn/winter or one in spring, one in summer and one in autumn/winter.

Looking after your bulbs is easy and all you need is a watering can and some scissors. ‘Water your plants by pouring water into the reservoir. This way, the water goes directly to the roots – which the bulbs love!’ Sam says. The water indicator will show you when the reservoir needs to be filled up again.

Time for tulips

In celebration of spring, the Upperbloom team is taking tulips to balconies across the Netherlands. ‘Depending on stock, we combine Monte Carlo, Monte Orange, Mondial and Ice Folly tulips with some bulbs like Narcissus (daffodils) or Muscari (grape hyacinths) for a burst of spring,’ says Tom. ‘Each of these spring planters consists of roughly 30 bulbs.’

To enjoy tulips from your own home, order your balcony planter from Upperbloom here. DutchNews readers who order a planter before 1 April 2021 will receive one spring tulip arrangement for free. Simply enter the gift code: DUTCHNEWS.

This article was written in partnership with Upperbloom.

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