Here at Mayesh we pride ourselves in sourcing and providing the best products available so you, our customers, can work with high-quality blooms. One of our astilbe growers, Amazing Astilbe, provides us with beautiful astilbe cultivars, and is also a family-run business like Mayesh! Read on to learn more about the history of Amazing Astilbe and the beautiful varieties they grow.
Quality is key with brothers Marc and Frank Rutgrink. This family business is fully focused on growing Astilbes. Rutgrink delivers five to six cultivars year-round. They have the widest range of Astilbe available. Characteristic for Rutgrink is their expertise and know-how of the Astilbe cultivation. They really take care of the product; every flower is harvested by hand. This results in top quality, maybe even the best quality in the market. Rutgrink is always innovating and represents sustainability.
ABOUT THE GROWER
Based in Hillegom, south west of Amsterdam, you’ll find the greenhouse-nursery of brothers Marc and Frank Rutgrink: Rutgrink Astilbe BV. Both their grandfathers were bulb growers and father Arie made the switch to flowers. He started his own glasshouse in 1969 with different kinds of summer flowers, including Astilbe. Son Marc joined the company in ‘85 and took over his dad’s company in ‘91. Younger brother Frank joined a few years later and together they started a partnership. After some experiments the cultivation of Astilbe expanded over a larger part of the year. Therefore, the other varieties of flowers one by one disappeared from their cultivation plan and in 2002 they decided to fully focus on growing Astilbes. Amazing Astilbe.
But specialization also means paying more attention. Brothers Marc and Frank decided to renovate radically. Old greenhouses were removed and new were built. Also, a freezer room was built. Initially they grew everything themselves, but nowadays this is outsourced by specially selected perennial growers, nurturing Rutgrink’s young plants and delivering them back to their nursery. Here, Rutgrink will sort and store them prior to cultivation next season.
To be able to deliver quality flowers all year round Rutgrink looked abroad and came into contact with Dutch growers who cultivated in Spain. Marc and Frank tested with various cultivars and this worked out well for all cultivars. In 2015 they started growing Astilbe in Spain as well. This means growing in the middle of winter without heating, with high light intensity and fairly cool. This way you’ll get the best crops. However, growing remotely also means you have to stay on top.
In Lisse brothers Rutgrink had two locations and had to drive back and forth all the time. The desire grew for more greenhouses. After a few years of research, they found their current location in Hillegom. Here, they started breaking rigorously, leaving one greenhouse upright and the rest went flat. This way, they could build according to their own insights and needs. In 2018 they opened their new location with 25% more greenhouse space.
Rutgrink’s core values are: providing top quality, a wide assortment and good customer relationships.
Rutgrink’s Astilbes are available in nine different varieties, with a color palette ranging from white, soft pink through purple and red. Five are available for all (or most) of the year, like the white Washington, pink Europa and red Paul Gaarder.
This virgin white Astilbe is the fastest Astilbe Rutgrink grows. Astilbe Washington owes its super white color to its growth process in the greenhouse. The flower colors and flourishes at once, which is a great advantage. The Washington Astilbe is widely used in wedding bouquets; therefore, it’s also known as wedding flower.
soft & gently
Baby pink Astilbe Europa is loved by its soft and tender color. Therefore, it is often used in both wedding and funeral bouquets. Like Astilbe Washington the flower colors and flourishes at once. Astilbe Europa is a short cultivar, its flower is full and compact.
Astilbe Paul Gaarder
This red Astilbe possibly is the only good red Astilbe there is and owes its name to its finder and descriptor: mister Paul Gaarder from Sweden. This cultivar, like its ancestor Else Schluck, gives beautiful full flowers that are very uniform. Both cultivars therefore are suitable to use in elegant and modern flower arrangements. What makes this Astilbe extra special is its red stem.
Astilbe Black and Blue
Astilbe Maggie Dailey
Astilbe Else Schluck
Astilbe Loud and Proud
Astilbe Glitter and Glamour
- Vase Life:
Astilbe has a limited vase life, but the shelf life has been greatly improved due to new pre-treatment agents. The leaves can evaporate enormously and sometimes the stem can’t keep up. You can solve this by removing the leaves from the stem or by placing the flowers in a higher vase.
- Seasonality: The availability varies by cultivar:
Washingtonand Europaare available every day, year round.
Erika is available from December to May and from June to November.
Else Schluck and Paul Gaarder are available from July to May.
Maggie Dailey is available from July to May.
Amethyst is available from June to November.
And a few small varieties that grow outside from July to November, like Loud & Proud, Black & Blue and Glitter & Glamour.
- How they’re grown:
Just like bulb flowers you’ll first need an adult plant. These plants can be obtained by planting small plants outside in the spring and taking care of them in order to have the best possible mature plant at the end of the season. These mature plants are extracted from the ground and these are the plants from which you’ll cut the flowers next season. Rutgrink’s freezer room now contains the plants from which the flowers will be harvested throughout the season (until April 2020 in Spain). The plants go into the freezer room, they need the cold to start growing again. Then they are planted according to a plan; first in the greenhouse, later also outside and in Spain. With a sophisticated schedule, it is possible to have Astilbe in bloom all year round.
- Did you know:
- Astilbe also grows in the Japanese mountains.
- The genus Astilbe comprises more than 300 varieties that range from low-growing varieties to varieties that reach over 2 meters in height! There are only a few varieties suitable as cut flowers.
- In the Netherlands Astilbe is better known as ‘Spirea’, but this is incorrect. Spirea is a very different genus. Spirea is a shrub with white flowers. These flowers resemble the white flowers of Astilbe Washington, but nothing more.
- A quality Astilbe is one that’s grown on a new plant and then cut at just the right time.
- Each year, Rutgrink will produce more than 6 million stems of cut flowers that are then exported to wholesalers and florists all over the world.