What’s your go-to flower when you need a pick-me-up? What's your plant of choice when you need a smile on your face, and that smiles back at you? And what would you get at your florist when you want to buy the perfect plant that will surprise the one who received it? Did a Cyclamen already pop up in your head? If it did: lucky you. If it hasn't yet: read on, because you will be surprised in every way by this cheerful super plant. Cyclamen, with their heart-shaped, vibrant petals, contrasting leaf patterns, and beautiful vibrant flowers, are not just a sight for sore eyes; they're a symbol of lasting feelings and sincere affection. Originating from the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East, these plants have been warming hearts since ancient times. In the language of flowers, Cyclamen are a gesture of deep love and tenderness. Gifting a Cyclamen can mean, "I’m captivated by your enduring beauty and grace." It’s like saying a whole lot without uttering a word. Pretty neat, huh? But there's a whole world behind the Cyclamen. A lot happens before you get your hands on one of these beautiful plants.
Schoneveld Breeding - The Cyclamen Connoisseurs
Now, have a look at Schoneveld Breeding. These people are practically the Cyclamen connoisseurs. They have been around since the 1930s, perfecting the art of breeding these charming flowers. Their collection is huge – from the soft fragrant Cyclamen of the Odora to the bold and beautiful Super Serie Verano. And let's not forget the Super Serie Crayon with its unique, crayon-like strokes that make each petal a work of art. These aren't just flowers; they're masterpieces of nature, nurtured by human hands.
Peter van de Pol, owner and director of Schoneveld Breeding, is a known figure in the land of Cyclamen. Always on the lookout and selecting new varieties, and new shapes, his company succeeded in becoming the authority when it comes to breeding Cyclamen. In the past few years, many new shapes have come to the market, like the Cyclamen Super Serie Petticoat with its unique flower shape, and the latest introduction of the one-of-a-kind Cyclamen Super Serie Djix where the flower petals are inverted.
Peter van de Pol:
"We as breeders try to add value to our products. That can be in the appearance of the plant, its color, shape, and size. It can be in the longevity of the plant. But this can also be in a good explanation about how sustainable the plant is. We take it as our responsibility to add value to our products for our chain partners, starting with the grower. In the end, the consumer should be able to recognize and appreciate both the appeal and the sustainability of our plants."
Sustainability is the cornerstone of Schoneveld Breeding. An important part of the strategy is to grow successfully with the lowest possible environmental impact. Schoneveld is therefore continuously working on improving the conditions that allow cold cultivation. The company has its own Research & Development department where practical tests are developed and carried out.
A tour through their modern premises shows how far Schoneveld is in the development of cold cultivation. It is quite chilly inside the greenhouse, which indicates that a minimum of energy resources are used to grow a plethora of varieties and colors. The cold environment is amply compensated by the warmth of so many cheerful hues of white, pink, red, and purple. It's like waking into a giant candy shop. This must be the message that this breeder wants to convey: beautiful flowers grown with low environmental impact.
People are important for Schoneveld as well. A good example of their social efforts to create a good working environment is that the facilities are brand new. The whole place is also designed in a way that everyone can see each other. From the office spaces to the lab to the state-of-the-art greenhouse, everything is open. Everyone can see each other, so everyone is part of the collective that makes Schoneveld.
With each new variety, Schoneveld aims to achieve perfection, both in appearance and in environmental impact. It's a holistic approach to floriculture that resonates with the modern, eco-aware consumer.
Peter van de Pol:
"We are a committed breeding company that introduces and markets innovative, sustainably produced, and high-quality flowering plants worldwide. Of course, our direct customers are our growers, but with our production, we always keep in mind the end consumer as well. We need to know what people are looking for to put in their homes and gardens. In that perspective, we reach out to the end consumer. When we know what consumers want, this benefits higher cultivation and market returns for the entire chain. The goal is an inspiring living enjoyment for consumers."
So, how do you show your products are sustainable? That starts with creating optimal conditions for the plant to grow in an environmentally friendly manner, and show this in Schoneveld's own PlantXperience.
Walking into the modern Schoneveld building in Wilp, Netherlands, feels like walking into a small village, where every building is a department of its own, yet tightly connected as a community. The PlantXperience is an integrated part of that tiny village. It is the meeting place to further develop innovation and collaboration, increase the training level of all employees involved, and connect businesses and people by providing education and inspiration. It's an inspiring place for collaboration and sharing some of the best-kept secrets in the horticultural sector.
Schoneveld aims with this PlantXperience to create ambassadors of Cyclamen, because as Peter tells us:
"As you understand and know the scope to create such a nice, and lush plant, many people fall in love with Cyclamen even deeper, creating Cyclamen ambassadors for life."
It is therefore that they invite as many people as possible to visit the center, from traders, wholesalers, and exporters, to garden centers, and retailers. And even consumers. To have everyone fall in love with Cyclamen.
The Perception of Cyclamen
Schoneveld Breeding’s commitment to quality, innovation, and sustainability is key, but what sets them apart is that they aim to create a new awareness when it comes to Cyclamen. When you look at the sizes and shapes of the Cyclamen, and you then hear how they are appreciated in money terms in the markets, you can only wonder how that came to be. Many Cyclamen are sold for too low prices. This still has to do with the past perception these plants have. Although the younger generation is not aware of this 'baby boomer perception', it is still quite present, also in the way of presenting the plants. Where most retailers such as florists and garden centers still present the Cyclamen 'in the mix', studies from PlantXperience tell it's better to present them 'mono', meaning putting the same plants together in a tray or the retailer shelf.
This way the plants have a much higher value for the consumer. Adding more special flower shapes, contrasting leaf colors, or very vibrant colors, the people at Schoneveld are sure the future looks bright for Cyclamen.
(Peter also explained about a test a garden center did by adding to the price each day to find out at which price consumers stop taking Cyclamen from the presentations. This is around €5. Much higher than the average price the plants are being offered for today.)
The Versatility of Cyclamen Extends Beyond Their Visual Appeal
Now, let’s paint a picture of how you can use Cyclamen to brighten up spaces. Imagine a cozy corner in your home or shop. Place a Large Super Serie Leopardo Cyclamen there, with its vibrant blooms adding a subtle charm. Or consider a centerpiece of Super Serie Verano for your dining table, turning an ordinary meal into a feast for the eyes. Cyclamen have this unique ability to transform spaces with their presence, making them not just a flower but an experience.
The versatility of Cyclamen extends beyond their visual appeal. They are resilient and relatively easy to care for. They prefer cooler temperatures and indirect light, making them ideal for many environments. Inside and outside. Regular watering, without overdoing it, and avoiding waterlogging will keep them happy and blooming. It’s this low-maintenance aspect that makes them perfect gifts for everyone. Also for those who might not have a green thumb.
Moreover, Cyclamen have a unique place in history and culture. In Greek mythology, they are associated with the love story of Hades and Persephone, symbolizing both the beauty and brevity of life. In some cultures, Cyclamen are believed to bring good luck and protection, making them a thoughtful gift for new beginnings or as a token of good fortune.
Their seasonal versatility is another plus. While they are popular during the holiday season, Cyclamen can bring cheer throughout the year. Their blooming period, which can last several months with proper care, ensures a long-lasting display of beauty. This enduring nature of Cyclamen makes them a metaphor for long-lasting friendship and enduring love.
In the commercial space, Cyclamen from Schoneveld Breeding can elevate the aesthetics of any florist shop and garden center Their wide range of colors and varieties can cater to diverse customer preferences. From classic reds for romantic gestures to pastel shades for subtle elegance, there’s a Cyclamen for every sentiment and occasion.
Cyclamen - The Next Trend
Cyclamen possess the attributes to become the next trend in flowering potted plants. Whether you’re gifting a Cyclamen to a loved one, adding a touch of elegance to your living space, or brightening up your floral shop, these blooms are sure to leave a lasting impression. And when they come from a breeder as dedicated and eco-conscious as Schoneveld Breeding, you’re not just buying a flower; you’re making a statement of quality and sustainability.
Wrapping it up, Cyclamen are more than just plants. They're a blend of beauty, symbolism, and sustainability – a trifecta that’s hard to beat. With their deep-rooted history, ease of care, and visual appeal, they truly are the perfect gift to make both yourself and others happy.
Now, over to you: how do you think Cyclamen can be incorporated into floral designs or everyday spaces to create a unique and appealing aesthetic?