Ilex brings a splash of colour!

John and Jolanda Brummans grow many different shrubs including ilex. The red ilex is a deep shade of red, and orange ilex comes in two different shades, one of which is a very bright orange. “When it gets dark in the wintertime, these colours help brighten up life again.”

John and Jolanda’s shrub nursery is beautifully situated at the edge of the forest in North Limberg in the Netherlands. As you look across the field you can see blocks of different crops. As well as Ilex verticillata there is also Ilex meserveae, snowberries (Symphoricarpos), skimmia, hypericum, viburnum ‘Roseum’ and ‘Compactum’ and peonies. The nursery is MPS A+ and SQ- and FFFP-certified, which means that the products are grown in a sustainable way.

Bee colonies
The growers run the nursery with just the two of them, but in summer they get a little help from a bee keeper and his bees. “The hives are placed next to the flowering shrubs. Hypercium is the first to flower, followed by Symphoricarpos and then Ilex verticillata. The bees are necessary for the pollination process and without them there would be no berries. If you go to the fields early in the morning, the flowers are covered in bees. Bustling with activity – it is as if the field is going to take flight. A beautiful sight!”

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