Flowers Victoria Grower of the Month for April is Bloomin’ Koomen. Known for their beautiful, long lasting and robust roses, this close knit family business is run by Kees Koomen in Pakenham after relocation from Monbulk where the business was established 40 years ago. Kees brought his rose growing expertise out of the Netherlands and ensured that the family was imbued with the same passion for these beautiful romantic flowers. The official botanical/ scientific name of the genus is Rosacea. You can read about our Flower of the Month HERE.
Bloomin’ Koomen employs between 5 to 9 people growing, picking, bunching and distributing its premium quality roses nationally to Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide via road and air. Roses are also supplied for the local market through wholesalers and via the Melbourne Flower Market Centre 2 – 3 times a week. Ruby Koomen, Kees’ daughter oversees and coordinates the market process while Michael Allen, who has worked for the family since he was 15 and has been in the flower growing business for twelve years, manages sales nationally. The flowers are grown in a 1 Hectare glasshouse which is climate controlled using the latest technology. This ensures the best quality roses can be grown year round, and also mitigates the sometimes harsh Australian climate outside the glasshouse. The glasshouse consists of approximately 70,000 rose plants with a total of 26 varieties. Varieties’ are changed at times to keep the plants fresh and also developed to mirror seasonal trends to meet the needs and requirements of fastidious florists, especially around wedding season.
From Left to Right: 1. Team Koomen, 2. Bloomin’ Koomen display at Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 3. Gorgeous red Samorai roses
Valentine’s Day sees the greatest supply and demand with production starting in early December to ensure they crop enough roses to cater for sweethearts across Australia. The Red Samorai variety is the most popular for this day. Roughly 15,000 – 18,000 bunches are sold (including all colours) compared to 5-8,000 bunches on Mother’s Day. Hundreds of bunches of their bold yellow roses named Eureka were also picked and packed off for The Australian Open Tennis this year. Every year their roses are built into their display at The Melbourne Flower & Garden Show where the public relish the opportunity to marvel at the premium long stemmed and perfumed blooms.
Over the years Michael has observed changes within the market with the increase of imported rose varieties and believes that local roses are always fresh and resilient and hold up well in comparison to the imports that dehydrate in transit.
“People are buying more on variety these days. Aimee Lou is currently in demand for their old fashioned and fragrant appeal”, Michael says. He went on to comment that not much has really changed with roses trend-wise although he often is on the receiving end of some odd ball requests. “Florists always want what they can’t have!” he says with a laugh. Bloomin’ Koomen are constantly working to continue their solid reputation for good quality and consistent pricing. This Winter they will commence labelling their sleeves to support “Locally Grown” branding to assist florists with transparency around their purchasing habits and consumer awareness for country of origin promotion.
Bloomin’ Koomen varieties: Aqua, Delicate, Revival, Poison, Pacific blue, Sweet Avalanche, Bianca Candy, Bianca, Glacier, Vandella, Passion, Samurai, Black Baccara, High and Happy, High and Magic, High and Magic Yellow, Cheery Brandy, Upper Charming, Florence Green, Eureka, High and Exotic, Aimee Lou, Tenderness, Crème de Grande, and Carpe Diem will be available in the spring of 2015.