‘Rosemania in our DNA ’.
This is a sundry passage from the book ‘De Roos’ written in 1888. The author was my great-grandfather, Hens Verschuren (1844-1919), founder of H.A. Verschuren & Sons. A significant statement for a man who gave up his career as a schoolmaster in order to devote all his time to his passion for breeding roses.
In 1867 Hens Verschuren was at the start of his career as a headmaster in Haps. But he spent most of his time out of office in the greenhouse, next to the headmaster’s house. His predominant passion was for roses and he carried out experiments in improving some varieties. One of his creations was the "Etoile de Hollande". This Star of Holland is a climbing rose with dark red, fragrant flowers. Breeding roses became his true passion - as it seems, at a certain cost to his teaching success. The school inspector put him before the choice: lessons or roses. And Hens followed his heart. And so the H.A. Verschuren & Sons nursery was founded in 1875. At that time he could not even guess that he was going to play a significant role for rose-growers in the Netherlands. The ‘Nestor of Dutch Rose cultivation’, he was to be called by later generations of rose-breeders. In the castle gardens of Arcen his bust is basking in the company of the world’s finest flower breeders.
Verschuren was able to deliver an excellent rose quality from his nursery. And his performance did not remain unobserved. In 1925 he received the title of ‘Purveyor to the Royal Household’. In 1975 the nurseries even became ‘by Royal Warrant’, an honour that has been confirmed in 2011. And that is what makes us proud.
Presently the fourth generation has taken the rudder in its hands. And the fifth generation cannot wait to take it over. Of course the company has undergone a lot of changes during all these years. The nurseries have been modernised, we have become aware of environmental conditions and requirements. For instance, we participate actively in Milieuproject Sierteelt (Environmental Project for Ornamental Horticulture). And we extended our product range with Cupressus macrocarpa.
A passion for roses is rooted in our DNA, transferred to us from my great-grandfather Hens Verschuren. Just like he did, we fully enjoy each day of cultivating and further improving beautiful varieties. Keeping in mind his words, written in his monograph ‘De Roos’: "Flowers are a luxury that is not without sense, and that everyone can afford.”
With kind regards,