5 Minutes with Astrid van den Berg
Florist Astrid van den Berg has been running creative workshops as part of ECT's tours to the Netherlands for over a decade. We caught up with her to ask her how she got started and why she still loves teaching.
ECT: When did you first fall in love with flowers?
AvdB: My parents were growers, so you could say I was born in the flower fields. I created my first display when I was six, in a competition at a friend’s birthday party, and that was it. Now I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
ECT: You now run a very successful business, Greenhouse. Can you tell us a bit about that?
AvdB: I founded Greenhouse in 1995 with a pocket book of ideas and the ambition to be the best florist in the region. Floral design has become a big part of what we do and we work a lot with plant breeders, creating designs for shows such as Keukenhof. The breeders are my favourite clients because they give us the latest flowers to work with – the varieties often are so new they haven’t even been named yet. We also have a shop selling all the accessories you need to create your own displays, and there’s a busy programme of workshops and demonstrations too.
ECT: You’ve been doing workshops with us for many years – what do you enjoy most about them?
AvdB: Yes, I did my first ECT workshop in November 2004 and I haven’t looked back since! I love teaching – I’m very enthusiastic about flowers and all the things you can do with them and I really enjoy passing this passion on, especially to people who don’t think they can make a display. It’s lovely when someone arrives thinking they won’t be any good and then leaves at the end, proud of what they have made. The ECT groups are always special – English people make the best audience because they are so friendly and enthusiastic.