When they asked me to test a new flower delivery service in Antwerp, I was skeptical at first. I had an instant vision of dull bouquets of classic shapes and flowers. Until I took a better look at what Bloomon had to offer. Could it really be? Beautifully designed bouquets, affordable prices, delivered at your doorstep? What’s the catch? Turns out there isn’t any. The flowers got delivered at my home address at night, beautiful packaging and graphic style and a card with every delivery that tells you a little more about the inspiration for this specific bouquet and about the flower types involved, just perfect for a flower nerd like me! Most of your flowers even last for about 2 weeks if you maintain them well. Sold! Now let’s talk to the flower artist behind Bloomon and let’s take care of that subscription shall we? For now, in Belgium, they are only testing the service in Antwerp, but who knows! You can always move of course, I’ll bake you a basket of welcome muffins.
Q&A with Anton Van Duijn
Where does your fascination/passion for flowers come from? Where did it all start?
I grew up in the Netherlands in a town very close to the beach. Running and playing in the dunes, I was always surrounded by nature. When I got a little older, I started working at a florist. I delivered bouquets and noticed the flower business was really something that fit me. Nature will always be in my heart, and so will flowers.
What is your ultimate favorite flower and why?
I’d have to say a seasonal flower, because I am fascinated by everything that the seasons bring us. Summer brings us the Dahlia, a wonderful flower in terms of shape, size and colours. It comes in countless different varieties and is of classic beauty. But if you ask the same question in fall, you’ll definitely get a different answer.
I’m always a bit sad to see beautiful flowers wither away. Do you find beauty an peace in a fading flower, or do you sometimes try to preserve them as well? Do you have any DIY tips on that front for us?
A flower fading is a natural process, which should not be stopped. I would never keep flowers looking fresh after their ‘expiration date’ at all costs, because I think perishableness is a beautiful thing. I find older people fascinating, their beauty is in their history, just like it is with flowers. A great example is the Allium. It has tiny purple flowers when it’s fresh, when it gets older, the green seeds become visible. I love that, so I’ll leave it like that. However, of course I do like a fresh bouquet, so to keep it that way I’ll remove some of the older flowers. A bouquet is like a still life in whatever state it is.
What’s the process for you when creating your bouquets? Do you have certain habits or a personal style? Do you use certain passe-part-tout flowers over and over again?
Shapes are the base of my bouquets. There is the spicate, like the Delphinium and Gladiolus, that bring height. Then there is the complex one like the Phlox, the round shape is like the one of a Rose or Dahlia. These are the basics of design and the base of how I compose a bouquet. I make sure the colour enhances the shape. My personal style is recognisable in the sense that I always add a detail that doesn’t seem to fit, that makes you think and remember.
Bringing flowers from door to door, you must brighten up a lot of days! What is the sweetest/coolest reaction you ever got to a Bloomon delivery?
Reaching a great public is really special in this industry. It warms my heart to know that customers really see Bloomon flowers as a special gift to themselves or others, not just as flowers. They look forward to their delivery, which has a surprise element in it because the customers don’t know what they’ll get. Comments on social media like “I feel like winning a prize” always bring a smile to my face.