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When you purchase flower bulbs from us, it hopefully all seems like a very straightforward, simple process. You go on to our website, find the bulbs you want, whether they be English bluebells, daffodils, tulips or something else, you select the quantity and the price, and you make your purchase. The bulbs then arrive, delivered to your door, and the whole process for you the customer should be as simple as that. But a lot goes in to getting those bulbs to you and to making sure that the product that you receive is of the highest quality. This article aims to gives you an insight into that process and explains briefly what a year in the life of Boston Bulbs Wholesale is like.
Our year effectively starts in December, when we start looking at our bulb product ranges so that we can determine which products have performed well from the previous year and which products we might need to freshen up. A key part of determining what flower bulbs we are going to be selling includes looking at any new varieties that are now available on the market, and so we set out over the winter and early spring to source new products and the best quality products. To do this, we visit our trusted network of contacts, growers and suppliers that we have built up over the last 40 years throughout the UK and Europe, in particular Lincolnshire and Holland, to see their trials and to see their flower bulbs "in situ". Doing this allows us to see for ourselves which bulbs are performing well, and which bulbs are not, and thus we can assess and determine whether products are growing true to type and most importantly whether they are of a high enough quality that we are happy to offer them to our customers.
This process of sourcing the highest quality bulbs takes approximately four months, lasting from December until April. By April, we know what products we are going to be selling and therefore we start issuing details of varieties, ranges and pricing structures to the wholesale trade sector, e.g. garden centres. Once that process is complete, we then start creating the website range for the mail order sector, e.g. for the public to buy online. This is generally launched around June. Although some very keen impulse purchasers will start buying bulbs as soon as we launch the range in June against the discount on a forward basis, our main orders start coming in from July, and continue to keep coming in all the way through the latter part of the year until December. We therefore spend the next five months fulfilling orders. So, what does that involve?
Well, stocks of bulbs start to arrive at our warehouses near Spalding in Lincolnshire from the end of July, but the vast majority of the bulbs come in to us during the second week of August. This is deliberate - we aim to leave it as late as we can as we want our stock to be as freshly packed as possible. Once the bulbs arrive here, we strip the product down, store it in our ventilated and temperature-controlled warehouses. These are insulated with foam and we use fans to keep the temperatures down and continually monitor the temperature that we hold the stock at.
Once the bulbs arrive here, it is effectively all hands-on deck for the big push, as our team arrives and starts the packing process for the retail trade. All the members of our team are family members who have worked here for many years. We are proud to be a family run business, and we have the highest confidence in our team members who all have the same belief that what we supply must be a quality product and must be checked. We therefore check every order before it leaves our premises, not only for accounting purposes and for quality, but also to make sure that the bulbs that we are sending out will allow the customer to turn their dream into reality. To make sure that this is the case we need to keep control of what we do, which is why everything is done by us "in house" and nothing is outsourced. We start shipping out our bulbs prior to the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of August, as most retailers want their stocks to be available for the Bank Holiday sales, but most of our sales to the public will happen in September and October when the weather conditions cool down and when it is safe to plant them. We have previously written about the dangers of planting bulbs too early here. This then takes us through to December, when the whole process starts all over again!
We hope this gives you an idea of what goes in to us supplying the highest quality bulbs to you. If you need any help with choosing, purchasing, planting or looking after your bulbs then please contact us. Boston Bulbs Wholesale is a privately-owned business with over 35 years' experience of importing only the finest quality horticultural products throughout Europe and from farmers and growers all over the UK. Whether you're a landscaper, nursery, local authority, wholesaler, retailer, private business or individual gardener, just give us a call on 01775 769 333 or visit / for help with flower bulbs, grass seed and more.