If you are visiting the south of the Netherlands, you should definitely consider visiting Dordrecht. Dordrecht is
the oldest city one of the oldest cities of the Netherlands. You can even take a boat from Rotterdam – another great city in the Netherlands that you have to visit – that will bring you to the docks of Dordrecht. The upcoming week I’ll show you a few places that you have to visit if you are in town. More specifically I’ll show you Villa Augustus (blogged about it here) and the Zusjes.
I’ll start with Vreeken’s zaden. Vreeken’s zaden is a famous dutch shop which sells gardening seeds and many other garden tools and supplies. The family own business is almost 90 years old now. You can find their physical shop on a corner at one of the shopping streets. This pearl is easy to spot in between other more common shops. I was planning to visit the shop for a long time, and finally a few weeks ago it happened.
I was meeting a friend in the shop, but arrived at least 15 minutes early. I expected that I would definitely need more time to dig through the thousands of seeds and didn’t want to bother my friend. So I took a deep breath before entering and had a big smile on my face from beginning till end. It was all I expected and more.
The shop was tiny, but filled with seeds from left to right and from the bottom to the ceiling. There was hardly space to walk next to each other. Interestingly enough it was also very busy. Even though I went there on a regular workday during working hours. I didn’t expect this.
The people working there also had great knowledge about the seeds and plants that they sold. This is exceptional nowadays I think in these kind of shops, since shop owners generally hire young people that are cheaper but also know less. This was a different and positive experience.
Beside the impressive selection of vegetable, flowers & herb seeds which were displayed in the inside area, they also had an small outside area which was packed with little fruit trees and some other plants. All very lovely. If we were living in the Netherlands I would have bought many other things. But now I settled with a few dozen of seed packages and some small gardening tools that I was trying to find for a long time. I’ll show them to you in later posts.
I also photographed two other things that put a smile on my face in the shop. The glasses below were placed next to the counter. It says in dutch: “Forgot your (reading) glasses? Borrow it here!”. I imagine their audience is clearly a tiny bit older than I am. I love the gesture they make to their visitors with these glasses. And the other thing that I loved was their vintage or maybe antique wrapping paper stand. I need one of those.
Vreeken’s zaden was a lovely beginning of an afternoon that I spend in Dordrecht. I’ll show the other things I saw in Dordrecht in a few follow up posts here.