Van Engelen

Fall 2019

The best Dutch flower bulbs at the best prices.

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John Scheepers Flower Bulbs

One of the oldest and most prestigious flower bulb importers, John Scheepers offers 700 varieties of the best tulips, narcissi, lilies, amaryllis and rare and unusual Dutch bulbs at exceptionally low retail prices with real volume discounts.

Widely acclaimed for the quality of its flower bulbs, its huge collection and the excellent prices, John Scheepers was founded over 90 years ago with a tremendous history of serving American's finest gardens.

The varieties included in the flower bulb collection are:

Anemone Giants
Lilies: Asiatic Hybrids
Lilies: Longiflorum-Asiatics
Lilies: Chinese Trumpets
Lilies: Oriental Hybrids
Miscellaneous Bulbs

In case you were not aware, John Scheepers and Van Engelen are sister companies owned by Jan S. Ohms, a fourth-generation Dutch flower bulb specialist who grew up in the bulb fields and who spent his entire life importing and selling flower bulbs in the United States. In 1995, Konijnenburg & Mark, renowned Dutch flower bulb hybridizers, named a gorgeous Triumph Tulip after Jan Ohms in recognition of his life-long efforts to promote Dutch flower bulbs in the U.S.

John Scheepers offers flower bulbs in smaller units with significant volume price discounts while Van Engelen offers the flower bulb collection in larger, wholesale units with volume discount pricing. Although Van Engelen is considered a wholesale company, it very much caters to residential households as well. If you are interested in reviewing Van Engelen's collection and prices, just log on here to their website:

Background Information:

Biography: John Theodore Scheepers, Founder

John Theodore Scheepers was born in Arnhem, Holland, on January 20, 1878, son of Johannes Theodore Scheepers and Anna Berendina Carolina van Heauman. He married Rose Dorothy Heywood of Troy, Ohio. His death occurred September 23, 1938.

On coming to the United States in 1905, Mr. Scheepers became a naturalized citizen. He founded the firm of John Scheepers, Inc., which revolutionized the bulb industry in America. He is renowned for the creation of mass plantings for gardens and making the tulip the central spring motif. For this achievement in popularizing the Tulip, he became known as the "Tulip King". His horticultural introductions, which included prized tulips, lilies and dahlias, made him an outstanding figure in the field of horticulture.

In the early 1900s, John Scheepers began to publish his catalog which became known as the premier catalog for Dutch flower bulbs in the United States. For decades, the catalog was published as a hard-cover book with beautiful watercolor illustrations and romantic poetry about the beauty of flowers and the importance of gardens in one's life. Later, he encouraged Americans to include flower bulbs amongst vegetables in Victory Gardens as a sign of hope for peace and healing during wartime.

In 1918, he became a Director of the Horticultural Society of New York and in 1920, a member of the International Flower Show Committee, the principle vehicle for his genius. Twenty successive exhibits in New York Flower Shows, where the tulip was always pre-eminent, won him several hundred Gold Medals, including those of the Garden Club of America, the Horticultural Society of New York, Calvin Coolidge and Queen Wilhemina for the best garden of imported Dutch bulbs. He also pioneered and was the first to display narcissi and to import tuberous-rooted begonias and amaryllis to the United States.

Mr. Scheepers inaugurated the Garden Lovers' Pilgrimages to Heemstede, Holland, and was appointed Special Ambassador from New York State in 1926 by Governor Smith and in 1935 by Governor Lehman. As Director of Public Relations for the Holland Bulb Industry, he induced Holland to donate over one million tulip bulbs for the New York World's Fair Grounds (1939-1940) and planned the color scheme; also 250,000 bulbs for the San Francisco-Golden Gate Exposition, 1939.

"Paradou", his display gardens in Brookville, Long Island, with a 17th century building, moat and drawbridge, was a reflection of Holland, a veritable "Living Catalog" which fulfilled the trade mark on his literature "Beauty from Bulbs". His life was dedicated to promoting the chief industry of Holland in America and through his efforts, importations of Dutch bulbs increased tremendously.

In 1932, Queen Wilhemina gave suitable recognition to his accomplishments by making him a knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau. He was instrumental in establishing Holland House in 1936, located at Rockefeller Center, New York. He also belonged to many leading clubs, among them: The Netherland Club, New York Florists, Netherland-America Foundation and the Royal Horticultural Society.

Mr. John Scheepers was the uncle of the current owner of John Scheepers, Inc., Jan S. Ohms.

Biography: Jan S. Ohms, President and Owner
John Scheepers, Inc. and Van Engelen Inc.

Raised in Noordwijk, Holland in the heart of the flower bulb district, Jan Ohms is the fourth generation of his family in the flower bulb business.

As a child, Jan Ohms worked in his family's flower bulb nurseries and in the bulb fields. His uncle, Leen van der Mark, was one of Holland's most noted hybridizers of tulips, daffodils and gladiolas. After high school, he received a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from the bulb school in Lisse, Holland and then moved to the United States where he graduated with a degree in Landscape Architecture and Horticulture from the University of Connecticut.

In addition to providing imported flower bulbs to private estates in the northeast U.S., Jan Ohms acquired the Van Engelen flower bulb company in the 1970s and created the first real wholesale flower bulb catalog available to private residences in the United States. During this time, he also served as a horticultural judge for the New York Flower Show and for the International Flower Show in New York City.

In 1991, Jan Ohms acquired the John Scheepers flower bulb company, satisfying a long-time desire to bring his uncle's turn-of-the-century flower bulb company back into his family. In 1995, he was honored by the Royal General Bulbgrowers Association and Konijnenburg & Mark, Noordwijk, Holland, with the naming of the Jan Ohms Tulip. This special Triumph Tulip was named for Jan Ohms in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the promotion and propagation of the usage of Dutch flower bulbs in the United States.

Jan Ohms and his wife, Faith, reside with their family in Litchfield, CT.