The van den Broek name has been in horticulture for almost 200 years.
The first records date back to Holland in the 1800s when one of our forefathers bought a nursery in Boskoop, then and still today a hub of the horticultural industry in Europe. He probably worked in horticulture before this, so our history in horticulture probably dates back much further.
In the early 1900s we moved to the UK. My grandfather commuted to the UK to manage accounts and sell plants grown on his father's nursery back in Holland. During that time we were one of the first nurseries to start using shipping containers to export plants from Holland. Troubles struck when a customer defaulted on a large bill, and my great grand father, being Dutch, told my grandfather that since he had been managing the account he would have to find the money to settle bill. Necessity is the mother of invention though, so grandfather launched a nursery over here in the UK. The business went well, he paid his father back, and expanded the business till he had a few market gardens.
My father took on a small amount of the main nursery and started growing evergreen hedging plants while my eldest uncle ran the main site of the nursery.
With such a legacy we aren't going anywhere.
Ron van den Broek: runs 'Transplant Nursery' the family nursery down in Surrey plants sold through www.englishhedging.co.uk.
Thomas van den Broek: operates out of Oswestry running a tree surgery and garden maintenance company, while doing sales for English Hedging ltd.
Richard van den Broek: is based in Edinburgh and runs VDB Horticulture he is also developing 'Simply Garden', and is undertaking the RHS masters in horticulture.