Aart Alders, the founder of Van Meuwen
Born and raised in Holland, Aart went to a unique Dutch college to train as a horticulturalist, specialising in the bulb, plant and shrub industry as we know it today.
In the mid 60’s he moved to the UK and joined a large nursery specialising in bulb forcing, tomato and paeonia growing and other general nursery work, gaining valuable hands-on experience.
In 1973 he progressed to set up his own business as a flower-bulb grower in the Spalding area, with many acres under cultivation. He soon expanded into other areas of horticulture, adding roses, shrubs, dahlia, gladioli, begonias and many others to his range, all of which further increased his horticultural knowledge and experience.
When he branched out into mail-order in 1977 the Van Meuwen business we know today was born, offering its popular range of unique and novel products, as well as established best sellers.
Gardening expert Carly Dillon
Carly has always had a keen interest in plants and natural landscapes. Growing up in Devon gave her access to some of the most beautiful and innovative gardens and landscapes in the country, including Dartmoor, The Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan.
It seemed a natural step to attend nearby Bicton College, where she completed a Foundation Degree in Horticulture, before going on to complete a full honours degree in Horticulture at Writtle College in Essex.
A passionate gardener in her spare time, Carly enjoys growing her own vegetables and is very keen to garden organically. She loves the challenge of designing or re-designing the garden each year, taking inspiration from all gardens or nurseries she visits - and often going away wishing she had more space! She finds Prince Charles' garden at Highgrove particularly inspirational, along with RHS Garden Rosemoor in North Devon.
Carly joined Van Meuwen in spring 2010 to offer horticultural advice. She now holds a fortnightly Q&A session on Van Meuwen's Facebook page where she offers help and advice to all gardeners, from beginners to the more experienced.