One of the nation’s biggest suppliers of fall bulbs is a family-owned, Hudson Valley business.
You don’t have to be a bulb fanatic to appreciate what’s going on in early Fall at the ADR Bulbs warehouse – crates and bags and pallets and boxes of bulbs, bulbs and more bulbs. Located in Chester, NY, I recently had the opportunity to meet with Chris Ruigrok, who is a fourth generation member of this family business, started in 1946.
C.J. Ruigrok & Sons began growing and selling bulbs in The Netherlands in 1910. Their current operation grows 250 acres of daffodils, tulips, hyacinth and crocus. In 1946 a small US distribution office was set up in NJ, and in 1978 the company purchased two local bulb wholesalers which then became ADR Bulbs. Chris’ father, Walter, moved to the US from The Netherlands to manage the company and they have been expanding ever since.
As a wholesaler, ADR Bulbs sells to garden retailers, public gardens and landscape contractors, including The New York Botanical Garden, Citi Field, Jersey City Parks and the Orange County Arboretum.
ADR’s number one seller is daffodils, followed by tulips. They sell 300-400 different tulip varieties and about 1200 bulb varieties overall. (Selecting what to offer for the HVGA bulb fundraiser wasn’t a matter of finding something we liked, more a question of how to narrow it down to a mere 15 varieties!) ADR Bulbs ships 20-25 million bulbs for the fall season.
Chris gave an extremely informative 90-minute tour of the bulb warehouse – a modern facility where climate control and air flow are key. Here are some highlights of our bulb chat:
- Tulips are not considered perennial; don’t expect them to return, and feel lucky if they do.
- Fritillaria imperialis bulbs do not like moisture and, at Ruigrok Bulbs, one person cleans each individual bulb by hand with a brush.
- Bulbs aren’t just from Holland; England is big supplier of Daffodils, Lycoris are from Japan, Amaryllis are from Peru and Israel supplies many types of bulbs including Leucojum and Paperwhites.
- ADR’s top selling varieties are Tulip “Pink Impression” and Daffodil “Dutch Master”
Garden retailers, landscape contractors and professional gardeners interested in ordering from ADR Bulbs can contact Chris Ruigrok at (800)-990-9934 for more information.
A.D.R. Bulbs, Inc.
49 Black Meadow Rd, Chester, NY 10918