Featured grower

Every month we highlight a grower of seasonal plants.

Featured grower

Tree nursery 'Boomkwekerij Coppens'

Boomkwekerij Coppens bvba is an ornamental plant nursery in Wetteren, the heart of tree farming in Belgium. The company was founded in the 1970s by Lucien Coppens and mainly produced outdoor conifers. Following the graduation project of Lucien's son Danny on container cultivation, they built a larger shed in '86 and the company grew into a container company in the following years.

Today, the company is run by Danny Coppens, together with his wife Chantal.  They have specialised in Hydrangea or Hydrangea and aim for high quality and visually attractive plants especially for garden centres, such as Hydrangea macrophylla and paniculata in bloom, roses and climbing roses, ornamental shrubs and hedge conifers. Hydrangea cultivation takes 2 to 4 years for C5 to C10, with plants being cut several times a year. This results in beautiful, strong plants that will also take root in consumers' gardens.

Boomkwekerij Coppens
Containerveld

The company comprises 5 ha of container fields including 4,000 m² of greenhouses and 10 ha of full soil for growing the planting stock. They produce about 350,000 pots a year with a team of three permanent staff, so customers can be sure of quality control and smooth service. They have invested in renewable energy with solar panels on both sheds producing a combined 60 kw and have 1,000m³ rainwater tanks, contributing to their eco-friendly production process.

You can see a selection of this grower's offer below. Sign up and click through to order:

Luc Van Den Berghe

‘Over five decades of horticulture are not easily summed up in a few paragraphs. In 1969, my parents started the horticultural business in Deinze. From childhood, I was part of the company. After my father's death, my wife and I took over the business. Initially, we only grew green houseplants. 2002 was a key year: the first cautious steps were taken towards outdoor cultivation, which turned out to be a hit. We decided to build a slightly larger container field and some plastic domes.

The container field grew bigger and bigger, and with the increasing success, the need for workers also increased. In 2009, we decided to invest in automation to get the work done more efficiently with less manpower. The combination of a new potting machine, a robot, a buffer belt and a Prins forklift truck was then a smart investment. In the greenhouses, everything was grown on roll containers which makes working very flexible, followed by a washer for the roll containers, a second Prins forklift and a second robot. The container fields were enlarged and converted to lava fields to optimise drainage and reuse all drain water.

And yet something was gnawing. Growing houseplants was becoming increasingly difficult. The assortment had to be wider, but the quantities sold per product were getting smaller. We were faced with a choice: either find other markets, or adapt and improve our cultivation to better meet our Belgian customers. We pulled the card of our current customers.

On the one hand, there was a customer who asked us to grow Cordylines. On the other hand, we decided to invest more in outdoor plants. In 2011, a larger shed and a cold greenhouse were added. Today, we hardly grow any indoor plants in the greenhouse, only Cordylines for year-round cultivation. We also grow Canna, Capsicum, Catharanthus, Cuphea, Primula, Hedera, Lavender, Solanum, ornamental grasses, Heuchera, and perennials in p13.

Our range of outdoor plants is wide which makes it quite intensive, but it pays off. Our company now covers 5ha and we produce over 1.7 million pots a year.

containerfield
zoon Jelle

Innovation for us also means sustainability. We have been a member of MPS for more than 20 years. In 2011, we had solar panels installed. We switched to natural gas. For several years we have also only used recycled pots that can be recycled again and we switched to peat, part of which is peat-free. We try to spray as little as possible and work completely organically on certain crops.

Furthermore, we have been recycling all our water for many years. Due to the drier summers in recent years, we have installed a large rainwater basin in 2021 to provide us with more qualitative feed water. All these efforts also earned us the MPS-GAP label, which more and more customers consider important.  Furthermore, we have our own transport, so our customers are always supplied on time.

Our son Jelle has also been active in the company for about four years. He takes care of various tasks such as biology, potting, preparing orders and organising transport.’

Below you can see some of what nursery Luc Van Den Berghe has to offer. Log in and click through to order:

Interested but not yet a customer? Submit your application: