Ten of Millions of flowers and plants are traded via the auction clocks on a daily basis at the FloraHolland flower auction in Aalsmeer, Netherlands.

On a recent trip to Holland to visit my sister, so recent I just got back to the States yesterday, I made the trip to the auction and saw what happens everyday between 6:30am and 11:00am.

Welcome poster

flower auction

For a small fee, you can enter into the warehouse space and view from above how the entire system works.

Upon walking in you see hundreds and hundreds of carts and flowers moving at a very fast pace.


We got there at 7:30am after the auction had already been in process for 1 hour and there were already so many empty carts.

As you walk further into the warehouse you see the trolleys pulling the carts of flowers that are about to be sold or have just been sold.  As well as…

flower cart

flower worker

all the different varieties of flowers in all sizes and colors awaiting their future…

Lots of flowers

flowers by the bundles

More flowers

quality control testing

There is a quality control testing room as well to make sure the product is up to par.

on display

flower sneak peak

Lady Gaga

But The Clock is The Heart of the Auction

The auction happens inside the middle of the warehouse and this is the true amazing part of the entire place.

“Two auction clocks working simultaneously and independently of one another. Each clock has an auctioneer.  Buyers sit on the benches in the stands.  Using a button on the benches, they can switch from one clock to another. Any information the buyers may need is displayed on the screen.  Then the auction begins following the Dutch auction system.  The auctioneer determines the initial start price on the action clock. The first buyer to stop the clock places a bid at the highest price.  In a matter of hours, millions of flowers and plants are auctioned through ten thousand transactions, sometimes hundreds of transactions per minute.  Again and again, ever day.  Speed is important at the auction, because the sooner the flowers or plants get to you, the fresher they are.”

Fresh Flowers

Chart for the warehouse

Bleacher seats

The Auction

The flowers are brought into the room on carts, sold, then whisked off to be boxed up.

Flowers by the cart

bundles of flowers

beautiful roses

Yellow Flowers

There is a separate space just for the boxing up for the flowers.

flower warehouse

Transporting flowers

Warehouse shot

Then the product is put on tractor trailers to be sent worldwide via truck, train, or airplane… It can be delivered at the latest by the very next day and the same day in some parts of the world.

shipping the flowers out

As in Wassenaar, Netherlands, where my sister lives, the flowers were delivered later that morning…

flower delivery

ready for sale

Posted Under: Inspirations