The Bongerd’s tulip planter

Aart Loseman uses Unifarm’s ‘leftovers’ to brighten up the campus.
Aart Loseman and ‘his’ tulips.

Text and photos Lieke Muijsert

The tulips along the bike path next to the Bongerd Playing Field D get a lot of attention. Student editor Lieke Muijsert wondered who had actually planted the bulbs. She discovered it was groundsman Aart Loseman. ‘I enjoy brightening things up with flowers.’

Last year, Loseman noticed the daffodils and hyacinths in full bloom next to the entrance to the sports grounds. His boss told him they had got the bulbs from Unifarm, which does trials on the resistance of bulbs and flowers to diseases. That gave the groundsman the idea of offering to take more of the bulbs and spreading them around the sports grounds, including alongside the bike path past Playing Field D. Loseman: ‘It is always a surprise to see what the bulbs produce. Sometimes I have a bet on it with my father. Most of the bulbs here are tulips. I would like to plant other species too, but I’m not sure whether they have them.’


Loseman planted the bulbs along the busy cycle path himself last October. He is pleased this has made the sports area more colourful and increased its biodiversity. ‘As a groundsman, you’re working with vegetation as part of your job, so it’s nice if I can brighten things up with flowers.’ In addition to the bulbs, he also plants and sows other forms of vegetation. And when mowing, he tries to avoid plants that in flower. ‘I enjoy doing that and it doesn’t cost anything, not in terms of money and not in terms of extra work.’ 

A few of the tulips at the Bongerd’s.

Loseman thinks the safety of the people using the sports grounds is important and he takes that into account when planting and maintaining the greenery. Stinging nettles are cut low to the ground and the verge alongside the bicycle path gets regular maintainance. The tulips fit well with this approach. Loseman: ‘I think the sports grounds should look neat. It is a place for people to relax, and that means proper upkeep and nice-looking plants.’


The tulips are a great success. ‘A lot of people stop, look at them and take photos. If we can get more bulbs next year, we’ll come up with another place for them. That way, the grounds will become increasingly full of colourful flowers.’

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