Gert Jan van de Brink 1946 to the present.
If you have a few properties such as; passion, tireless, collector, interest and amiable mixing and adding a little bit of fuchsia extract then it is almost impossible that you end up with someone from the last generation of fuchsia fanatics of the last century.
"Gert Jan" van den Brink as he is known in the fuchsia world, actually he is called
“ Gerrit Jan van den Brink “
M.A. Soeters. 2016
~ * ~
Born and raised in Hulshorst on the beautiful Veluwe, Gert Jan van den Brink lives with his wife Stijnie in a beautiful house on a large plot of land.
Gert Jan was already interested in flowers and plants as a student and expressed this by carrying out various activities at the nearby Hulshorst estate after his school hours. He liked to work in the gardens that belonged to this estate. It was almost impossible then that he not went to the agricultural school after his primary school. Then followed the horticultural school and then the vocational school for floristry.
He went to work in a flower shop in Nunspeet where he gained a lot of experience in cultivating house plants such as cyclamen, azaleas and tuberous begonias.
After doing this for 10 years, he changed jobs and started working at the Nunspeet municipality at the Parks Department. He experienced the obligation to acquire even more knowledge by following various courses in green areas, animals and parks as a welcome addition to his already acquired knowledge.
The municipality of Nunspeet used to work with fuchsias that were processed together with other summer flowering plants in flower boxes and plant pots. Later this became less because the processing of fuchsias in such arrangements became too laborious.
Van den Brink did not notice it at first, but in that time it must have happened that he got infected with the fuchsia virus.
"Fuchsia totalis bekloppitus" from which a fuchsia fanatic developed.
Hermann Maurer, chairman of the German Fuchsia Association, described that at the time.
According to him, these are mostly people who look more often at nature in general. Later a tendency develops towards specialization and if the choice happens to fall on a fuchsia and after some time also some collector's passion comes along, then a fuchsia fanatic is born. Usually these are young elderly people who are affected by this disease and who then turn into enthusiastic enthusiasts who are willing to devote all their free time to the new hobby.They also hand this out frankly and hospitably to the visitors of their garden.
Similarly Gert Jan van den Brink.
Foto: S. van Schaik.
Gert Jan became a member of the Fuchsia Association in 1980 and was very active from the start.
He was also in his own garden, or rather in his own domain. The enormous garden of 1225 square meters changed over the years into a huge Garden of Eden in which, besides the two ponds, a few hives of his son and a small vegetable garden found their place.
Everything but then everything revolved around the fuchsia.
Hof van Holland
Thousands of fuchsias stood in that garden when I visited him once. And if you then as a fuchsia lover have obtained from the overwhelming first sight of all that beauty and step by step the garden is going to view together with the host then you will be short of time.
A beautiful collection of triphylla cultivars, more than a thousand standerd fuchsias and what is particularly striking is that all plants really help. It is therefore certain that Gert Jan lives for his hobby and is busy from the crack of the day until the sun goes down.
Walking through the garden you wonder at a certain point why Gert Jan grows as many cultivars as a standerd. Pending fuchsias are also grown as a standerd and that must have a reason.
Gert Jan explains that in 1989 he suffered from a hernia which seriously hampered him in his hobby. Friends and acquaintances helped him and his plants through the difficult period. When the weather improved, Gert Jan developed his specialization to grow everything as a standerd to save his back. Also his new cultivars are first cultivated by Gert Jan as far as possible.
That the beautiful fuchsia garden in which one of the greenhouses above the nameplate "Hof van Holland" is a real attraction during the open days is obvious.
~ * ~
Another hobby of Gert Jan is collecting stamps.
Of course stamps on which a fuchsia is depicted.
Recently he was able to add two rare copies to his collection on which his own fuchsias are depicted 'Esmee Kroeze' and 'Twell's Klumpke'
'Erna van den Brink'
Hybridizing Gert already did little during his professional life but with so many fuchsias around you, it could not be denied that he was going to do so with fuchsias. From his first new cultivar 'Erna van den Brink' in 2000 Gert Jan has been very reluctant to offer new cultivars at the inspections. For years he keeps the plants he wants to introduce, and which are usually grown as a standerd for observation, in his garden. Only when he is fully convinced that the plant meets all the requirements set by him, does he make cuttings to grow plants for the inspection.
So far, Gert Jan has produced 36 new cultivars, 32 of which have been approved or nominated for the NKvF inspection and have been registered with the AFS, the 4 non-nominated cultivars were already in circulation and therefore also registered with the AFS.
' Lena Lankman'
Foto: M. Jansen.
Of all novelties there are only 8 single-flowered and there are a few that Gert Jan refused for a second time after rejection because they were not found in the right condition at the first inspection.
You could say that single-flowered plants are not the specialty of Gert Jan.
Double flowered is what Gert Jan aspires to and most enriches.
If you release 28 different nominated double-flowers then you should have some knowledge of the large assortment in this genre because Look a Likes are common in double-flowered fuchsias.
It is striking that double-flowered fuchsias are often trailers or lax-upright, but that the double-flowered fuchsias of Gert Jan are usually upright plants.
That will have to do with his back problems.
For hybridizing, Gert Jan mainly used double-flowered cultivars.
He started in 2000 with the cultivar 'Voodoo' and then he used many double-flowered white cultivars as father, such as 'Martinus', 'White King' and 'Sleedoorn'.
Gert Jan soon realized that one of his first plants 'Gerwin van den Brink' from 2001 was excellent as a seed parent to continue his successful series of upright double-flowered fuchsias.
Of the 36 cultivars that have been released by Gert Jan so far, 19 have 'Gerwin van den Brink' as their parent. Later he used another cultivar of his as parent plant 'Lena Lankman' from 2007, this plant was used in his crossing products 6 times as a parent plant.
'Stijnie van den Brink' is the plant that Gert Jan has named after his wife, and he is still not only happy with her, but also with the plant he has named after her. He finds that cultivar his most beautiful and also his best hybridized product so far.
Many plants Gert Jan named after his children and grandchildren, so the name 'Lanimee' is composed of the names of his three granddaughters: Larissa, Nicole and Esmee.
Even the cats are named, among others, "Saartje" and "Pluisje.
Many friends and acquaintances have also been named and some plants have been given the name of events in fuchsia such as shows or to the people who opened the fuchsia shows.
'Stijnie van den Brink'
Foto: S. van Schaik.
Gert Jan is of course granted that he can enjoy the fuchsia virus for many years, but after 50 years working at two employers and after 13 years have been very intensively engaged in this hobby, he has seen his age, decided to take things a bit slower. He is phasing out his collection, which is probably difficult for him. However, he still cherishes many plants that he wants to bring to the inspection in due course.
The cultivars of Gert Jan van den Brink.
~ 2000 ~
Erna van den Brink
~ 2001 ~
Gerwin van den Brink
~ 2005 ~
Stijnie van den brink
~ 2007 ~
Piet den Breejen
Gerrit van den Brink
~ 2008 ~
Henk van den Beerekamp
~ 2009 ~
Janne den Breejen
Johanna van Buren
~ 2010 ~
HermenJan van de Vosse
~ 2011 ~
~ 2012 ~
Jos uut Twello
~ 2013 ~
Piet van den Berg
~ 2014 ~
All names of the cultivars of Gert Jan are listed above in the order in which he brought them into the limelight.
Pictures of these cultivars can be found elsewhere on this website.
Sigrid van Schaik and Martien Soeters.
Thanks to Jan en Hermine Workel.
Bronnen: Family van den Brink
Hybridizing archive M. A. Soeters.
Architectenbureau 52Noord http://www.52n.nl
© Fuchsia’s of the World 2016