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Karsten de Witte Ridder

The White Knight

Early 2002 Emiel Karsten, peony fans know him as “the White Knight”, took the plunge and started his own peony nursery at the age of 22, right across from his father’s farm on the Broerdijk in Midwoud!

Stubborn? No!

Emiel now grows his peonies on 10 hectares of land, cuts a million stems annually and may count himself among the best peony growers. Ambition, an enormous dose of energy, and an inquisitive nature characterize his work. He is known to be a bit stubborn, but above all he is a true peony lover, who knows how to put his zest for life into his flowers.

Product first

Emiel originally auctioned his flowers off in Naaldwijk, where he built up a great reputation. But now, he’s also to be found in Aalsmeer. My Peony Society and Emiel share a similar vision; product first, price second. The product must be good, and the price must be a result of that quality.

A good thing, then, the fact that Emiels peonies are invariably rated above average, both at the auction and by customers.


Emiel doesn’t take short cuts. He takes good care of his plants, even if it takes a bit longer. Immediately after the cut, when the peony plants are still strong, the leaves are still firm and have the ability to absorb water and food. That’s how he ships them out, keeping his crops healthy and his products beautiful and strong.

Flutter around

His flowers keep Emiel busy day and night: watering, feeding, letting bees and butterflies fly, optimizing life underground, keeping an eye on the weather. Nothing passes him by. Just like the bees and butterflies in his garden, Emiel has the need to flutter around freely. He wants to keep transport under his own management, to optimize every detail.

The future

Emiel makes the impossible possible. He will not be stopped by anything or anyone and that makes him such a fantastic peony grower and business partner. As a participant in My Peony Society we can only think: the sky is the limit!

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Grown by Karsten de Witte Ridder