Herbert Riphagen began collecting palms and other exotic plants many years ago. He soon ran out of room for his hobby and had to move plants outside. Out of necessity he started to concentrate on hardy palms, able to survive bitter Dutch winters and a passion was born. As his expertise grew he became convinced of the need for specialist champions of the cause for hardy tropical palms. He decided to set up his company, Gardenpalms, to grow and trade in quality plants and to provide the right information for a growing public enthusiasm for hardy exotics. GardenPalms now cultivates large seeds orders from all over Europe and trades internationally. But Herbert still has the necessary attention to detail; all palms seeds, for example, are selected from cold areas such as the Himalaya Mountains even if that sometimes means going and collecting them himself! Besides being an influential wholesaler he now hopes to enthuse the general public directly and has opened a shop and exhibition garden in Erica, Holland.