Hello flower friends!
This video has been a long time coming and is actually something I started at the beginning of 2020 before we went into lockdown. I wasn't sure if I was still going to share it but after watching it I thought it's a good starting place and something I think will be helpful especially for first timers who might want to head to the flower market. If you haven't yet taken a trip to the flower market, you should put it on your bucket list! We have an awesome flower market where you can drive up and go in and personally select your flowers. In other countries like The Netherlands and New Zealand, flowers are auctioned. Who knows, this might happen in Australia so make the more of the flower market as it is while we have it :).
It's a little bit different now because of Covid as there aren't as many smaller stalls and I haven't noticed any really good deals on a Saturday like I used to. But, we shall see what happens for the rest of the year. So for this week's #APRflowerEd you'll get to some tips for the flower market.
Before I begin, I do want to stress that as much as I encourage attending the Flower Market, please keep in mind that it's a part of people's workplace too. If you're there on a weekday in particular when Florists etc are selecting flowers for their business please be mindful of where you are and what you're doing. Try and not congregate around the flowers or in the aisles but step off to the side when making decisions or chatting. When pulling flowers out of the buckets of water to look at them closer be sure the water doesn't drip on the other flowers below. I never considered this before becoming a Florist, but this idea of being mindful at a place of business—which is a huge part of what the Flower Market is—is definitely transferrable across most, if not all, businesses ... except naturally, the lines seem to be a little more blurred when it comes to the Flower Market. It's a fun place to visit but it's importantly a workplace for businesses :).
On this particular day, I was buying flowers to dry and so I didn't mind buying more mature flowers, otherwise search for flowers that are a bit more closed but still show their colour. So, without further ado, here are my tips for attending the Sydney Flower Market ~ in no particular order:
1.Go on a Saturday
Saturdays are great for a few of reasons. You don't have to pay for parking, which is $10 each visit during the week and you can usually get good deals. You MUST check the quality of the flowers and keep in mind their intended purpose. It's also great vibes because it has that weekend ambience and there are less scurrying Florists about haha. Also, why not walk over to the fruit market and check out what they have on offer. We never not leave the fruit market with an excellent deal, whether it's fruit for drying, juicing, whatever!
2. Take an ingredients list and go with a budget
It will be so easy to get swept up by the beautiful flowers. Whilst the Flower Market is wholesale, that doesn't mean you can't drop some serious cash there before it's even 9am! haha I may be speaking from personal experience here. I like to take cash as it means I can visually see how much I have to spend and how much I have already spent. The trick with bringing card only is that you won't be on top of monitoring how much you spend, especially seeing as it's easy to forget about GST being added on afterwards.
3. Take a bucket, bag or wheelie bag
I don't know why people get so bothered if someone brings a container to put their flowers in. It's clever! I do it and I only started doing it after seeing someone, about the only person at that time, do it. If you're not mindful of where you put it when shopping then I can see how it can get in the way, but other than that, it's brilliant! Your hands will be free to sort through the flowers, but of course, be mindful of where you put your bucket. I know I can forget, oops!
4. Wear gumboots, a bumbag or a jacket that has pockets
I've made the mistake of coming to the market dressed for the day and it meant that I was walking around the rest of the day with mud on the back of my pants at the bottom. With gumboots, not only are your feet covered but you don't have to worry about getting your shoes dirty or wet. It can get quite wet in there and even more so when it's raining. Maybe this is a Florist thing, but I like to have my hands free and so I will often wear a bumbag or a jacket that has pockets or both! It stores my cash, card, keys and phone and means I can carry my bucket of flowers in my free hands without anything hanging off me like a bag. The jacket is also one that I don't mind getting dirty (not just because it doesn't belong to me hehe) as you are likely to dirty the top half of you if you intend on buying more than a handful of flowers.
5. Carefully select your flowers
One of the downsides of a Saturday market is you need to check the flowers even more so than on a weekday. If something is on super duper sale, it's probably on its way out the door, but if it suits your purposes having them that old, then by all means get the deal! Nature is as nature does and so you can't always guarantee that all flowers will behave the same. But mostly you should be fine, just check that the leaves aren't too wilted or brown and the same with the actual flower head itself. If any petals or leaves are dropping and you aren't planning on drying them or practising flower arranging with them don't bother gifting them to someone, they won't last. If you want, you could bring some snips and an extra bucket of water to cut the stems of your goodies and place them in water for the drive home if you've got far to go.
6. Bring water and some snacks
If you come early to the market you will get hungry and thirsty real quick! There are places to eat around there so you won't be in a deficit but I'm usually in and out when I'm at the market by myself and so something to eat and drink is great for the trip home.
I hope you found this helpful! If there's anything you think I missed or something you found particularly helpful, I'd love to hear it. Tomorrow (Friday 5th at 11:59pm) is the last day for the sitewide Autumn Sale, so be sure you don't miss out!