So where do florists buy their flowers? The answer is a bit complicated as there is a range of options a florist can have: Grow the flowers themselves, buy them directly from growers, get them via one of the large auctions or from wholesalers. This may seem obvious, but when you consider that the flower trade is an ancient business and that flowers are better traveled nowadays then people who buy them, it starts to look like this topic needs a bit of explanation.
Growing your own flowers may look like a crazy idea, but it works for several UK based florists. For example, the garden gate flower company is famous for growing their own flowers. Though this business model has its own drawbacks like the inability to source flowers out of season and long quiet times. This company overcomes those issues using their entrepreneurial spirit: bridal consultations, blogging, tutoring and by being ready to take an opportunity when such arises. If you want to learn more about them check out their blog.
The main bonus of buying flowers from the local farm is that they would not be dipped in pesticides and that they would have an amazing smell, something that industrial breeds tend to lack.
Sourcing flowers directly from the flower farms allows florists to secure large quantities of flowers at a prearranged price. This is good for special days, like Valentines and Mothers day, when flowers are in demand and price at the auction can be extremely high in case of poor weather conditions. Roses and Blooms is New York’s local, family owned and operated florist, that sources its flowers directly from the farms. This allows them to pick unique and extraordinary blooms for their shop. Their mantra is no middle man, no problem.
A flower auction is a place where beauty meets business. For example, The Aalsmeer Flower Auction is commonly called by its visitors as the biggest commercial building and it is no surprise with its busy traffic and auction halls which supply around 21 million flowers a day to the flower hungry markets all over the world. This auction concentrates around 50 % of the total Dutch flower and plant traffic and the rest is controlled by another five Holland’s auctioneers. I can’t describe this industry better than this video made by FloraHolland, see bellow.
Last but not the least the wholesales. If you are based in London there are several options you can chose from. You can go for an online wholesaler which can provide a great range of flowers at your fingertips, day or night. But it is not the same experience as picking flowers yourself.
In London the best place to get flowers in great amounts is the New Covent Garden Flower Market. Which is simply the biggest and best wholesale flower market in the UK. Though beware the fact that is place caters to the need of florists and operates at night time, so if you plan a visit be ready to wake up early. If you want to know more about New Covent Garden Flower Market check out my post about it or enjoy the video below.
Images via www.thegardengateflowercompany.co.uk and Planet money.