I get a ton of emails from aspiring florists and DIY brides asking where I get my flowers. I have a great local wholesaler who can get me almost anything I desire at fabulous prices, plus I’ve been working with him so long that we’re buddies now. He knows what I like, and understands that I’m a bit anal, especially when it comes to the quality of flowers for my brides.
But when I really need something exotic or want to see everything laid out before me, I head straight to the LA Flower District, a flower lover’s paradise and the biggest flower district in the US . The LA Flower District is one of the many reasons I’m so grateful to be a Socal girl.
I thought it might be fun to share my typical flower mart experience. It’s not terribly exciting, but it’s an important part of my job!
-I like to go super early on Wednesday mornings, while it’s still dark, before there is any traffic. I love that I can park in the metered spots for free. I like to be in and out while the crowds are still really thin, before the nearby fashion district action gets started. I get to snatch up the freshest flowers and have time to chit chat with the vendors before they get swamped with customers. I’m not a morning person, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
-This morning, I kiss my hubby and dogs goodbye at 3:05 am. I’ve got my thermos of English Breakfast Tea in one hand, and my flower checklist in the other hand. I’m proudly wearing my membership badge, knee high uggs, cargo pants, and thick scarf. For California, it is so cold lately!
-Today, I have 3 projects in mind. No weddings this week, but Valentines Day is coming up and I’ll be making some sweet arrangements for family and friends. I also need pink-toned flowers and succulents for my Thailand-inspired arrangement which I’ll be making this afternoon. Lastly, I need lots of teeny tiny mini-baby flowers for a super secret “miniature” project I’m collaborating on with a fabulous calligrapher. You’ll see what I mean soon.
-I get there and do a once over of the entire market, asking for prices and making mental notes of who seems to have the freshest pink dahlias, yellow ranunculus, fuchsia freesia, etc etc etc. I have my favorite vendors, but I’ve been known to make several rounds before buying anything. I’m like a shark doing donuts around its prey before the big kill.
-The flower mart can be kind of intimidating (it was to me at first!) but the people working there are actually so sweet, helping me carry things and offering me freshly brewed coffee. Today I noticed how cute it looks when they wrap up my flower bunches with crisp newspaper and string. Simple pleasures! This inspired yet another project which you’ll see shortly! The wheels are always turning.
-Then I go on a buying spree, filling my cart to the brim with gorgeous florals. This can take hours, but I finished today in an hour and a half. I then carefully load everything into my cargo van. I never in my wildest dreams pictured myself driving a big ol’ cargo van by the way.
-As a reward for my hard work, I end my trip by ordering breakfast at Flower Market Operetta. They serve up delicious egg white and veggie omelettes and homefries. The owner tells me I look like her daughter. “You have the same face, big eyes, and the same big booty!” She really said that to me. I’ll take that as a compliment 🙂
-I return home at 6:30 am, just as the sun is rising and turning the sky crazy colors.
-Hubby and puppies are still softly snoring in bed. Their day is just beginning, and I’ve already accomplished so much! It’s a wonderful feeling. Then I remember I’m so not a morning person, kick off my uggs, and hop into bed for a quick nap before tackling the rest of my day.