I often visit Chelsea’s Flower District early morning to pick up flowers for my apartment or the office. I love the way the cityscape gives way to sidewalk edged by lush green plants and buckets of fresh blooms—I’ve even spotted giant cacti and palm trees. Unlike other flower markets, which require a buyer’s card or wholesale credentials, New York’s flower market is open to the general public, although most of the city’s professional florists have come and gone by the time casual shoppers start showing up at 8am. Here is my list of flower markets to visit:
Chelsea's Flower District, New York City
Start at Superior Florist, a family-run store that’s been in business for 84 years. Holiday Flowers and Plants specializes in orchids, and for artificial flowers, I love Lasting Art on 28th Street.
Los Angeles Flower Market
On the West Coast, the Los Angeles Flower Market on Wall Street houses 50 independent vendors in one solar-powered, 50,000-square-foot emporium. It’s a little overwhelming at first, but is an incredible place to buy flowers. It’s open to the public from 8am; for the pros, trade-only hours start at two in the morning. Stop at Mayesh for fruiting pomegranate branches, pink oregano, and ranunculus, among dozens of other blooms you’ve likely never heard of.
Flower Mart, San Francisco
In San Francisco, the grower-owned Flower Mart opens to the public at 10am and has everything from California hydrangeas to silk stand-ins. Visit while you can: recently, the wholesale building was at the center of a real estate deal that may turn the 60-plus-year-old market into office space.
Seattle Wholesale Growers Market
The Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative in the landmark Rainier Brewery building in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, has been garnering accolades since it opened in 2011. Featuring cut flowers, potted plants, greens, and ornamentals from 16 Washington, Oregon, and Alaska farms, the Growers Market favors local over exotic. Visit its Flickr page to see what’s in season.
Décor Tip: AERIN’s new vase collection includes a range of white and blue textured vases, from bud size to large that perfectly showcase the season’s flowers. Examples of the range include the White Textured Medium Vase, Blue Textured Globe Vase, Straw Large Tulip Vase, Gold Banded Large Ceramic Vase, and the Blue Spotted Large Urn.