The great flower markets of the world are evidence of the ability of man and nature to create beauty, tradition and a positive livelihood for many people. The sight of thousands of fresh cut flowers in one location with different hues and shades colouring the area creates a picturesque and lively setting, not only popular for locals but tourists alike.
The fresh cut flower industry has thrived in recent years. Online florists have enabled customers worldwide to send flowers to South Africa and other international destinations with the flower and gift services they offer. Floriculture is a major industry which creates many jobs and provides the vast majority of flowers sold by florists. Unlike the online floral industry, the great flower markets around the world have been operational for many years through tried and tested methods.
The Bloemenmarkt in Amsterdam and Aalsmeer Flower Auction in Aalsmeer – The Netherlands
The Dutch have splendid displays of flowers all over the country, but the most striking are at the Bloemenmarkt in Amsterdam and the world’s largest flower market, the flower auction at Aalsmeer.
The Bloemenmarkt is a floating market situated along the Singel canal in the South of the city. The market is a major tourist attraction and one of the most famous in Europe. It consists of 15 florists and garden shops as well as souvenirs and gifts. The market is constructed from flowers on houseboats which include tulips, a typically Dutch flower, as well as bulbs and other flowers. Bulbs can be taken home for planting and the market even sells Christmas trees in December.
The flower auction in Aalsmeer in the Netherlands features tulips, gardenias, roses, lilies and gerber daisies. All in all the market features nearly 13,000 different types of flowers! In fact, over 20-million flowers are sold each day from the Aalsmeer flower market. Customers buy flowers in the same tradition in which the market has operated for decades – by bidding in auction. The market is in full operation by 6.30am every morning on weekdays and bidding begins at 7.30am.
The market features a walkway which has been constructed over the market to provide visitors with a bird’s eye view of the bustling crowds buying and selling every type of flower imaginable. Motorised carts carry buckets of flowers across the market creating a beautiful scene which is constantly changing.
The auctions take place in specially designated rooms where potential buyers sit in rows and bid electronically as the carts carrying the flowers move across the room. Customers bid on decreasing amounts, unlike traditional auctions. When a seller sets their price for their product the price will decrease until a bidder makes an offer. The difficult part of the auction is making sure that a bid is not offered too early as the price will be higher, and to be careful that another bidder does not place an offer first as they will then get the flowers. The front of the bidding room features a screen which displays details about the flowers and a clock face which is indicative of the price of the flowers (12 o’clock being the starting price). Once the auction begins, the clock begins to move to indicate the decreasing price.
Columbia Road Flower Market – London
The Columbia Road Flower Market is situated in London, England. Set in a small street within the East End of the city, the market encapsulates English charm and pleasantry mixed with exotic, international products. The Columbia Road Flower Market began in the 18th Century when locals would trade goods from stalls alongside a cattle driving road which eventually grew into the successful and popular market in operation today.
The market features 52 independent shops selling fresh cut flowers. Pubs, Italian delis, antique and vintage shops as well as art galleries are interspersed amongst the many flower sellers. The market is operational every Sunday morning and has become a very popular place to relax and spend time browsing not only local flowers, plants, trees, shrubs and bulbs which have been grown in nurseries all over the country, but also imported blooms and bulbs from international locations. Exotic flowers are featured from all over the world. The market prides itself upon a love of flowers and its history and tradition.
The Bangkok Orchid Market (Pak Klong Talard) – Thailand
The Pak Klong Talard (‘talard’ means ‘market’ in Thai) is a fresh flower, fruit and vegetable market in Bangkok and is the largest fresh flower market in the city. Orchids as well as other flowers such as roses are sold throughout the night when the air is much cooler and more pleasant, allowing visitors the opportunity to view the flowers in comfort under fluorescent lighting. The best time to visit is in the evening or the early morning when trucks and boats on the Chao Phraya River deliver the flowers to the market as along with fruit, vegetables and spices. The busiest time is between two and three oclock in the morning!
The market has a wholesale and consumer area; the wholesale area can be found in close proximity to the river whilst the consumer market is closer to Memorial Bridge and is spread out across a few streets, namely Chak Phet Street and smaller side streets.
Although these incredible flower markets are situated across the globe, fresh flowers can be enjoyed without having to travel internationally. Online florists offer very reliable services which allow customers to order flowers online and choose from a wide selection of exotic and classic flowers arranged into aesthetic bouquets. Reliable international delivery services make online florists the perfect way to bring the vibrancy and jovial atmosphere of the world’s flower markets into any home.