Ok so, I’m a complete novice when it comes to being a florist. I love flowers and have learnt how to create a posy of beautiful blooms for our gift boxes, but getting to that point means I’ve had to venture to the Sydney Flower Markets. The first thing I learnt is that The Sydney Flower Markets is a haven for flower lovers – period.
Boasts as Australia’s largest flower market for fresh cut flowers that supplies florists in the Sydney area also expanding to regional NSW and ACT. (Yes, people drive from ACT just to get these flowers, they must be good!)
You’ve probably heard that you need to get there early, and yes it’s true. I still don’t quite get there before 6am, like the serious florist does, 6am seems to work best for me as I need about an hour to get what I need. If you get there after 7am you’ll have a limited selection as most of the florists would have cleared out the best flowers before then.
Don’t worry there’s a coffee shop on hand, getting there early means you can enjoy a coffee whilst taking in all the hustle and bustle of the markets – it gets a little overwhelming. The first time I ventured to the flower markets I was lucky to be accompanied by my friend from Ebb & Flow Flower Co. a seasoned market goer (and of course I was late) having a friend by my side took the edge off the fast pace.
The market is open every day, except Sundays. Saturdays are usually kept for the “tourists” (there’s no entry fee on Saturdays), but some growers don’t bother to turn up if they’ve sold-out of their stock on Friday.
In our gift boxes I like to include at least 5 different types of flowers and foliage and I like to mix up the style by including foliage that gives depth and texture. This means that I need to browse for unusual and interesting florals. My favourite seller so far is East Coast Wildflowers they stock an interesting variety of natives and paper daisies (just love).
In the Sydney region, the climate enables a wide range of flower crops to be grown. Most growers produce more than one type of flower crop. Species grown for their flowers and foliage include a very wide range of traditional flowers like roses, carnations, chrysanthemums and other crops like gerberas, lilies, asters, statice, freesias, poppies, baby’s breath and alstromeria.
Australian native species like waratah, kangaroo paw and NSW Christmas bush as well as assorted proteas (native to South Africa) are also grown. Growers tend to specialise in either traditional crops or natives/proteas.
If you’re looking for a particular type of flower, it’s important to check if they’re in season. The Sydney Markets have kindly included a Seasonal Availability checklist on their website. When you arrive you’ll see the most popular flowers that are in season, like right now, Ranunculus are everywhere, almost every grower is selling them – they are gorg.
I would recommend doing a walk through when you first arrive. It’s easy to get excited and just start buying but it’s good to get a scope of the whole market before you pull out your wallet. The price can vary from seller to seller for the same bunch of flowers, it really depends on the day. I’d also recommend taking cash, it’s a lot easier than card on the day and some sellers won’t accept card for small purchases like one off bunches.
Umm, what else is good to tell you. Oh yeah, I’d recommend taking a basket and/or buckets with you to carry your haul. It’s good for transporting home in the back of the car. I usually take a basket for the walk around (one or two doing a couple of trips back to the car) and a couple of buckets for the ride home keeping them fresh. Our gift box studio is located in Bulli, which is about an hour away so it’s really worthwhile to keep them fresh.
One last thing, parking is a nightmare. A few times I’ve driven round and round the car park for over 20 minutes. I’m sure there’s a better spot to park than the car park next to the flower market, but I tend to repeat the same. Der.
So let’s recap:
- Australia’s largest flower market found on Parramatta Road, Flemington.
- Get there early, 6am is best.
- Yes coffee is available (phew).
- Open everyday, except Sunday.
- Check what’s in season.
- Do a walk around.
- Take cash.
- Take a basket, and buckets if you’ve got far to drive.
- Parking is a nightmare.