Ohhhh flower markets. Like a candy store for a flower lover.
What is it about a market that we love so much? Even just the word ‘market’ conjures up romantic notions of breadsticks, baskets and bunches of blooms.
They offer something real that other forms of shopping can’t – the abundance of freshness and colour, connectedness to the seasons, the growers.
Perhaps also its a link to simpler times when the market was the heart and soul of community life.
Markets rate high on any traveller’s list. They’re a hot item for organised tours and there’s loads of books and articles on the topic.
Sadly in some developing countries the old market way of life is being taken over by shopping centre development.
An article I wrote for Traveller almost ten years ago reports on the closure of several fresh produce markets in Vietnam, in favour of convenience. Back then markets were closing faster than travel guides could be updated and I was sent to many a construction site while looking for culture. If that was ten years ago, I hate to think of what has become of those community hubs now.
On the other hand, farmers markets are hugely popular in many parts of the world. In Australia there’s upwards of 200 registered, according to the Australian Farmers Market Association AFMA.
“Most farmers’ markets are well established and sustainable,” says Jane Adam, National Spokesperson for AFMA. “And more are being added to the list all the time.”
“Farmers Markets are powerful community connectors. They empower communities and bring people together.” Jane said.
Flower markets are such a feast for the eyes and must be good for the soul – whether you’re buying or not.
The list below includes the one in Florence where growers set up under the arches of the Piazza della Repubblica building, what a sight!
And then there’s the century old Chelsea Flower Market in New York on 28th street, or the Columbia Road Flower Market in London. All of these are open to the public.
Some of the world’s best flower markets to put on your list
It’s not comprehensive, but it’s a start and please add others in the comments below – especially the beautiful, small and slow ones that don’t make the big lists!
Every Thursday morning under the arches of the Piazza della Repubblica
Historical market down a pretty London street. Every Sunday 8am – 2pm
The Youth Farm, New York City
Urban farm growing 80 varieties of flowers. Open every Wednesday from 2:30 – 6:30pm, June 20th – October 31st, right on the farm at 600 Kingston Avenue.
Chelsea Flower Market – New York City
A green oasis in a concrete jungle. Blooms are packed in cartons and lined along 28th street near 7th avenue.
Every day except Monday. Has been selling flowers to the public for more than 100 years.
Not far from Notre Dame Cathedral, this historic market has been running since 1808 each day of the week.
Since 1862. Floating flower market on the canal
In the historic centre of Rome. The name – Fiori means Flowers in English – and originates from the daisies, poppies and other wildflowers that once graced the square. There’s a couple of decent sized flower stalls there still today. Open Monday to Saturday from 7am.
A co-operative of flower growers and all year round we bring the best flowers in the Pacific Northwest to our member-owned market.
A trade and public market for Florists and other creatively inspired individuals and businesses. They are ‘extremely passionate and committed to supporting local Australian Growers.
The largest wholesale flower market in Sydney and also open to the public.
There’s many major ones listed here at National Geographic so head there too.
A flower market for Melbourne!
While Melbourne has beautiful flower shops, and the fresh produce markets at South Melbourne / Prahran have great options for flower lovers, unfortunately the Melbourne wholesale flower market is not accessible to the public, except if you do a tour for $30 – and travel out 45 minutes outside the city.
I mean don’t you think the world’s most liveable city (er herm, well it was for 7 years straight.. #cityflowermarket #justsaying)…. should have a beautiful street flower market!?
Melbourne City Council has big plans and policies for wellbeing, connectedness, liveability and greening the city. I think a weekly fresh flower market would go along way towards ticking some of these boxes…..
Love to know your thoughts on this! Please leave a comment… x