Ohhhh flower markets. Like a candy store for a flower lover.
What is it about a market that we love so much? The word alone conjures up romantic notions: breadsticks, baskets and bunches of blooms. Markets offer something real that other forms of shopping can’t – the abundance of freshness and colour, connectedness to the seasons, the growers. It’s my preferred way to shop.
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 but sadly they are a dying breed as mainstream society opts for convenient shopping.
An article I wrote for Traveller almost ten years ago reports on the closure of several fresh produce markets in Vietnam, in favour of refridgeration and convenience. Back then markets were closing faster than travel guides could be updated and in my market quest, I found construction sites where culture used to be. Hate to think how many have gone now.
On the other hand, farmers markets are growing in popularity everywhere. 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.
Some of the world’s best flower markets to put on your list
Back to flower markets- what a feast for the eyes. The list below includes the one in Florence where growers set up under the arches of the Piazza della Repubblica building, the century old Chelsea Flower Market in New York, or the Columbia Road Flower Market in London. All of these are open to the public and well worth a visit when you’re visiting these cities. Of course there’s loads of smaller ones and the flower stall at your local farmers market or your local florist is a beautiful way to see flowers en masse, like this market stall at the Laval market in France each Saturday.
Every Thursday morning under the arches of the Piazza della Repubblica, Florence, Tuscany.
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
Campo di Fiori, Rome, Italy
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.