If you have a love for flowers then you should experience a visit to the flower market at least once in your life. What a way to kick start your day! As principal florist at Blond Flores my morning starts with a 2:30am wake-up call followed by driving through the dead of night to the market 3 to 4 days a week, as if you are the only soul on the road. I line up in the sleepy conga line of trucks and vans waiting for entry (which secures my pole position!) while I enjoy early morning coffee with suppliers I now call my friends. The chaos and the commotion commences once the conga line starts moving and the doors creak open to merchants spruiking their wares and the race to get in and hand-pick the most perfect bunches is on!
A lot has changed at the markets in the last ten years and what I truly admire are suppliers that still operate by the old school values of specialising in particular varieties. Craig is one of my favourite suppliers who specialises in Australian natives which never cease to amaze and surprise me. As I was born and raised in Sweden, Australian natives are somewhat exotic to me, causing excitement and awe in the never-ending array of colours, textures, shapes and styles.
Serena and Gaetano, another team of specialty growers also have that amazing ability to get that certain something out of their product. One variety in particular they grow which I personally love, are hydrangeas and they have to be seen to be believed! It has taken Serena and Gaetano at least 5 years to get their experimenting right but their patience and continuous hard work has definitely paid off. Their hydrangeas are simply perfect, full blooms bursting with life available in every varying shade of blue, pink, white, purple and green. They are enough to make any bride melt.
Being a florist is not only about the creation of beautiful arrangements, it’s also about being business savvy. Knowing your clients, knowing your suppliers, thinking on your feet and making educated changes when quoted varieties are not performing at their best. In addition to this you need to be an accountant (which believe me is not always easy at 5am!) and a floral scientist to have the knowledge on how to look after your bounty once you are back in the studio. Most mornings you are all these roles plus the sales manager, marketing manager and business development manager all rolled into one before most people are out of bed! It’s far from glamorous, though it’s all worth it when you leave with a van full of gorgeous blooms you can now transform into gorgeous arrangements.
Images by Blond Flores
Ms Gingham says: I thought bakers had it tough! I had no idea that florists like Helene are up so often at 2:30 am. I have a whole new appreciation for how exacting a task it is to source gorgeous fresh blooms.
About Blond Flores: At Blond Flores we buy and design exclusively for the wedding and event markets and are passionate about hand-picking the best the market has to offer.