FLOWER SERIES: GUIDE TO SYDNEY FLOWER MARKETS

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Anyone who knows me or follows me on Instagram or Snapchat knows I love flowers.  I usually buy a bunch or two every weekend so that I have fresh flowers in the apartment for the week ahead.  Up until a few years ago, I would buy flowers from local markets or my greengrocer, but spending around $30 a week on a less-than-fresh bunch that would die within a few days got old fast.
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Instead, I decided to start going to the Sydney Flower Markets at Flemington.  Growers and traders from all over the state attend the markets each day, supplying florists and the general public with fresh cut flowers at a fraction of the cost.  There is also so much more variety in the type of flowers than you’ll find at a florist.  They also sell potted plants, greenery, and accessories such as paper, ribbon, scissors and strippers.
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I go to the flower markets about every second Saturday to pick up flowers for any projects I’m working on, or just to pick up a bunch to put in a vase at home.  I also take heaps of photos of flowers to stock up on Instagram posts, haha!
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I get a lot of questions about my tips for attending the flower markets, so hopefully this post is of assistance!

  • The Flemington Markets (of which the flower market is part) is located in Homebush, 15 minutes west of the Sydney CBD. There is plenty of parking, which is free on Saturdays (parking is $10 Mondays to Fridays if arriving before 9:30am).
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  • The markets are on every day except Sunday, from 5.00am to 11.00am. The best days to attend for the freshest flowers are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The day that the flowers will be the least fresh is Saturdays, as florists stock up on Thursdays and Fridays, and whatever is left is stocked on Saturdays. However, I always attend on Saturdays as I work Monday-Friday, and I am always satisfied with the quality and freshness of the flowers I buy. If you want to buy a large quantity of flowers, for something like a wedding or a party, attending early on a Thursday or Friday is best. However, if you just want a couple of bunches for some photos or to put on display at home, the flowers stocked on Saturdays are perfectly fine.
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  • Having said that, it’s not necessarily the case that you need to be at the flower markets at the crack of dawn to be able to buy anything good. Of course, earlier is better for the best selection and variety, but I routinely attend after 8.00am or 9.00am (out of sheer laziness) and have always been able to pick up some great bunches. The best thing about attending later is the vendors will mark down their prices towards the end of the morning as they try and get rid of their excess stock before heading home. A few weeks ago, I picked up 3 bunches of imported peonies for $10, and they lasted me a week and a half!
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  • Bring a box or a basket with you if you are buying multiple bunches – it gets a bit tricky to juggle several bunches of flowers, your cash and your phone (to take photos of flowers, of course!). If you forget, there are plenty of boxes laying around that you can use.
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  • Bring a small bucket of water in the car with you, so that you can keep the flowers fresh while you drive home. If you live close to the markets like me, this probably isn’t necessary. I live about 15 minutes’ drive from the markets, so I don’t bother with this.
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  • Walk through the market before you buy anything to get a feel for the place and what’s available. Some vendors have the same varieties available as other vendors for cheaper prices.
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  • If you’re after a particular type of flower, do your research beforehand to make sure they’re in season to avoid any disappointment. For example, peonies are only available for a small window in mid/late October to November, and you won’t be able to get them at other times during the year. However, I noticed last year that peonies were popping up in May and June, as they are imported from overseas.
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  • Don’t hesitate to chat to the vendors if you have any questions or want to know what a flower is called. In my experience, they are all super friendly and happy to help.
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  • The flowers you buy at the markets are untreated, so you will need to prepare them when you get home. This includes trimming and stripping the stems of excess leaves and thorns. I am planning a follow-up post on how to create a flower arrangement, so stay tuned for the next post in my flower series!
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  • Laura – Elsee Blog

    Great post Rachel! Love going to the flower markets!