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A Visit to the Los Angeles Flower Market (January 13, 2010)

Strelitzia n otherOne of the high lights of my visits to Los Angeles is the L. A. Flower Market. It is large, full of flowers, and open to the public as well as the trade. I never expect to save money by going there but I go because of the huge variety of flowers. I get carried away, of course, and end up buying more flowers than I need because I just can’t resist so many beautiful flowers in so many gorgeous colors.

The official Flower Market consists of two huge warehouses filled with vendors of all sorts of floral products. But all around the warehouses are small shops selling more floral products from plants and flowers, to ribbon, foam, vases, and more. The Flower Market charges $2.00 admissions and is open until noon. Vendors may start packing up earlier if business is slow so an early arrival is a good thing. The small shops around the Market are free admissions and set their own times.

Store front

Buckets of gerbers give you a huge selection of color and sizes.

Gerbers n Lilies

Stargazer lilies dominated but other colors and kinds were available.
Lilies Stargazers

The stock selection was spectacular.
stock mass

These white lizianthus were just one of many colors available.
lysianthus white

The tulips were disappointing; these were a nice size but I saw bigger and better ones at the local grocery stores the same day.
Tulips

I had to resist these peonies because pink was not in the color scheme.
Peonies n other

I am fond of green flowers especially ones like this amaranthus.
Amaranthus green

Bells of Ireland are another of my favorites and were in good supply.
Bells of Ireland

Calla lilies were abundant; both the tall ones…
Calla lilies

and the small ones.
calla mini

The Birds of Paradise looked great but they are blooming in my back yard so I wasn’t tempted.
Strelitzia

The acacia is also blooming here and was available at the Market.
Acacia detail

There were cymbidium orchids in all colors;
Cymbidiums

And potted phalonopsis.
Phal Orchids

Some vendors specialized in tropicals.
tropicals

Can’t decide on flowers?  No problem, buy one of their ready made bouquets.
bouquets

One vendor had a fabulous selection of greens.
Greens store c men

The seeded eucalyptus was especially attractive and I bought a big bunch.
seeded eucalyptus

Another customer was really into the other kind of eucaluptus and had her cart piled high with it.
Customers cart c Euc

Ming fern is always on my buy list.
Ming fern

Several vendors had all sorts of stems and branches including corkscrew willow,
curly willow

Yellow and red twig dogwood,
Cornus stems

Equisetum (with tropicals in the background),
Equisetum n tropicals

moss and lichens,
Moss n lichens on branches

And my all time favorite, pussy willow.
pussy willow

A few vendors had house plants;
house plants

Others had bedding plants.
Bedding plants

Still another had hanging maidenhair ferns,
maiden hair fern

and birdcages decorated with ivy.
bird cages of ivy

Silks and dried flowers were not so abundant but this display of trees covered with fake moss caught my eye (but not my pocket book).
moss trees

Looking and buying at the Market is easy. You select bunches and they are wrapped in newspaper for you, and you are off to the next vendor.
Vendor pussy willow

But go early because by 10:30 the men were loading up the carts and putting the flowers away in the refrigerators.
cart c worker

I like to go as early as they will let me in (8 AM Monday, Wednesday, Friday; 6 AM Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday), browse the entire place, and then go back and buy what I want. You can park fairly close to the Market for $5/day and if you have a helper he can truck the bunches to the car while you keep buying. The prices in the Market may be a little better than in the small shops around but you have to pay the entrance fee to the Market ($2 most days, $1 on Saturday). If you have a California resale certificate you can join the market for $30 and go in much earlier, have free parking, and free admissions. If you just like flowers it is a fun experience.

carnations n other