Fresh flowers are definitely one of my essential luxuries. If you, like me, baulk at the price of commercial florists and are worried about being put on the neighbourhood watch list for stealing flowers (again) from your local park, why not pop down to the Prince Edward flower market? Here are my top tips for navigating the flower market, which will help you bring home as many flowers as your can carry while saving the rest of your cash for those other essential luxuries…
1. Befriend your Florist
Befriend your florist wholesaler and find out when new stock comes in so that you can enjoy your flowers at their freshest for longer (and of course get first pick!). For example, at Brighten florist, flowers from Holland arrive on Wednesday and Japanese stock arrives weekly on Fridays. Two stores down, the shop overseen by a gorgeous mini dachshund gets their fresh stock in every Thursday.
2. Buy Seasonal
Look around first and keep an eye out for what is in season for the best bargains. Can’t tell a weed from a flower? Don’t worry! You’ll know what is in season because you will see it at every market stall. This week it’s peonies (which cost only $25) and camillas (at only $20 a bunch)!
3. Go Green
Don’t want to splash out on fresh flowers every week? Go green instead! A bouquet of tropical leaves and barks will revive your apartment and usually last three weeks – a lot longer than blooms. You can try mixing with a small amount of flowers which you can gradually swap out over time, or artfully display on them on their own. Try eucalyptus in your bedroom for a soothing and restful scent, or lucky bamboo in your bathroom.
4. Shop Local
While it’s easy to fall head over heels for the delicate, imported flowers, unless you keep your apartment air conditioning on full blast 24/7, or keep your flowers in the fridge at night, these flowers usually tend not to last long in Hong Kong’s humid climate. For longer lasting colour, choose tropical blooms such as orchids, lilies, birds of paradise, or anthuriums. Not only do they last a lot longer, but they are also much cheaper, meaning you can buy twice as many or put that leftover cash towards those new shoes you have been eyeing…
Combine tropical favourites with foliage – I made two bouquets of orchids, leaves and barks at the cost of $70 for everything!
My picks for the flower market:
Brighten have largest choice of imported flowers, their stock changes week to week and they always have a huge selection. They also have a wholesale store down the far end of the road where you can find great bargains. Think 18 roses for $90 – at those prices who needs a valentine?!
Need a vase? Walk down Flower Market Road to Yuen Po Street. Here you will find small vase shops with a wide selection at wholesale prices. Take a break and reward yourself at with a coffee at Hayfever, the florist coffee shop nestled amongst the bustling market stalls. It really feels like a little garden oasis away from the city… I’ll see you there!
How to get to the Flower Market: The easiest way to get to the Flower Market is to hop on the good old MTR. Take the red line to Prince Edward station and head out of Exit B1 – walk along Prince Edward Road West until you reach it! And if all else fails there’s Google Maps.