A visit to the flower district in NYC

December 05, 2014

This morning I got up early and made a trip to the New York flower district, mainly on 28th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues in Manhattan. I went to buy greenery to decorate for our Pop-Up Holiday Boutique this Sunday at Halyards. This was my second time shopping there, and I think it was easier to navigate since I had a better idea of what to expect. That block is one of the best places in the world, and I was in heaven. Here are some photos to give you an idea of what its like. I took these photos with my not-great phone camera, but hopefully they'll still inspire you to visit yourself one day. 

I've heard its best to go early in the morning when everything is fresh and the good stuff hasn't all been scooped up, so that's when I went. I love being on the city streets before most people are up and about. The flower guys get started super early, and there's a convivial atmosphere as they unload trucks and pile the branches, leaves and blooms up on the sidewalk. Everyone I've talked to there has been very welcoming and kind. I think you earn a measure of respect with the regulars when you get yourself out of bed early. Not as early as them, but still. 

What's on offer changes with the season obviously, but there's an astonishing variety and abundance. These are some baby pine cones of different kinds on branches above, and all kinds of other things I don't know the names of below. 

I thought poinsettias only came in red and white, but here are some in variegated red and pink. 

I was mostly looking for greenery to make garlands and wreaths, and there were a million choices. I always wondered where the incredible flowers come from in New York window displays, hotels, the big ones in the main hall of the Met. I think lots of professional florists shop in these stores on 28th street. I could tell there was a lot of negotiating going on and there were a lot of regulars picking up orders with vans waiting out front. I loved thinking about all the opulent spaces these flowers would end up decorating. I found myself wondering if there was something sinister about all the money and effort being spent on these things that are purely aesthetic, especially when there were people in need within plain site of all the storefronts. But I think it would be hard to find a human that didn't want flowers in their life if they could have them.

Winter berries in all colors!

I rounded out my visit with a browse in Jamali Garden--the best place to buy vases, twine, floral arranging supplies and all manner of man-made botanical decorative item. They have a great online store too!

Thanks for reading! I hope you get a chance to visit the NYC flower district if you haven't already. Come by on Sunday and you can see what I bought in person!