How flowers end up at your florist? Part 1

Flowers don’t just magically appear at your local florist. Nor does your florist steal flowers from local gardens (well some might, but that’s not how all the flowers get there).

So where do they come from?

Well, there’s more than two answers for this so I’m going to describe the process in reverse.

Flowers arrive at the shop

These flowers could arrive via several different methods. Some suppliers will deliver boxes and buckets of flowers to the door of your local florist. Usually arrived between 4-7am depending on the supplier and how busy they are. However, this doesn’t come without risks.


  • This is great for florists as it means they don’t have to wake up at 3am multiple times a week to get stock.
  • Flowers that don’t meet the florists standards may be sent back to suppliers.


  • At the suppliers mercy if they get the order wrong or don’t deliver at opening time.
  • Rely on the suppliers quality checks
  • If waiting for replacement flowers, you could be waiting until the afternoon to get them.

Alternatively, your local florist will get up before the sunshine and go to the market to pick flowers themselves. Most market sellers will prefer you to pay in cash unless you are a regular. Again this comes with pro’s and con’s.


  • Florist can see in person before they buy the flowers
  • Flowers can be cheaper in markets with multiple sellers because of competitive pricing.
  • If the florist knows the sellers very well, they can pre-order flowers to get what they want and pay by credit!


  • A potential 14 hour day for the unlucky florist
  • If the market doesn’t have what you want, you may have to go without (have fun, telling that to a customer)!
  • If the florist is a new face in the market or the seller isn’t very fond of them, the prices are often inflated. It does happen, I have seen it in front of my eyes.

There is another common way florists get their flowers. That is through the ‘Flying Dutchman’. This is someone who bulk buys from the Dutch Flower auction, fills up their van and drives to individual florists selling his stock. Very often the ‘Flying Dutchman’ will find the florist, rather than the florist finding them. It’s the Dutchman’s duty to sell his/her flowers so they will find new florist businesses even if they only opened their doors last week. These vans aren’t usually the main supplier for florists but more of a backup in case they couldn’t get something they wanted in the market. These days, they tend to be hard pushed out of business by many suppliers delivering Β to florists.


  • Often have different and exciting varieties of plants and flowers.
  • Often competitively priced.


  • At their mercy of stock if you happen to be one of the last on their route.


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