Top Five Friday: The Best Places to Buy Fresh Affordable Flowers

Flowers are a beautiful and natural way to freshen up your home. Although it is a beautiful gesture to give and receive arranged flowers from a professional florist for a special occasion this is simply not practical and within budget for most of us to enjoy on a regular basis. Scroll below for the top five best places to buy fresh affordable flowers.

1. The Original LA Flower Mart

Address: 754 Wall St. (between 7th and 8th) Los Angeles, CA 90014
Phone Number: (213) 627-3696

Hours: The expansive indoor floral marketplace (covers five-acre-area)  is open both to people in the trade and for the general public. The general public hours let you go to the flower market Monday-Saturday. The market is closed on Sunday to everyone.
Mon & Wed: 8am-12pm
Tue & Thurs: 6am-11am
Fri: 8am-2pm
Sat: 6am-2pm

Admission: Public Admission is $2 on Weekdays and $1 on Saturday.

Parking: Park on the secure rooftop parking structure or in one of the several inexpensive lots surrounding the market. A limited amount of metered street parking is also available. “The entrance to this parking structure is located on the west side of San Julian St., between 7th and 8th Streets. Several inexpensive parking lots can also be found on Wall St., Maple St., 8th St. as well as on San Julian & 7th.”

There are about 50 different flower market vendors selling anything from flowers & vases, roses & cut flowers, exotic flowers, rose petals, orchids, balloons, floral supplies, greens and hydrangeas. Take a look at the vendor map to see where each vendor is.

Virtually every in-season, commercially sold variety of cut flower is available here from growers all over the globe. The selection and quality are remarkable. And so are the prices. Click here to see some of the floral selection available.

Top 5 Friday: Best Places to Buy Fresh Affordable Flowers, Los Angeles Flower Mart
Top 5 Friday: Best Places to Buy Fresh Affordable Flowers, Los Angeles Flower Mart
Photo: Green Wedding Shoes
Top 5 Friday: Best Places to Buy Fresh Affordable Flowers, Los Angeles Flower Mart
Photo: Tin-Chu Wong

2. Gelson's Market

Highlights: Visit the floral department located usually in the front of the store. A helpful florist will artistically wrap flowers in cellophane and ribbon for gift giving. Choose from pre-wrapped roses or individual stems.
There are also a number of freshly made floral arrangements available. Special orders are welcome. Good assortment of house plants and potted flowers

Favorite Location: Newport Beach, Orange County
1660 San Miguel Drive Newport Beach, CA
(Various location’s LA, OC, SD)

Top 5 Friday: Best Places to Buy Fresh Affordable Flowers, Gelson's Market

3. Pavilions Market

Highlights: large selection of beautiful prepackaged flowers, orchids and plants. There are vases of varying sizes available as well a freshly made floral arrangements available in the cooler. I like the clearly labeled pricing signs on the flower buckets such as “Every Day! Rose Bunches for $12.99 each (12 dozen) or $24.99 for the premium rose bunch (12 dozen).

Favorite Location: West Hollywood, Los Angeles County
8969 Santa Monica Blvd West Hollywood, CA
(Various location’s LA, OC, SD)

Top 5 Friday: Best Places to Buy Fresh Affordable Flowers, Vons Pavilions Market Logo

4. Bristol Farms Market

Highlights: exquisite long stem double roses from Equador that are grown on a rose farm with near perfect weather conditions producing extra large buds and stems. These roses are stunning in mass. $39.99 for two dozen. There are also pre-arranged flowers kept in the cooler and a good variety of house plants to choose from. House plants available and special orders welcome.

Locations: Various location’s in LA and OC

Top 5 Friday: Best Places to Buy Fresh Affordable Flowers, Bristol Farms Market Logo

5. Whole Foods Market

Highlights: Good assortment of flowers such as peonies in light pink, dark pink and white and roses. Plants also available.
No special orders. Simple no frills arrangements are available in mason jars.

Favorite Location: Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County
239 N Crescent Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
I love the selection of flowers displayed right outside of the market. This location sometimes does have a person working in the floral department who makes the arrangements. Parking is easy in the parking garage attached to the market. This location is not the most spacious and aesthetically pleasing Whole Foods but this location does have one of the best floral departments I have seen for a Whole Foods.
(Various in LA, OC, SD)

Top 5 Friday: Best Places to Buy Fresh Affordable Flowers, Whole Foods Market Logo

Language of Flowers

Urban Outfitters Flower Chart Baby Tee in Pink
Urban Outfitters Flower Chart Baby Tee in Pink
Urban Outfitters Flower Chart Baby Tee in Pink

I love the meaning behind different flowers. The very act of giving a single flower, a bunch or an arranged bouquet can be an extension of kindness, friendship and thoughtfulness. However, flowers also have specific meanings associated with them throughout time. For instance, hydrangeas can symbolize heartfelt emotions like expressing gratitude for being understood. My favorite flowers are sweetpeas that symbolize gratitude. A blue iris can symbolize faith and hope. The lily of the valley is commonly seen in bridal bouquets and symbolizes sweetness and purity of heart. For more flower and plant meanings check out A Victorian Flower Dictionary: The Language of Flowers Companion that has an easy dictionary lookup.

I was delighted to find this Urban Outfitters Pink Flower Chart Baby Tee with flowers and the words true love, forgiveness, hopeful, integrity and gratitude written underneath them.  These are all words that I hope to evoke and inspire in others. UO also has another language of flowers chart tee that runs much bigger to tuck into shorts, skirt or pants.

The straw handbag is from Macy’s and is on sale for $38.16 (originally $79.50) with the code FOURTH. The sale ends on July 7th.

Vases and Flower Arranging Tools

I have learned that you don’t have to be a trained florist to arrange flowers. There is beauty of displaying one flower in a tiny vase or a cluster of small vases of varying heights and widths. I also enjoy the impact of the same flower in mass such as roses in one color for drama and impact. Most of my favorite vases have been purchased from eBay and some of my small vases have been gifted to me from Anthropologie. Inexpensive glass vases can also be purchased from Daiso Japan and Hobby Lobby. Save interesting water and beverage bottles, olive oil containers and mason jars for flower arranging.

I recently went to a neighborhood estate liquidation sale in Pasadena and found a Waterford Crystal compote that was in brand new condition for $6.00 that usually retails for $150.00 plus. I am planning to float one flower in it and put it in my bathroom. The fun of finding this treasure was that it was on the same street a few houses down from the house that was used for the old iconic classic film Father of the Bride with Steve Martin.

I have also discovered easy flower arranging tools that make flower arranging easy such as the grids that fit over vases. A grid of clear cellophane tape spanning the width of the vase helps support top-heavy flowers to stay in place. If you don’t want to make the grid yourself there are pre-made versions! Click on the photos below for DIY flower arranging books that offer some inspiration.

Easy Arranger Flower Vase Arrangements Made Easy, Bendable Reusable 6 inch diameter
Easy Arranger Flower Vase Wire Grid
Simple Flower Arranging: Step-by-Step Design and Techniques
Simple Flower Arranging: Step-by-Step Design and Techniques
The Flower Chef: A Modern Guide to Do-It-Yourself Floral Arrangements
The Flower Chef: A Modern Guide to Do-It-Yourself Floral Arrangements
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart, Flower Arranging Tape
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart, Flower Arranging Tape

Other Flower Arranging Tips:

  • Cut flower stems at a 45-degree angle one inch from the bottom for increased water intake after stripping the stems from extra leaves
  • After you arranged your flowers consider using a small clear elastic hair band for smaller bunches or a regular rubberband for larger arrangements to keep the flowers in place
  • Use an ice cube to water orchids
Have fun finding fresh affordable flowers and arranging them!

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