How to Shop Flower Markets

I love flower stands and searching for just the right mix of florals and branches to make the perfect bouquet for my home. If possi...

I love flower stands and searching for just the right mix of florals and branches to make the perfect bouquet for my home. If possible, I prefer these "boutique" style florists over grocery store bouquets any day. Often the selection is better, fresher, and the local florists are there to help you with all their skilled knowledge. Besides, I will always vote for the chance to pull together my own bouquet over pre-made arrangements. 

5 Tips for Buying Flowers: 

1) Don't feel too intimidated to ask questions! The florists LOVE what they do and have a wealth of knowledge that will help. They can reveal everything from what kind of florals shed the quickest to what ones can last several weeks if well cared for. 

2) Check to see if the bottom of the stems are wet and don't look dried out. Sometimes, if different flowers are grouped together in a container, they can suck up the water faster than others and leave some dried out and wilting. They will expire faster if this is the case so you'll want to avoid them. 

3) Get a variety of textures, sizes, and elements. Just like any good piece of art you'll want depth in your bouquet. 
50% Fillers: Greenery 
20% Disks: Something that adds texture and is great for filling in holes (such as berries or large round headed flowers like hydrangeas)
10% Branches/Vertical Elements: Something that adds drama and height 
10% Airy Pieces: Whimsical and light. These elements create movement and softness to your arrangement (Examples: Lavender or these pictured soft, textured flowers I chose for mine to combine as the focal and the airy). 
10% Focal: The stars of the show. Flowers that the bouquet is designed to compliment and show off. Sometimes these are colorful, large, and bold (like roses, sunflowers, or peonies) or sometimes they're minimal and muted (like daisies, lilies, or anemones). 

4) Pick a color palette. There is harmony and drama in a color palette. You can go subtle and monochrome (as I did here with neutral greens and whites) or bold with all reds and burgundies, or pick three colors to create harmonic balance (such as red, yellow, and orange, or blue, purple, and pink). 

5) Get what is in season. These will likely be the freshest, last the longest, and be the cheapest. Plus, you can use it as part of your seasonal decor! 

This flower stand is one of my new local favorites. Michelle's Creations is located in downtown San Jose's SoFa district. Check out her creations or let her help you select your own every Saturday in front of the SoFa Market. (Bonus: She takes both cards and cash!)

Michelle's Creations
SoFa Market
387 S 1st Street
San Jose, CA 95113

Do you like to have flowers in your home regularly or are they just for special occasions?
What is your favorite kind of arrangement? (I love a variety of flowers but I really have been obsessed with greenery such as eucalyptus or peppercorn lately.) 
Do you feel inspired by making your own arrangements? Or do you prefer ones that are already grouped together? 
Where do you usually buy your flowers? (If I don't get mine at boutique stands or farmers markets I usually grab a couple from Trader Joes or Whole Foods and combine them to make my own arrangement).  

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