There are some definite perks with working in the industry. One of them is a pass to the Portland Flower Market – a wholesale market that caters to everything florist-related one could possibly imagine. For a while, I’ve been thinking of visiting, and this morning – after dropping the kids off at tennis – I finally did.
Hidden near the Portland harbor, in a huge industrial building dwell enough product to keep a girl happy for many hours – even on a Saturday. According to the receptionist, Wednesday mornings is when it’s truly hopping.
There are a couple of larger distributors – Frank Adams and Shibata, as well as several smaller ones. Area 3 – Oregon Flower Grower’s Association – is probably the most interesting (to me, anyway) as it holds the spaces of several smaller specialty growers – from cacti and succulents to orchids and tropicals.
In the entry hall, you are met by the fiery colors of tropical flowers. What a treat on such a rainy day!
Anything you might need to make a killer arrangement is there.
Not sure what these are, but I liked their curving tips.
Dogwood buds – I love their little onion dome shapes!
Not the best photo, but the way these branches were arranged – from dark to light – spoke to me.
Right after my visit to the Flower Market, I went to see a new client. They said “Make it look like India”. I’m so excited about this project – I’m going to have a lot of fun with this one!
Loved the green orchids against the turquoise background.
I started my exploration at Shibata, and then made my way to Frank Adams. Perhaps the differences are minute, but I found more inspiring merchandise at Shibata than I did at Frank Adams. Some cross-over for sure, but on the whole I felt they catered to different crowds. Maybe I’m wrong, and future visits will straighten my impressions out, but for now, I know which one I will go to first.
Seemingly miles and miles of vases, pots, saucers, stands, what-have-yous of all kinds.
Can you say R-I-B-B-O-N?? Holy cow – wonder how many times around the Equator this represents?
After marveling at the excesses on both ends, I finally made it in to Area 3 – the grouping of smaller vendors and growers. A lot of the booths were empty, and although I was a little disappointed, I totally get it. It’s Saturday! People should be home, chilling with their families and friends. I’ll come back for the real hustle and bustle some other time. Before coming, I had imagined the frenzied merchant activity one might see in a Yokohama fish market, but this was decidedly calmer. Oh well, all the more opportunity to truly browse, and take it all in.
My first stop was a booth with orchids and air plants galore.
Not sure if you can see this orchid through the plastic sleeve protecting it, but I was really intrigued by the bamboo-like stalks and the buds emerging from them.
I was lured across the isle by these marvelous shapes.
This one was blooming – these adorable little chartreuse flowers!
All the plants looked so wonderfully healthy.
Have no idea what this is, except gorgeous!
There were also places where you could buy mossy and lichen-covered branches…
… and branches of Flowering Quince.
With Valentines Day around the corner, there were a few reminders of that too. I liked to see what I think is the use of Silver Brocade Artemisia in this heart-shaped wreath.
I really wasn’t going to buy anything, but resistance is futile… sigh… Here is my haul: a Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Bantel’s sensation’, a Senecio stapeliformis (the tag said S. longiflorus, but I don’t believe it), a tiny Aeonium ‘Schwarzkopf’, an even smaller Aeonium castello-paives ( I think), and a NOID cactus with dark tips that echo the Schwarzkopf beautifully.
You know how you tend to live in your own little bubble, and you think plant people are just the most grounded and sane people on the planet? Well, this miracle, parked just a couple of spots over, shattered that illusion – once and for all. Nutbags are everywhere! For a brief, blissful moment, I had almost forgotten I was in Portlandia, but I’m back to normal now. 🙂