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Inside Look at the Flower Market: July/August 2020

by Beth Abood |

The final month of Winter is a pretty exciting time at the flower market, because it's right about when we start to see the first little hints of Spring beauties, which means abundance is on its way! So be ready for it. Here's a little peak at what you can expect to see popping up in abundance at the market this August: 

1. Ranunculus

Ranunculus are one of the most perfect flowers! Their rose-like heads, which are formed from layers of tissue-thin petals, bring so much joy to everyone who sees them. Don't be fooled by their delicate petals though, they are surprisingly robust and long lasting. When fresh, their heads are tightly closed and smaller in size, opening up over a few days to reveal the most soft and fluffy flowers.

Image Source: @floretflower Instagram

Image Source: @trillefloral Instagram

Colours: colours range from pale yellow to apricot, red, white, pink, orange and burgundy. 

How long they last in a vase: 5-10 days, their colour fading and changing slightly over this time. 

2. Sweet Pea 

True to their name, sweet pea have the sweetest scent. For a relatively small and delicate flower, their fragrance packs a pretty big punch. Those sold at the Sydney Flower Market normally have straight, strong stems that are around 15-20cm tall, which makes them perfect in a short vase on their own. We also love using them en masse as a bridal bouquet, so they've arrived just in time for wedding season.

Image Source: Canva

Colours: Sweet Pea come in the most unique colours, shades that aren't very common in flowers, such as watermelon, really interesting shades of purple, blush pink, and a deep, rich burgundy. 

How long they last in a vase: 7-10 days but as the lower petals start to brown you can just pick them off and enjoy the top blooms for days longer. 

3. Magnolia Soulangeana (Chinese Magnolia, Saucer Magnolia) 

Magnolia, much like blossom, is full of surprises. Often when we buy the branches the buds are enclosed in a brown, furry outer case, and only a few are showing hints of a pretty mauve colour. But over the course of about one week, the little cases fall off to reveal the most magnificent white flowers with mauve outer petals. It is so wonderful to watch these branches bloom. 

Image Source: Floreat at Jardan Furniture 

Colours: woody brown branches with white and mauve flowers

How long they last in a vase: 7-14 days. Remove the individual flowers as they start to brown at different stages (or just leave them and enjoy the petals being scattered all over the place!) and watch the new buds bloom. 

4. Hellebore

There are so many incredible colours and varieties of hellebore, sometimes called Winters Rose in other parts of the globe. One of the best things about hellebore is all the different shades and patterns that appear in the one flower face and their little nodding heads add a beautiful natural movement to an arrangement. 

Image Source:

Colours: darker plum shades, burgundy and almost blacks, to vibrant yellows and whites, and a whole range of pinks and soft greens.

How long they last in a vase: 4-7 days, but be sure to buy those that have been cut at the right stage of their flower life (after the centre stamens have dropped) otherwise they will droop very quickly.

5. Kangaroo Paw

While we do see Kangaroo Paw at the market for many months of the year (normally May through to November), it's right about now that they are in their prime and so many different colours and varieties are popping up at the market. We love sourcing them from the always reliable East Coast Wild Flowers who stock the really interesting black + green and red + green varieties. 

Image Source: Australian Geographic 

Colours: Colours range from bright red and green (in the one flower!), to black and green, dark reds, oranges, yellows, pinks and silver and vary in height from 20-30cm up to 80cm tall.

How long they last in a vase: Like many Australian natives they last really well in a vase, fresh for around 7-10 days.

6. Pincushion (Leucospermum)

This South African native flower is slightly underrated in our opinion! It gets it's nickname from the pincushion-like flower heads, and has thick, hardy protea-like green leaves. Show caution when handling these though, the heads can easily snap off if you're not careful.

Image Source: Pinterest

Colours: brilliantly coloured in red, orange or yellow.

How long they last in a vase: These will keep really well in a vase with clean water for around 10 days.

7. Wax flower

For a very hardy, robust flower these are super delicate and pretty to the eye. Over the last year or so we've noticed the range of wax flower coming into the Sydney market has grown substantially and we are not complaining. The more common red bud and white varieties have been joined by a wider range of pink and purple shades. Some have pretty flowers dispersed throughout their lemon-scented leaves, while others are more densely packed with cluster upon cluster of waxy flowers. 

Image Source@craigiosciott Instagram

Colours: white, red, pink and purple

How long they last in a vase: 7-10 days.

8. Phylica

This fluffy, golden, South African native is often compared to fireworks when you examine each stem on its own. Phylica is now grown locally in Australia and comes into our market during Winter and early Spring. The difference between fresh and dried Phylica is not much (it's a bit like moving the "sharpness" setting on your iPhone camera editor from sharp to blurry) so this is perfect if you want something to sit in a vase in your house for a long, long time.

Image Source: @eyeslikewildflowers_ Instagram

Colours: Golden

How long they last in a vase: Fresh for around 7 days before they can be taken out of water to dry out

We mentioned some of these other Winter beauties in our previous market update, and they are very much still in their prime and going strong, so we're taking advantage of their peak season and using them in abundance. Here's a little recap of their flower profiles from last month's market update: 

9/ Anenomes

Anenomes are such an appealing flower for so many people. They have a softness about them that's very pretty and inviting, yet their bold, black centres also make them striking and a little bit edgy. We often source these from Andrew McFarland, the owner of Eugalo (read more about his work here) who year after year produces the most beautiful, blush coloured anenomes - so beautiful that one time we almost had to battle another florist for them.

Image Source: Elise Hassey for Floreat

Colours:  white with a green centre, blush pink, white, bright purple, fuschia or red, with a black centre. 

How long they last in a vase: 3-6 days 

10. Cherry Blossom - "Prunus

Blossom has exploded around the market. Flowering branches in white, red and pink are appearing all over, but one of our favourite's would have to be a variety of Cherry Blossom called "Prunus".

Alison and Wayne of Aliway Flowers know just when to pick them, which means they have very few open flowers when we first receive them, but slowly, over the course of a week or two we get to marvel over their buds blossoming into rose-like clusters. 

Image Source: Canva 

Colours: Shades of pink

How long it lasts in a vase: in this cool weather the buds open slowly at different stages over the course of a week or two, while the branches can live on forever. 

Browse Floreat's bouquets in our online shop or contact us if you'd like to place an order.  

Cover Image Source: @jonimaflowers Instagram