Imagine it is 3 a.m. in downtown Los Angeles. A short walk from Skid Row, the parking lot is full, cars come in and out, people trade. In the middle of a silent city, something grows. The antique (95 years old) Original Los Angeles Flower Market comes alive when the rest of the city sleeps. Covering 55,000 square feet, the flower market is the largest in the country. Here you will find orchids, air plants, succulents, silver trees, topiaries, gardenias and roses. Lots and lots of roses.
We visited the flower market and the surrounding neighborhood to learn the smelly truth.
Orchids: At the Orchid Affair, you will find not only living orchids, but also exquisite tissue paper orchids, fairies and a couple of cats guarding the merchandise. The only seller who grows their own orchids, at the farm in Montclair, Orchid Depot is over the top priced, but in return you get some rare species grown in the US that you can brag about to your friends.
Roses: Vincent at Wall Street Floral is right at the main entrance of the mall, displaying beautiful, fresh buds. Two dozen roses can cost you anywhere from $ 5.75 to $ 18, depending on the color and size, but most are in the $ 7.75 range.
Dried flowers and specialty: Villa Flowers, in the Southern California Flower Market, sells dried wreaths and wall art in addition to roses and baby’s breath.
Plants: We couldn’t choose between Rudy’s Plants and HM Wholesale Plants. Both have healthy plants for a fraction of the cost at Home Depot. Both can be found in the Southern California Flower Market. In addition, both have air plants, which have a moment.
Something different: ZCallas offers seasonal flowers, moss, wood and honey shipped from Oregon.
Provisions: Walk out of OLAFM and SCFM and you’ll find dozens of stores, spread out in all directions, six blocks from San Pedro Street west to Maple Street and Seventh Street south to Ninth Street. These small businesses meet all the needs of floral arrangements: funerals, victory wreaths, weddings. Inside the California Flower Mall, we found one of our favorite arrangers at El Poblano Flowers.
Car park: Park in the structure off San Julian’s for $ 4 for the day.
Bathroom: The only restrooms are inside the original Los Angeles Flower Market, and they’re clean and free.
All photos from Star Foreman