Bringing the highest quality and most innovative floral products to our customers requires that we keep a finger on the pulse of evolving global floral trends. Our constant quest for the next best thing recently sent me overseas to seek out emerging and established trends in some of the most innovative and premier floral marketplaces in Europe.
It was an eye-opening experience to see the masses of European citizens that embrace fresh flowers as an everyday purchase, instead of strictly a holiday must or special occasion purchase.
During my travels, I had the pleasure of visiting and exploring some of the most incredible marketplaces and floral showcases in all of Europe.
One of my favorite stops on the trip was a visit to the amazing FloraHolland Auction in Amsterdam. I visited on an average weekday and the sheer volume of flowers moving through coupled the labor force working in perfect synchrony was absolutely jaw dropping. Everything there was wet packed in reusable shipping totes, eliminating the need for cardboard and reducing the processing time traditionally needed to ship flowers. I didn’t have to look hard to find those same shipping totes in markets in Belgium, Germany and Holland.
Adjacent to the auction was, the Waterdrinker, a destination that sparked many design trends that we hope to see in our floral departments soon. Here, I found the most amazing display of potted plants that were true masterpieces of texture, height, color and style. Talk about true inspiration!
The City Center of Dusseldorf, Germany features an outdoor Market that is operational everyday of the year offering meat, dairy, produce, bakery and of course tons of floral stands. It was awe-inspiring to see how many floral stands were full to the brim and buzzing with activity. The products were beautiful, healthy and organized perfectly.
An impromptu drop-in at a Sunday market in Belgium showcased a selection of seasonal and non-seasonal items like tropical plants and citrus trees along with just about any item you could want. True to form, the care and presentation of the floral pieces was absolutely inspiring.
There were many stand-out trends that were apparent at every stop, a few that really stood out are:
- Texture: Meticulously placed items together in gardens and bouquets with differing textures. Each design is placed by hand and perfectly complements its neighboring bloom. Many designs that have natural elements (non-Floral Items) that just bring interest and keep the eye moving along the design.
- Hand-tied bouquets: Just about every bouquet was hand tied, a concept that is not traditionally seen here in the United States. Every bouquet has each stem placed by hand, creating a uniformed design that when placed in a vase, is perfectly styled.
- Culture that embraces all things floral. Walking and driving along the streets of Europe, potted plants line the windows of just about every home. In fact, every time I rode in a taxi, I would ask the driver “Do you have flowers and plants in your home”? Almost everyone responded with a resounding “yes”. Another example of this is at gas stations, the floral selection here is truly unbelievable, even gas stations have a gorgeous selection of hand tied bouquets and bulb gardens.
- Monochromatic designs: Many items are perfectly arranged in monochromatic design with not a lot of rainbow assorted bunches. Both in potted and cut flowers are often times arranged in well thought out deigns in complementing Monochromatic color schemes.
- Euro Bulbs: I struggled to find a single bulb plant planted fully below the soil line. Euro bulbs are always planted with the bulb sitting high in the soil with about 1/3 of the bulb exposed and packed tightly together in a very uniformed design.
Since returning home, I’ve begun encouraging and challenging our growers to embrace the techniques and trends that make the European floral markets so great. You can expect to see the European influence in our stores soon, and we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.