There’s nothing quite like fresh flowers, and while getting an arrangement delivered every week is a bit outside of my budget, heading to the local flower market is definitely doable.

Here in New York there’s a wonderful semi-secret — the flower district. This is a wonderland of flowers, from palm trees to calla lilies, and everything in between. Located on 28th street between 6th and 7th avenue, the street is lined in tiny shops filled with everything you can imagine, and displays often creep out into the street. Ever wandered through more or less a rainforest in Midtown? This is your chance.

Making a trip here is a great way to save money on gorgeous flowers, and while some of the shops in the district do only sell to florists, most are open to the public and offer a great deal on high quality flowers.

I loved the selection at George Rallis — raspberries to be used as fillers, gorgeous hydrangeas, and stunning delphiniums, not to mention blood red tulips and calla lilies.

Shipments arrive around 4-6am, and while I certainly won’t be there then, I would recommend getting there by 8/9 if you have your heart set on selecting from the absolute best. Most of the shops shutter by noon, so you’ll want to get there before that. Rise and shine!

Now, I suppose you could also just head to the local bodega and pick up a bunch, but heading here will guarantee you the best quality, which translates into flowers that are going to last way longer than the ones that have been hanging out on the street corner for who knows how long.

I’m a firm believer that it’s a human skill to know how to arrange flowers — nothing ornate or super elaborate, just a simple mix of flowers. It’s a nice touch on the day to day, and is also an activity that gets your mind off of the tech, the digital and all of the stresses of the run-run-run we’re so used to.

Arranging flowers isn’t something to be afraid of, so don’t be scared to just try your hand at it. Cut stems, pinch and prod, and adjust until it looks just right. I’m also a fan of just buying a large quantity of one flower and putting it in a vase — one step and it always looks simple and elegant.

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