There might not be a more joyful endeavor than to embark on an outing just to purchase flowers. There are a handful of fine florists in the area in addition to several small markets and chains. We liken shopping for flowers to shopping for produce. What's fresh? What looks good? What are we feeling today? Shopping for produce before setting your menu always feels a little more adventurous. Our local florists have polished arrangements for special occasions, but for a weekly fix, we have a few favorites.
Grocery stores and markets
Trader Joe's. Thrifty staples (white tea roses and peachy larger blooms) and some surprises (lemon snapdragons, purple waxflower, soft green silver dollar eucalyptus) provide a happy thrill.
Whole Foods. Crisp green hydrangeas and fuchsia bundled tulips abound. Small and large mixed bouquets for a dinner party or a gift wait to be wrapped in tissue and cello as they are matched with fruit or desserts. One satisfying swoop.
Bethesda Farmer's Market and Wagshal's Market. Farm-curated bunches donned on a table or entry exude a beautifully undone quality during the summer months. A dry palette features sunny yellow mixed with magenta and dots of white reflecting perfectly the relaxed season.
Chevy Chase Florist. A newer leaf in The Collection at Chevy Chase, the shop invigorates. Explore bins of cut flowers in cold storage, candles, room sprays, and greeting cards. Of-the-moment, aspirational arrangements. Very polished. On Fridays after 3pm and weekends, stop in for unique, half-price hand-tied bouquets.
Off the path
Rocklands and other Community Supported Agriculture. Summertime. Various pick-up points throughout the county for weekly flowers. Mason jars stuffed with rustic perennials, vintage bottles with a single giant allium. Well worth the import into our area from our neighboring towns.
Potomac Floral Wholesale. In Silver Spring, an awe-inspiring option for bulk flowers if you are need of several arrangements or ideas.
Notes to the buyer and budding florist
Check stems to see how limber and green they appear. Give a light shake to pre-packaged bunches to see if any buds fall off. Ask shop when the shipment arrived.
On arrangements, loosen up and get creative. It is okay to cut three-quarters of the stem off to fit the blossom into a short vase. Feel free to use rubber bands to keep flowers in place. Wrap leaves around base of bouquet before inserting into clear glass vessels to block anything necessary but unsightly.
Mix flowers that have a smaller, broader bloom with those that are more focal. Consider color depending on the season. Bright pinks and yellows are perfect for spring, but deeper tones are nice for fall and winter. An all-green or green and white color scheme is versatile for any time of the year.
Be a floral visionary.