While most of Melbourne is still tucked up in bed on these frosty winter mornings, Victoria Whitelaw is up and about at 1.30 am, cup of tea in hand and ready for market.
Three times a week, Victoria will visit The Melbourne Flower Market in Epping to source the freshest and best blooms on offer for her loyal customers, corporate clients and discerning brides.
A well know character at the Melbourne Market, Victoria has been trading with local growers for over twenty years. With farmers offering her the very best of their specialty products, a trip to market will always bring surprises for her South Yarra store. From classic and timeless to edible and fragrant, the Melbourne Flower Market is packed to the brim with blooms for early bird florists – and Victoria is always front of the queue.
Arriving at market at 3.15 am is lonely for some but Victoria has her fury friend by her side. Louis the flower-shop Shiatsu is always ready for market and loves to snooze in the van while Victoria hits the flower stands.
BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE MELBOURNE FLOWER MARKET
“The flower market is such big and beautiful part of my life. I am always one of the first florists to arrive each market because I like to peruse every stall so I can choose my product carefully. It’s still very exciting to be able to buy the first flowers of a new season or see the lush foliages just brought down from the hills. Everyone at the market really lives and breathes flowers and the knowledge and passion under one roof, in the middle of the night (!), is really amazing! By the time I have finished my market shop the place is buzzing with florists in hi-vis with trolleys racing this way and that. It really is a vibrant space that I feel happy to go to every time. It’s only after I have loaded my van with flowery buckets and are driving back from Epping that the rest of Melbourne seems to wake up. By the time I arrive back to the shop with our flowers the traffic is starting and I’m ready to start a normal work day. As long as I have a hot cup of tea to warm up the freezing morning starts, I will look forward to my trips to the flower market – it’s one of the best parts of being a florist.”