Sweet Nothings, Travel

Floating Flowers

Glass garage door outside one of the shops in Amsterdam’s Floating Flower Market – don’t you just love the sight of tulips on the other side of the bright graffiti?

I always like ending the week on an uplifting note, and there are few things in the world that give my spirits a lift quite like fresh flowers. As I’m sure you’ve noticed from my recent travel posts, Amsterdam is full of flowers. The city even has a giant Floating Flower Market, which isn’t technically floating because it’s located on a dock, but you can rest assured semantics don’t detract from the beauty of this tourist attraction. This string of shops spans about three blocks of canal-front property, yet there are also numerous florists located on almost every street in Amsterdam. I’m no economist, but I’d say the sheer number of these stores in the city indicates that flowers are not just a tourist industry or a seasonal money-maker; they are something average people buy on a regular basis. In the states we tend to leave flower-shopping up to suitors, funeral attendees and upper-class women in New York City, but in Europe there seems to be a different code of conduct…

I saw countless people carrying flowers home with them on the train, and when I asked one Dutch woman with a particularly beautiful bouquet what the occasion was she told me, “They’re for my dining table and for a reminder spring is coming.” I wouldn’t mind taking a leaf (and numerous petals) out of this Dutch woman’s book, and I encourage you to do the same by treating yourself to some small pleasure this weekend that you normally wouldn’t indulge in. We could all use a reminder that springtime is coming, after all, so here’s to all the little indulgences that bring nature inside and make sunshine feel close by.

Endless rows of tulips at the flower market

These multi-colored bouquets of tulips would be considered medium-sized as opposed to the common large grouping of 50 stems. Figuring out what to do with that many flowers sounds like a good problem to have.

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  • Reply Annette February 12, 2011 at 6:46 am

    Flowers just because…Our local farm has a CSA for flowers along with the more usual vegetable and eggs CSAs. Every week (for 10) you pick up a bouquet of beauty grown on the farm and make your house full of flowers for the season. Not a bad way to spend some extra cash!

  • Reply J. R. Coté February 20, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Ah, to have farm-fresh flowers delivered to your door every week. If there’s a heaven, courier angels just deliver lilacs wrapped in brown paper all day long.

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