Few objects symbolize love and care as strongly as a bouquet of fresh flowers. Flowers are a great choice for almost any occasion — a birthday, anniversary, to express condolences, or just to brighten someone’s day.

“Flowers are an expression of beauty — a gift from nature to remind us of its charm,” says Kate Rath, greenhouse manager at Vault + Vine, a floral and plant studio in East Falls. “It’s been great to see people turn back to the natural world as a way of coping with living through the pandemic — we think flowers and plants are the best way to warm your space but we are, of course, biased.”

COVID-19 has made the floral industry, well, bloom, as many people have sought out flowers and plants to cope with the isolation and so much time inside. “Everyone loves to receive flowers, but lately they have been a symbol of brightness and positivity during these times of uncertainty,” says Alyssa Ward, co-owner of Ward’s Farm with her husband Allen in Salem, New Jersey. “A bright, colorful bouquet on your countertop can remind you that brighter days are ahead.”

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And there are lots of local options for your vase. And Philadelphia has no shortage of flowers and flower farmers ready to make your bouquet special.

“We always, always encourage folks to buy local. Local farmer florists put a lot of love into the product they grow,” says Rath. “Getting to know what grows locally [and] when is a great way of communing with nature; we can chart the movement of our seasons as we watch local flowers grow, from the hellebore of late winters to fall’s gorgeous swan song in the form of big, lush dahlias.”

Here are some of the best places in the Philadelphia area to buy flowers.

FLORISTS

Robertson’s Flowers

If you’ve bought or received a bouquet over the years, chances are it was from Robertson’s. The family-owned florist, which has been around since 1927, opened as a landscaping business by George Robertson and his son Charles. They have since expanded to locations in Chestnut Hill, Bryn Mawr, and an appointment-only design studio Wyndmoor, with George’s great-grandchildren at the helm. Robertson’s offers same-day delivery throughout the city and suburbs, so no one needs to feel left out.

📍8501 Germantown Ave., 823 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, 1301 E. Mermaid Ln., Wyndmoor, 📞 215-836-3050 and 800-242-6002, 🌐 robertsonsflowers.com, 📷@robertsonsflowers

Pure Design

Nestled into the corner of 22nd and Lombard Streets, Pure Design sells bold and unique floral designs to their Fitler Square neighbors. Owner Michael Haschak and his team customize each arrangement to order, boasting the intimacy and individuality you cannot get at a factory florist. “I love … Pure Design,” says Domino Mack, botanical designer and owner of DNA Floral. “[Their] style is very modern and chic, but yet unique and quality.” Look here for a different twist on the classics, like their “Pure Tenderness” arrangement, their take on the romantic rose bouquet, with two dozen pink roses snuggled in a bed of white hydrangeas.

📍500 S. 22nd St., 📞 215-545-6666, 🌐 puredesignflorist.com, 📷 @puredesignphilly

Stephanie’s Flowers

The East Passyunk’s flower shop offers custom arrangements for all occasions, and delivers throughout the city for a fee. And, in addition to flowers, the shop also makes bouquets of homemade chocolate-covered strawberries and fresh cut fruit— bright and luscious pineapple, melon and berries.

📍1430 S Ninth St., 📞 267-770-6662, 🌐 stephaniesflowershopphilly.com, 📷 @stephanies_flower09

DNA Floral

DNA (Design + Art) Floral describes itself as a “monochromatic, single groupings, and simple ingredients company,” and focuses on partnerships with area businesses to support the local community. The shop specializes in modern arrangements of eye-catching flowers that look more like still-life art installations. And beyond buying a one-of-a-kind creative piece, you’re also supporting a Black, Muslim-woman-owned business.

📍1901 S. Ninth St., 🌐 dnafloral.com, 📷 @dnafloral

Stein Your Florist Co.

This Mayfair mainstay has celebrated flower-worthy occasions for over 100 years with customers and neighbors making them a safe bet to plan your special someone’s big surprise. With locations on Frankford Ave. and in Burlington, NJ, Stein has been delivering flowers since the 1800s but has traded their horse and buggy deliveries for their signature vans. But don’t confuse the store’s history with tradition: they can do a dozen red roses and bold floral arrangements with equal enthusiasm.

📍7059 Frankford Ave., 1002 Sunset Road, Burlington, NJ, 📞 800-887-4013 and 215-338-7100, 🌐 steinyourflorist.com

Avanda Flower Shop

Avanda’s owner, Timm, and her late husband opened the shop’s doors on February 14, 1991, and if that isn’t a sign that her store is the perfect place for your romantic gifts, then you aren’t looking. Avanda offers traditional florist services, but their mainstays are exotic orchid varieties and greenery, each plant lovingly pruned and sold by Timm herself. Sure, you could get your partner a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day or your anniversary, but a rare orchid would be a happy surprise.

📍 401 S. 16th St., 📞 215-545-2338, 🌐 avandaflowers.com

Vault + Vine

East Falls’ Vault + Vine is an all-in-one spot for flowers, plants, and gifts. The floral studio is the place to go for fresh floral arrangements, dried floral arrangements, and the shop’s year-round flower subscription, available in three-month, six-month, and year-long increments. And best of all, your conscience can feel good: Vault + Vine is a certified B-corporation, setting high social and environmental standards toward the betterment of their triple-bottom-line: people, planet and profit. The shop supports other local and sustainable businesses and offers a number of anti-racist resources on their website.

📍3507 Midvale Ave., 📞 267-331-6292, 🌐 vault.vaultandvine.co, 📷 @vaultandvine.co

FLOWER SUBSCRIPTIONS

Jig-Bee Flower Farm and American Street Flower Market

Cassie Plummer, owner of Jig-Bee Flower Farm, is clearly passionate about making her locally grown flowers accessible to the Philadelphia community. It’s why she started the American Street Flower Market in Kensington, along with her farm’s bulk DIY flower program for weddings and events, and a seasonal flower share. For $150 per month, subscribers can pick up weekly bouquets at five different locations in the city and South Jersey, or get them delivered to many Philadelphia neighborhoods for an extra $45. “Flowers really brighten up a space and bring light and life inside, especially in winter when the days are shorter and grey,” says Plummer. “During the pandemic, people have really taken to the practice of regularly buying flowers for their home as a way to connect to nature and the seasons.”

Plummer’s American Street Flower Market offers bunches of single variety flowers to keep or get creative with, selected pre-made hand-tied bouquets, and a build-your-own bouquet section, where everything is up for grabs. “If I’m not buying something from Vault + Vine and local flowers are in season, I’ll stop by American Street Flower Market to grab some Kensington-grown blooms,” says Kate Rath.

📍 American Street Flower Market, 1800 N. American St., 📞 267-777-9636, 🌐 jig-bee.com, 📷 @jig_bee and @americanstreetflowermarket, 🕑 Weekly flower share runs Jan.-Oct. with by-the-month sign-ups. A full schedule can be found on their website.

Ward’s Farm

As a South Jersey cut flower farm that specializes in sunflowers and dahlias, Ward’s blooming season is in the warmer months. Even though their flower share may not fit your winter flower needs, the monthly and bi-weekly subscriptions will deliver a bit of summer to your home or desk when the time comes. Owners Alyssa and Allen Ward offer their signature sunflowers, as well as assorted cut flowers, in a mason jar or wrapped in paper for pick-up to their neighbors and customers in Salem County, NJ.

“With CSAs from a local farmer, you’re getting fresh blooms, most likely cut [the] same day. This means the flowers will last longer than store-bought,” says Alyssa. “When buying from a local farmer, you get to build a relationship. That means your bouquets are catered to you … We get to know what our customers love and create the perfect bouquet just for them.”

📍 120 Bassett Road, Mannington, NJ, 📞 609-385-6278, 🌐 wardsfarmnj.com, 📷 @wardsfarmnj

Pomelo’s Cheer Bouquet Weekly Subscription

The Pomelo storefront on Germantown Avenue is a one-stop-shop for your flower and plant needs. Owner Kaitlin Orner sources flowers from local growers and packages them into her weekly Cheer Bouquets, delivered on Mondays to try and brighten up subscribers’ weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic. The subscription costs $24.95 per week and offers local delivery or pick-up at the Pomelo storefront.

📍 5336 Germantown Ave.,📞 215-469-1493, 🌐 shop-pomelo.com, 📷 @shop.pomelo

FLOWER MARKETS

Even though Philadelphia is a densely populated urban area, there is no shortage of local farms and farmers in the region, many of whom offer fresh-cut flowers and bouquets. “[Buying] from businesses who support local flower farms has so many benefits,” says American Street Flower Market’s Cassie Plummer. “The flowers are special and unique, they are fresher and grown using sustainable practices, [and they] have a lower carbon footprint and help support local jobs, keeping dollars in our community.”

To find local growers and the shops that sell their flowers, check out online directories like Slow Flowers and Local Flowers. Or, visit one of the local farmers’ and flower markets in the Philly area.

Triple Tree Flowers at Clark Park and Rittenhouse Square Farmers’ Markets

If you’ve perused a local farmers’ market and bought yourself a bouquet, it was probably from Lancaster’s Triple Tree Flowers. Owned and operated by the King family, the flower stands are mainstays in the Clark Park and Rittenhouse Square farmers’ markets most of the year. The Kings are Amish and therefore, low-tech so you won’t find Instagram marketing or online ordering. But what you will find are unique, handmade bouquets promising in-season flowers and greenery at a range of prices and sizes.

📍 Clark Park Farmers’ Market, 43rd St. and Baltimore Ave., Rittenhouse Square Farmers’ Market, 18th and Walnut Sts., 🕑 Spring-fall, Clark Park, Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Rittenhouse Square, Tue. and Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Market Blooms at Reading Terminal Market

The pre-packaged bouquets at Market Blooms in Reading Terminal Market are priced at $10 to $20, while custom arrangements start at $30. You can browse the selection at the flower stand and Market Blooms staff will help mix and match flowers for you.

📍 Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th St., 📞 215-625-6667, 🌐 marketblooms.com

Philadelphia Flower Market in Suburban Station

For workers who commute through Suburban Station, there is probably no flower spot more convenient than the Philadelphia Flower Market. which is located within the station’s concourse. In addition to bunches, bouquets and arrangements, the market offers delivery to every zip code within the city of Philadelphia and select nearby suburbs.

📍 Suburban Station, Concourse Level, 1500 JFK Blvd., 📞 215-563-5478, 🌐 philadelphiaflowermarket.com, 📷 @thephiladelphiaflowermarket, 🕑 Same-day and weekend delivery available

OTHER ALTERNATIVES

Many local florists discouraged discount flower options. “Generally, if flowers are low cost, it means something was sacrificed along the line—whether it be that the workers aren’t paid well at the farm or at the shop, or the quality of the product is subpar,” says Kate Rath, greenhouse manager at Vault + Vine.

However, if you’re pressed for time and resources, you’re not out of luck. There are a number of discount flower options across the Philadelphia area.

Produce Junction

The Philadelphia area’s largest chain of produce wholesalers Produce Junction is a great option for last-minute flower shoppers looking for a simple, locally grown, and seasonal flower bunch. There are 20 locations across PA, NJ and DE, and while your choices will be limited to what’s in season, you can find local specials online or on Instagram.

📍 Multiple locations, 🌐 producejunction.com, @producejunction

Grocery stores

Most grocery stores offer fresh-cut flowers in attractive arrangements, as well as single flower bunches like you’d get at a flower market. If you’re feeling adventurous, buy a few bunches and create your own bouquet to give it that personal touch.

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