There’s good reason floral motifs have withstood the test of time. In every era, flowers remain a timeless feature of event decor that refuses to fall out of style. It’s hard to deny the draw of freshly cut flowers.
Lawn Love, a platform for independent lawn and yard maintenance professionals, published the results of its study, “2022’s Best Cities for Local Flowers,” which compared 200 U.S. cities in flower access, delivery access, vendor quality and local demand. Researchers at Lawn Love also consulted market findings from the international Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers in developing the list.
And across multiple categories, California, the Golden State, is coming up roses.
The winning cities with some of the best supplies of local flowers are as follows:
- Santa Rosa, CA
- Los Angeles, CA
- Orange, CA
- Santa Ana, CA
- San Diego, CA
- Honolulu, HI
- San Francisco, CA
- Chicago, IL
- New York, NY
- Philadelphia, PA
Santa Rosa, in a practically fated turn, was named “Local Flower Capital” for its plethora of flower farms, which supply a rich community of local florists. Philadelphia and Lakewood, Colorado, tied with Santa Rosa in just this metric. But through all the country’s mountains, valleys and plains, California unsurprisingly remains the U.S. “Cut Flower Capital” as the producer of 76% of all the cut flowers countrywide.
In terms of floriculture crop sales, California ranks behind none other than the Sunshine State. Florida was named the “leading wholesaler of floriculture crops” by Lawn Love researchers. Where meetings happen, Orlando and Miami were found to place first and third, respectively, in total number of flower shops per square mile.
Yet, only three of 13 Florida cities on the final list made it into the top half of the vendor quality category, while California maintained nine of 10 in the 100 leading cities.
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Finding the Freshest Flowers
As much as “80% of cut flowers sold in the U.S. are imported” from foreign countries such as the Netherlands, Colombia, Ecuador and Kenya, reported Shital Poudyal, an assistant professor in the Department of Plants, Soils & Climate at Utah State University; but this can stunt the potential of floral design, given the delicate and fleeting nature of flowers. Assistant Professor of Horticultural Studies at North Carolina State University Melinda Knuth explained that “a well-handled flower will last the consumer 10-14 days at home.”
Many local florists have the resources here, and it benefits your selection, your carbon footprint and local economies to invest in locally cut flowers, said Knuth. She explained that dahlias, zinnias, and ranunculuses (or buttercups) are almost exclusively found locally. It’s tough for flowers to make long journeys in boxes.
“Sometimes the freshest flowers are purchased on the side of the road,” remarked Knuth.
As the spring season continues to make its way out of the ground and as events return with it, keep in mind the perennial charms of one of nature’s most inviting delights.