Spring has most certainly sprung in Sydney. The magnolia blooms have come out to play and there is a delightfully warm feeling in the air.
When I lived in Hampstead, I used to pass a particularly beautiful blossom tree on my way to work. I used to get great joy watching it transform with the passing of the seasons.
Leafy Green in Summer
Rusty and Copper-Toned in Autumn
Snow-covered and Bare in Winter
and my personal favourite – – –
Bloomin’ Marvellous in Spring!
As you may have already guessed, this is a particularly Spring-inspired post and an ode to the wonderful, enticing, ethereal, colourful and magical world of flowers.
I’ve always wanted to visit Sydney Flower Markets and when “my partner in crime and general adventuring” suggested that we go, It didn’t take much convincing. The idea is to arrive at the market pre-dawn, (they open to the public at 5am), but I can already hear those of you that know me muttering sentiments like . . . “unrealistic target” . . .”unlikely” . . . “fat chance” . . .
As my husband has so rightly pointed out on a number of occasions – “my wife only gets out of bed early if she has a ‘plane to catch.” Suffice, to say, we arrived in Flemington a little later than 5am . . . but early enough for them – in partner in crime’s words – to “fleece” us for an “early bird” $8 at the entrance.
Flemington is the largest flower market for fresh cut flowers in Australia, supplying many florists in NSW. But lucky for the rest of NSW, it is also open to the public. It is located in a large warehouse that is home to over 170 traders, selling (mostly) freshly cut, locally grown flowers. It’s a really buzzing, exciting space, populated with trucks loading and offloading, buckets of flowers of every description, flower-packed trolleys and eager customers.
We walked around in a total spin, trying to decide what to buy and how much. Prices are close to wholesale so it’s “bargain basement” in there. My South African fynbos-loving preference kicked in almost immediately, and I was drawn to the rustic, more robust varieties like Banksia and Proteas. Partner in Crime picked up a beautiful long sprig of yellow Orchids for $6.50. Baaaaargain! (That has to be said in a strong Aussie accent to take effect).
After collating, curating, collecting and chatting (to all the growers about every conceivable topic related to flowers, early mornings and my obsession with peonies), we popped in to the adjacent cafe for a coffee. Despite being served in a frosted hot choccie mug (why oh why?) it went down like mother’s milk.
On the way home, we stopped in at Runcible Spoon in Camperdown, (FYI, it’s just down the road from the lovely Deus Cafe), which is a little coffee shop/eatery cafe located in the old Weston biscuit factory. Aside from being a hip little hideaway, isn’t Runcible Spoon just the coolest name?
Just say it out loud and I guarantee you’ll get hooked.
Partner in Crime and I can’t stop saying it. I asked Wikipedia (that reliable old source of information on everything) its origin and they had this to say:
Then I noticed a tattooed quote from the book on the wall of the cafe. So that’s it then!
I also love the following line – as seen on the Runcible Spoon website:
We are constantly looking for new things to put on the menu, that challenge our customer or just keep them bloody happy.
A very “Aussie” way of putting it, isn’t it?
And on that note, (to all you Southern Hemisphere readers out there), Bring on Spring mate!