Saunter: Taipei Flower Market
An emporium of wonders, the Taipei Flower Market remains one of our most beloved places to meet fellow florists and growers, as well as to source raw materials needed in conjuring our delicate creations. There is always an infinite variety of hues, fragrances, and structures to pick from. The local growers carry an unmistakable passion and love for beautiful buds—whether it’s miniscule blooms that sprout like wildfire, or mega-sized foliages that require tender care, we can find it here.
Weaving through the market is very much like reliving vivid memories you never had. Bright sprays of begonias evoke a taste of summer, sliced fresh fruit eaten from between your fingers. A single stalk of calla reels you into a gentle night by the sea. Local varieties fill the market to the brim as wonderful surprises at every turn, all wrapped in clear plastic and coupled with warm smiles.
The men and women at the flower market rise well before the yolky yellow glow of sunshine to scout for peak-blooming florals among piles of fresh cuts. With a circle of packing tape around the wrist while donning a well-loved apron, it’s easy to spot shop owners skilfully trimming away at excessively microscopic details, next to humble cardboard boxes and squeaky trolleys that continue to remain loyal. All in a day’s work, in the midst of quiet banter about sons and daughters.
The people are gentle, always exuding a beam of kindness in all directions. There is more to the market than business—there is life, and community, and a neighbourhood to care for. When supposed competitors are away or feeling unwell, shop owners are seen guarding others’ stores, stretching a hand of generosity and balmy tender-heartedness towards one another. They wave and nod while gesturing that the closed shop will be back soon, not without a small, polite compliment about their neighbour.
When it comes to orchids, it is a species well-known for being incredibly spoiled: difficult to breed and more so to upkeep. Yet in Taipei, right here in this market, people show no fear for this regal species that are often unreasonably demanding towards growers. In fact, most find it a great joy to walk straight into unknown territories with orchids, departing from regular means of growing them.
From the richest purples to the palest pinks, unusually large blooms or dainty small ones, stripes, spots, speckles of every colour and size—if there is an orchid you can imagine, it doesn’t seem too difficult to find one here that will fit your exact description. They wait in neat rows, displaying themselves honourably, seated in the deep love of their growers. Every orchid grown and exhibited in this market is the result of abundant care, love, and absolute joy. There is a breathless ardour in what growers do to bloom these exquisite orchids, and it is hard to miss.