the flower auction of vancouver

The radiant city Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada is all over the media hosting the Winter 2010 Olympics. The city itself is as charming in person as it is on TV. I fell for its charm the moment I arrived on a ferry from Seattle via Victoria (a whole beautiful city post in itself). My trip there was not for skiing the snow capped mountains or touring the unique city but on a horticultural edification!

The Butchart Gardens, Victoria BC via flickr wisdock
Vancouver has an ideal environment for flowers and plants to thrive in. A temperate climate with plentiful rain. It hosts all different types of gardens: Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Winter, Indoor Conservatories and the famous Butchart Gardens in Victoria. I was able to visit many and my chlorophyll intake was at a pleasant max as I witnessed all the beauty.

similar auction via amy stewart
My favorite stop was to visit the world's second largest flower auction in Burnaby B.C. It was a very early morning when we met and had a tour before the auction started at 6am. What a sight for sore eyes it was! Petals and rainbows of color everywhere as far as the eye can see, in long cart trains. Miraculous.

gerbera's waiting for the auction
Bidders watch large auction clocks from stadium seating as the product is rolled onto the floor on a long procession of wagon carts. As the bidding clock starts and the prices fall, they bid from electronic pads at their seats. Not only cut flowers are sold this way, but potted plants, flowers in flats, flowering branches, moss, leaves and so much more. It was a well oiled machine and I stood in awe at each buyer wondering what they were purchasing and if they were from a wholesaler, large florist or from a supermarket corporation.

Watching large carts of cut Chinese Lanterns move through the process and being sold was my favorite part. Later that same day, I watched as a downtown Vancouver florist took their wholesale delivery of the same lanterns into their shop to prepare them for sale. Talk about fresh!

me in front of my favorite flores del sol!
The flower auction is a must see if ever in the Vancouver, British Columbia area. Although it is not a tourist attraction, you are allowed to view the spectacle but not purchase flowers.


  1. Great post Christina! We wake up at 4AM three times a week so we can get to the auction by 5Am to inspect every flower we purchase. The staff at UFG are super helpful and it makes waking up so early less grueling.

  2. you are so lucky! I would love to do that and pick out my own fresh flowers. but the 4am must be a killer... id have to go to bed at 7!

  3. Holy Toledo! I had no idea (except for the Buchart Gardens, of course) right in my own "back yard." :)

  4. I don't know how should I react after seen all of the pictures of Vancouver flowers. Its so beautiful and looks even fresh and we must gift it our loved ones.

  5. Vancouver was amazing and the people are wonderful. It is a pity that the Olympics invaded there. I hope that they are able to recover from it faster than predicted. I miss B.C. very much and hope to return (and stay) soon.


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