meta name="p:domain_verify" content="8b08da541f8a920e6 Marie Z Johnston: Flower Shopping at Rungis

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Flower Shopping at Rungis

It's Saturday afternoon. The weather report says it's raining but in fact, from where I'm sitting, it's a glorious day and my little corner of Paris is hopping! There is live music in the park, free organic ice cream and about 8 booths in the park across the street from where I am sitting at Le Commerce (one of my local haunts where they tu-toi me and kiss me on both cheeks a whole bunch).  It is an annual event where residents can find out exactly what their mayor has done for them lately.

The colorful sign on the left tells about each flavor, the ingredients and their origin
Sitting here, "quietly" enjoying my late lunch (now that the whirlwind festivities of the last two weeks are over) it's lovely to look back on the photos of the activities leading up to my daughter's wedding. The highlight for me was the shopping trip to the RUNGIS flower market with my now son-in-law's maman. "J" arrived to pick me up at 6:30 - literally, dawn. After a quick café creme we were off to meet up with a couple of "J's" friends, one of whom holds the very valuable entrance card to Rungis. 

The trio of French ladies I joined
Just to grasp the scale of the place this is half of one, out of about 10, isles
Our first stop was in the Pork butcher's lane.  The lady in question is the wife of a charcutier (a person who makes charcuterie: patés, rillettes, sausages and other delectable dishes - in other words: cooked meats) and he needed a very particular type of lacy fat for a dish he was planning on making.  The butcher was waiting with her order and we were off. (I wasn't fully awake and so neglected to get any photos of the 'pig stop')
Technically, with a charcutier's entrance card we are not allowed in the floral buildings, but mischief was in the air that morning.

Everything wrapped in brown paper is sold
Everything on the rolling carts is sold
Greens and purple hydrangeas is this man's product
From what I could tell, there are at least six huge warehouse type buildings reserved for plants and flowers alone.  There is a Hot House building for orchards and the like, a Potted Plant building for, well, potted plants, a couple of 'accessory' buildings (vases, clay pots, trellises, ribbons, pins, florist wire, cutters, etc.) and the cut flower depot where dozens of growers and vendors have specialty stalls from teeny to huge.  

This person sold only branches of fruit trees
Can you  see the number of lilies this man has?  Each bucket holds 20 bunches of 5 stems.
Now, I'm fairly familiar with the Flower Mart in downtown Los Angeles but this place, even as they were closing up shop (we arrived about 8am, their hours are 3am to 8:30am) the quantity and variety was impressive.

Each color ribbon had it's own section - white and cream had their own wall!
We were in and out in 45 minutes with 200 large, long stemmed, beautiful beige-ish blush  roses, white hydrangeas, curly willow with little green dangly bits, olive branches with green olives on them, greens with white berries, chamomile, 2 dozen glass vases, ribbon and a bunch of other stuff - all for under $300 US! Yes, I am still wowed.

The very next day we put the arrangements together.  I think they turned out rather well, don't you?

A Bientot,

Marché de Rungis International
Address: 1 Rue de la Tour, 94152 Rungis

Phone:01 41 80 80 00

1 comment:

thetravelingpear said...

Under $300!!! WOW! You ladies did a wonderful job. The flowers are so gorgeous.