07 Jan2007


Despite all the festivity of the recent holiday season, the one area that I was remiss on was fresh flowers. Normally, the house is bursting with flowers for each of the holiday dinners, Christmas Eve, etc. but for some reason I just couldn’t get it together last month. blooms3Exhaustion, too much cooking, blogging and entertaining meant that a late night trip to Dimasalang was just not in the cards. I had intended to go at least two times, but passed out hours before the ideal departure time (normally I try to get there around 10 to 11 pm on a Thursday, which I find is the BEST time to shop there). Actually, in retrospect, last year was a very low flower consumption year. I can tell because I have budgets for this kind of non-essential expenditure… But not to worry, the year wasn’t over yet and I intended to make up for the flower “drought” of sorts. The night before we left for Batangas, I drove off to the wholesale flower market, practicing my “magkano dito” line with a minimum of the accent that would likely increase the prices two-fold, and brought home more than a typical flower shop in the Metro Manila area would purchase for a week…

The flower bounty was for several reasons. First and foremost, Mrs. Marketman and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary two days later at the beach. blooms2We have been married over a baker’s dozen years, and in this day and age of supermarket check-in and check-out unions, I think that is something to celebrate big time. We also had several guests, friends and houseguests over the next week so it would be useful to gussy up the house. So what was in the midnight haul from Dimasalang? Around 40 dozen long-stemmed roses, of which roughly 30 dozen were Baccarat Red (almost black tipped, deep, deep red roses that are stunning when massed together), 6 dozen peach or apricot roses, and 4 dozen white roses (the kid placed an order for me to buy on her behalf, using her money). I also got 10 long-stemmed white Asiatic lilies with around 3-4 large blooms each (most of the blooms were still closed on purchase) and 20 stems of lisianthus…

Lisianthus are a spectacular, hardy and versatile flower. A quick internet search yielded some interesting information on this flower. A native to prairies from Colorado to Nebraska, they are the quintessential summer wedding flower that puts up with the heat well and looks like voluptuous, double petaled roses. Go to this link and this link for additional detailed information. I first noticed the lisianthus in Manila about 3 years ago while checking blooms5out the cold rooms of Puentespina or Waling Waling Orchids, a wholesale supplier that I frequent. But the growers seem to have really hit their stride and this year there was lisianthus suddenly up the wazoo at the markets. In spectacular shades of purple, blue, lavender, pink, white and a pale green, these flowers are also known as a Texas bluebell (ever heard that term before? I had but had no idea what they were!). I predict these flowers will make a big impact on wedding arrangements in the years to come. In fact, one of MM’s regular readers recently emailed asking about the flowers while I had this spectacular bunch sitting out at our beach house…

Up top is a simple bouquet of perhaps 20 lisianthus stems in a pale green color. They had lots of shades available, but I wanted a whitish feel for the living area of the house. As the days wore on, all of the blooms opened up and the bouquet was a fully packed vase of really blooms1good looking flowers. They didn’t have much fragrance, but that’s okay, they looked terrific. To keep them lively, change the water in the vase everyday (and add flower food if you have it) and cut a ½ inch piece of stem from the base with a very sharp knife. Our flowers lasted an entire week at the beach and would have lasted another 2-3 days more. In addition to the lisianthus, I also got the white lilies that are photographed here. One of my favorite flowers of all times are white Casablanca lilies. You rarely find real Casablancas here in Manila, but these white Asiatic lilies are a close substitute. They also last an incredibly long time (at least a week) if you treat them well, change their water and clip the stems and they have the added bonus of an incredibly strong aroma/fragrance. I like to remove the red stamens(?) before they ripen so that they don’t stain anything around, including your guests’ clothing. They were perfect for the center of the living room which has glass doors on almost all sides so the fragrance was noticeable but not overwhelming, it wafted in and out with the breeze. This photo here was taken later in the holiday and outdoors…I had already cut the stems back several times so the arrangement is tighter as opposed to a more spread out feel earlier in the week. The lilies shared a room with the lisianthus and a low bowl of discarded white roses from The Kid’s purchase.


Finally, the roses were used in several arrangements. Tight short centerpieces for the dining table that used up roughly 12 dozen red roses, buffet table blooms7arrangements in wine buckets that used up say another 8 dozen roses, stand-alone arrangements in other parts of the house and single blooms in the bathrooms. The six dozen peach roses were massed in one large vase in the Master’s bedroom. And the cost of all this floral excess? Less than the cost of a large arrangement from one of the more chi-chi Makati florists, delivered wrapped in fancy raffia or waterproof cellophane. Now that sounds like a good deal to me… Oh, and I almost forgot, the Kid picked the finest stems from the four dozen white roses she ordered, and placed one rose for every year her parents were married in a vase, that she gave to us the morning of our anniversary together with a home made card. Now THAT, is PRICELESS.



  1. chinkee says:

    What lovely, lovely flowers! I’ve been a “lurker” of your site for the past year but has only had the guts to comment. The vicarious thrill and pleasure you give me through your posts spice up my quite mundane life and i truly think you are remarkably generous in the insights, information and adventures you share over the web. Happy Anniversary to you and the Missus and may you have lots more blissful years together!

    Jan 7, 2007 | 6:00 pm


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  3. jam says:

    Wow! How sweet… Congratulations! Happy Anniversary.=)

    Jan 7, 2007 | 7:23 pm

  4. TOPING says:

    Happy Anniversary, MM and missus! As usual, the flowers are gorgeous…

    (BTW, the ‘links’ you refer to in the post aren’t active. Would love to learn more about lisianthus [pl. lisiantha?]).)

    Jan 7, 2007 | 7:58 pm

  5. millet says:

    gorgeous! another reason to come to davao, MM…they’re all grown here!

    Jan 7, 2007 | 8:23 pm

  6. lizechev says:

    The flowers and the arrangements are lovely! I must say, the Kid’s gift was precious. Happy Anniversary!!!

    Jan 7, 2007 | 8:49 pm

  7. Marketman says:

    Toping, sorry, I forgot to add the links, they are live now. millet, yes, those Waling Waling farms must be a sight to behold, not to mention all the other flower growers as well. lizechev, yes, the Kid’s gift was very thoughtful…

    Jan 7, 2007 | 9:07 pm

  8. asunta says:

    Happy Anniversary MM and Mrs MM! Im so happy to read that you wil be having more flower arrangements this year. Keep the posts coming.

    Jan 7, 2007 | 9:21 pm

  9. vicky says:

    beautiful flowers and excellent arrangements.

    Jan 7, 2007 | 9:31 pm

  10. Marilou says:

    You have such an eye for flowers and colours. I love flowers and here in the dead of winter I appreciate them even more. I ordered several jasmine plants from White Flower Farm and I am looking forward to enjoying the heavenly scent and lovely flowers to tide me through the dreary days. On another note, have you read the February issue of Saveur. It’s their Saveur 100 issue and I was pleased to find that #28 is Philippine Food. Maybe Filipino food is finally getting the recognition in the west that it deserves.

    Jan 8, 2007 | 12:50 am

  11. susan says:

    Happy Anniversary Mr & Mrs. Marketman and more blessed years to come. Love the flowers and the arrangements.

    Jan 8, 2007 | 4:12 am

  12. lojet says:

    Your flower posts gets me everytime. It’s nice to know they are accesible and plentiful over there when the time comes.

    Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. marketman and congratulations for having such a thoughtful Kid!

    Jan 8, 2007 | 7:22 am

  13. Blance says:

    Very nice one…………congratulations and many many more to come and very goodluck to all your activities.

    Jan 8, 2007 | 7:26 am

  14. linda says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary Mr.and Mrs.Marketman!
    We wish you both more happiness and good health in many years to come!

    To the Kid,you are blessed with such loving parents and this thoughful gesture was wonderful and has touched and warmed our hearts!

    Jan 8, 2007 | 7:55 am

  15. ThePseudoshrink says:

    You are giving Marta Stewart a run for her money!

    Congratulations on your anniversary, Mr. & Mrs. Marketman!

    Jan 8, 2007 | 8:27 am

  16. Dodi says:

    Dear MM!

    Happy New Year! Those are lisianthuses? WOW! I should check out Dimasalang again. I had troubles “keeping” the roses preserved for a longer period until a friend told me to put them in a mixture of 50% water and 50% 7-UP and it really works. And yes, your kid’s gesture is priceless!Congratulations and may you and your wife have many, many more blessings to come!

    Jan 8, 2007 | 8:51 am

  17. Lani says:

    Happy Anniversary MM and Mrs. MM.

    Jan 8, 2007 | 10:12 am

  18. miej says:

    another lurker coming out… CONGRATULATIONS to you and the missus! the flowers are simply gorgeous. your posts have become a daily staple reading. very informative and i’m learning quite A LOT. thank you so much for sharing. God bless you more! =)

    Jan 8, 2007 | 11:58 am

  19. Mila says:

    Thank you for the name/source of those flowers, they remind me of smaller peonies, my favorite of the florid flowers. Happy anniversary, may you have several baker’s dozen more anniversaries to share with Mrs. MM!

    Jan 8, 2007 | 12:07 pm

  20. Cay says:

    Happy anniversary to you and your wife your table settings were lovely simply yet lovely!

    Jan 8, 2007 | 1:57 pm

  21. tulip says:

    Congratulations to a wonderful couple, I am sure the Kid is proud to have both of you! Wishing you more a blessed and blissful years until grays or vanishing hair, wrinkled skin, toothless, hearing impaired and arthritis strikes. hehehe

    Jan 8, 2007 | 3:54 pm

  22. Mandy says:

    hi MM! with my wedding finally finished, i will not bug you about flowers anymore. thank goodness i did not have to traverse dangwa to buy the flowers, my stylist took care of it and the supplier’s just from alabang. i will email you a pic of my bouquet as soon as i get the cds from the photographers. :) the red roses look striking. and so lush.

    your wife is lucky to have you–jack of all trades and everything else. :) congratulations!

    Jan 8, 2007 | 8:16 pm

  23. odette says:

    Happy Anniversary ! What a sweet kid you have.

    Jan 8, 2007 | 8:48 pm

  24. HD says:

    Happy anniversary Mr. and Mrs. MM!

    Jan 8, 2007 | 10:37 pm

  25. Riza from Montreal says:

    Happy new year Marketman,

    I don’t normally get to read the entirety of the exchanges but I’m quite an avid fan of your blogsite. I have been spreading the news of your passion to friends all over the world and I really do enjoy the all the food and flower entries. My family from Montreal and others from Colombia and the United Kingdom are visiting the Philippines this year and I send them some of your features as teasers to what we can expect to enjoy in the Philippines. Thank goodness for people with passion such as yours.


    Jan 9, 2007 | 12:53 am

  26. seadaisy says:

    Happy happy anniversay Mr and Mrs. MM. Cheers! And a great hi-five to The Kid!

    Jan 9, 2007 | 2:11 am

  27. MES says:

    Mrs MM is a very lucky lady. A house full of flowers hand arranged by your husband is better than any jewelry or store bought gift. Happy happy annniversary to you both.

    Jan 9, 2007 | 9:19 am

  28. Lei says:

    Happy Anniversary Marketman and Mrs Marketman! And thanks for introducing Lisianthus, will be on the look-out for them!

    Jan 9, 2007 | 10:59 am

  29. Digs says:

    Happy Anniversary Mr and Mrs Marketman! Wish you more blessings, happiness and lifelong of togetherness. God bless!

    Jan 9, 2007 | 9:30 pm

  30. Joycelyn says:

    Happy, happy anniversary MM!

    Your flower arrangements are so elegant, as always. A friend gave me several bunches of these and they told her at Waling that these are also called paper roses.. Is this right, MM?

    Jan 10, 2007 | 12:27 am

  31. Joycelyn says:

    Sorry about that.. I meant the lisianthus-are they called paper roses also?

    Jan 10, 2007 | 12:30 am

  32. Maria Clara says:

    Happy wedding anniversary to you and Mrs. Marketman and bless both your hearts for keeping the marriage sacred. Stunning floral arrangements!

    Jan 10, 2007 | 4:46 am

  33. SimplePleasure says:

    Happy Anniversary! the flowers are gorgeous!

    Jan 10, 2007 | 7:15 pm

  34. edel says:

    wow, happy anniversary mr. and mrs. marketman… may you be blessed with more years of happiness and adventure, love and good health!

    Jan 10, 2007 | 9:17 pm

  35. Joann Delarossa says:

    One thing about you MM is that you put together the most delicious or beautiful things be it food, decor or flowers at the best or valued price. I’m amazed that others throw so much money just to say that they spent a lot for it. Your examples shows that you can have class without breaking the bank.

    Jan 12, 2007 | 1:42 pm

  36. inday hami says:

    happy anniversary for 2008 MM.

    I really learn a lot from your site. I love flowers too. I should for my maiden name is Rosal. Thanks for the lisianthus info.

    Jan 15, 2008 | 6:34 pm


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