19 Oct2006


Mandy, one of my regular readers and commenters, is apparently getting married soon and has been reviewing her flower options. This post is for her and all the other folks who have e-mailed me to ask why I have slowed down on flower posts. calla2My flower posts are driven by events or parties in our home, which have been fewer and farther between lately. We no longer do weekly arrangements to try and save on expenses so I have been posting less. As we head towards the holidays, however, I will probably have more opportunities to spend on plants/floral arrangements. If I had an unlimited budget, I would have a personal chef, at least three major floral arrangements for the house a week and a good butler… but back to reality. I was trolling around the Dimasalang flower market one night and spied these spectacular long-stemmed large white calla lillies (2 to 2.5 feet long). They were PHP10 a piece or if you bargain well, about PHP100 a dozen. White calla lillies are extremely common and frankly, overused in trite wedding bouquets and aisle decorations…

But long stemmed ones are a little different and a little more special. I arranged them in two ways…first in a large glass vase just standing straight up. Very traditional, very normal and they stood out for a modest cost of just PHP100. On the other side table, I decided to experiment a bit and I have taken roughly 7 or 8 stems and balanced them just on the tip of the vase, a la “Jeff Leatham” style, an icon of the Parisian floral scene. In addition, I put a few blooms on a glass bowl, completely out of water. This arrangement is a little more modern, a little more in your face, a little more self-centered. Actually, I liked the latter and since the occasion was a photo shoot, I thought it was totally appropriate. In either case, masses of this simple, yet impressive flower, whether traditionally or non-traditionally arranged, would get attention and NOT break the bank…



  1. edee says:

    i like the one completely out of water myself :)

    Oct 19, 2006 | 7:23 pm


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  3. Crissy says:

    They also used these flowers during my cousin’s wedding last July. Instead of a huge bouquet, they used just a few…minimalist effect ika nga.

    Oct 19, 2006 | 8:24 pm

  4. mia says:

    This post made me remember my wedding and go through my photos…Thanks for this post, it made me remember so many good memories.

    I used only calla lilies for my wedding, in pretty much the same way you did the first arrangement. So pretty. Instead of getting an overpriced florist, I found a guy who used to work with a flower shop and was very good you could show him a photo of an arrangement and he executes. He also bought the calla lilies from Dimasalang himself, going there the night before the wedding. He waited for the trucks in their designated ‘bagsakan’ or something like that, and got me a box of a hundred dozen calla lilies (1,200 flowers!) for…TA-DAH! 1,200 pesos. My entire budget for flowers was barely 2,000 pesos, bouquet included :-)

    Oct 19, 2006 | 8:31 pm

  5. Marketman says:

    Gosh Mia, I’m hoping those were the short stemmed ones or I really got nailed on the price! These ones were 2 to 2.5 feet long… but yes, masses of the short ones are also very nice.

    Oct 19, 2006 | 8:38 pm

  6. carol says:

    I remember getting long-stemmed white Calla Lilies (one “L”, because the singular form is “Lily” :-) from Market! Market! before All Saints’ Day last year for P5 per stem and I was ecstatic. I would think they’d be much cheaper at Dangwa.

    Oct 19, 2006 | 9:04 pm

  7. Chris says:

    Marketman, I catered for someone just a couple days ago and he had three big glass vases on his dining room side table with calla lillies arranged Jeff Leatham style. The host arranged them himself, taking inspiration from George V arrangements. They looked very elegant. He bought them at Dimasalang for 80 a dozen. He had a 10-course dinner, but that’s another story…

    Oct 19, 2006 | 9:32 pm

  8. Chris says:

    I notice in the photo above, the lillies are slanting to one side but their stems are still in the water? The way it was arranged at the dinner, the vase was quite tall- as tall as the lillies themselves- and were only half-filled with water. The lillies were cantilevered (?) just inside the mouth of the vases like above and were out of the water. Stunningly simple yet elegant.

    Oct 19, 2006 | 9:36 pm

  9. edel says:

    i love calla lillies. i also buy flowers at dangwa. but i think P10/pc is expensive. i was able to buy a dozen for only P40.. this are also long stemmed :)

    Oct 20, 2006 | 12:08 am

  10. Maria Clara says:

    Good execution of long stemmed calla lily! Any florist you asked which flower they use most in their arrangements, they will say calla lily — not only for their beauty and elegance but their survival rate without water is pretty good. Long stem they add an alluring elegance. You pay extra for long stem but worth it.

    Oct 20, 2006 | 12:31 am

  11. Marketman says:

    I knew it, I felt like I was getting fleeced… Oops, one l for lilies it is, then. Chris, yes, cantilevered is definitely the trademark of Leatham. It looks precarious but in fact, with water in the vase it is not. I have done this with lilies, orchids, roses, etc. in the past.

    Oct 20, 2006 | 6:28 am

  12. mia says:

    MM, yes they were the long-stemmed ones. Except that I guess the guy I hired was not as skillful as you, one of the concerns was that the vase kept toppling over if we kept the stems that long, so we shortened it a bit. Also, our tables were on grass, so the ground was not level :-( Although another concern was that the guests wouldn’t be able to see each other across the table if we made the arrangements that tall. Here you’ll find a pic of all my calla lilies waiting to be brought out for the reception.


    Long story short, yes. You were fleeced. But you end up with all these other great finds so it all balances out. :-)

    Oct 20, 2006 | 9:27 am

  13. Mandy says:

    hey!! that’s me! :) the day i don’t log in… they are lovely MM! i was just at a party last weekend and there were white calla lilies–their stem cut to about 8-10 inches short and bunched up together. looks really classy.

    Oct 21, 2006 | 1:13 am

  14. Mandy says:

    was so excited to comment agad, haven’t read the post totally. those longstemmed ones are lovely talaga!! kahit na overused, they look graceful naman. and arranging them differently dapat, not like yung pang condolence flowers ang arrangement. hehe. gotta make that dangwa trip. any tips on not looking stupid or having sucker-written-across-the-forhead in dangwa?

    Oct 21, 2006 | 1:17 am

  15. Marketman says:

    Mandy, they’ll spot a newcomer in an instant…if your Filipino is totally fluent, you may get a slightly better price. I find the key is to buy in volume. I did see other calla lilies for less but they were shorter and not these really long ones that had the blooms individually wrapped. At any rate I find PHP100 a dozen still a good price. Dangwa is best visited between 8-10 pm on a Wednesday or Thursday night. Do not take any valuables, dress down, and have cash in your pocket. Exercise care as you would in all places such as this.

    Oct 21, 2006 | 6:40 am

  16. Mandy says:

    thanks MM! i really appreciate your tips! :)

    Oct 21, 2006 | 12:11 pm

  17. edel says:

    hi mandy,
    try visiting dangwa around 1130pm wednesday/thursday/saturday nights. then go to the farthest end of dangwa (the one leading to north cemetery). you can buy the flowers at cheap prices there. and you can usually buy bulk or they weigh it like the baby’s breath. always look for the ones not wrapped in plastic because it becomes expensive. the middle part of dangwa are the expensive part (maybe because the buyers gets tamad na to cross the other end because they still have to cross a busy street) and the other end (the one that leads to espana) have exotic flowers and the cute mickey mouse fruits. its best to dress down and dont forget to haggle haggle haggle. dont appear too interested also ;)

    Oct 24, 2006 | 1:23 am


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