Ornamental Cabbages and More…


Marketman is utterly crazed at the moment, so you will have to excuse me for a day or two while I prepare for The Kid’s confirmation this weekend. I volunteered (?!) to do the flowers for the church for the confirmation ceremony of roughly 2 dozen ladies and gentlemen, or is it still girls and boys? I only volunteer to do these things once a year or so and I am always utterly crazed the day before. While I have learned some tricks along the way, such as avoiding highly labor intensive tasks like having to de-thorn 3,000 roses and arrange them carefully, opting instead for larger blooms that are more visible and less work, the logistics of these types of events are always daunting. And with a limited budget chipped in by all of the parents of the kids, and Marketman’s innate gene for going just a little over the top, the challenge is always a good one. Several readers have asked me to do a post on ornamental cabbages so here are a few photos. Ornamental cabbages are not the same as cabbage roses (the later a very lush and heavily petaled flower, the former a close relative of cabbage, as in cole slaw). King Louis farms seems to be growing these up North, so they are plentiful, beautiful and well-priced as well. If you could see our home at the moment, it is EXPLODING with more raw materials than a typical florist would buy in a week, and here is a sampling…


Up top, a “white” ornamental cabbage, with the plant or “bloom” roughly 12 inches across. It is stunning and a great focal point OR filler for a floral arrangement. The second photo is of a purple ornamental cabbage… There are 40 pieces total of this slightly pungent green in our living room in plastic basins (palangganas) with a few inches of water to keep them fresh.


I also got some 20 pots of impressive blue/purple hydrangeas from suki of mine, and these without a pre-order, thank goodness, as…


… these 20 pots of pink hydrangeas ordered several weeks ago were somewhat disappointing if not pathetic in size and quality of their blooms, and more expensive too boot! And a further order of 30 cut hydrangeas in white, blue and purple were a disaster, so I rejected them all and compensated with more flowers from other sources…


It doesn’t look like it in this photo, but there are over 500 stems of white and deep pink roses from Dimasalang in these pails, acquired at an unbelievably low price late last night…


And finally, my lisianthus supplier TOTALLY screwed up, and instead of getting 50 wonderful new stems of the flower in three shades I got just 10-15 deadish ones. Don’t you hate it when people confirm orders and dates and recofirm the same, and then they don’t deliver on promises??? At any rate, I think I have over prepared with the raw materials… now I just have to figure out what do with them AND how to get it all to the church early in the morning…


41 Responses

  1. MarketMan,

    As usual, you have been able to take my breath away with stunning photos of beautiful blooms.

    I felt “adventurous” 2 days ago and thanks to having discovered this blog, decided to purchase an itsy-bitsy potted sweet basil and greek oregano… Ta daah! :)

    I hope I will be able to take good care of them. :)

    I can just imagine that your house is full of wonderful scents from the flowers and hopefully it will help you de-stress amidst your preparations.

    Congratulations on The Kid on her Confirmation!



  2. I’d never heard of those cabbages before! They’re stunning, indeed! And come in purple! :-D Are they cheaper than flowers, around the same price as cabbage?

  3. Katrina, you would LOVE the purple ones. And they are very reasonably priced, just PHP80 per piece from the source. It should last a good week in a vase of water. Beautiful by itself, great as part of a bigger arrangement! Quillene, good luck with the herbs, I have a black thumb myself… so it is difficult for me to grow things. And the Kid says thanks as well…

  4. MM, which stall is your suki in Dimasalang? There are so many of them. We usually purchase flowers and arrange them ourselves too, but our arrangements not as beautiful as yours. :)

  5. I very much trust you in coming up with beautiful arrangements for The Kids’ sacred confirmation sacrament to fill the Church with them and marked the occasion well. There is dethorning tools for roses looks like a cable wire cutter you just run it through the stem it will zap all the thorns including the unwanted leaves to make you life easy. What I can I say the parents of the other boys and girls could not handle the job you do well. So you might as well do the job yourself. It is disappointing when you walk in at the Church and you see the arrangements facing in different directions. All I can say is you are a man of highly academic skills with lots of talents – you are the male and Asian version of Martha Stewart!

  6. MC, I have that stainless de-thorner, several of them actually. You can get them at floral supply shops for a couple of bucks, but I once had to de-thorn 3,000 roses and even with the implement, it was nasty. jenny, I buy from whomever has the freshest stuff. The sukis I mention above are really the growers or wholesalers such as King Louis Farms, Waling, etc. In Dimasalang, I tend to buy away from the main road…more towards the end of the street with stalls. Last night roses were PHP20-25 PER DOZEN for blooms that just stepped off the bus from Baguio. Incredibly low prices, I was stunned, and hence probably overbought…

  7. mm this is just how i see on how you can arrange the church easily and not a suggestion. 3 flower arrangements at the altar, 2 sides 1 center and 2 at the entrance door.

  8. I can’t wait to see the arrangements! I am sure they will make The Kid’s confirmation an extra special event.

    In Seoul, I saw ornamental cabbages growing in huge pots as outdoor decor for a large electronics store. Beautiful as they were blooming even at the onset of winter.

  9. MM, beautiful!! would love to see photos of the finished work of love..i have forwarded your website to my sister. she is a florist in iloilo..(john paul, i think you know her) those wholesalers are familiar to me. she also orders from puentespina. i have witnessed the stress from messed up orders..she has antacids on standby..

  10. Ooo, I love ornamental cabbages, have seen them more and more these days and enjoy how they’re mixed with either simple foliage or florals and really add a punch to the display. All that texture in just one big oomphy bloom. The purple one is gorgeous!

  11. Dr Chato of King Louis did the flowers at my wedding and she did a superb job, especially with the ornamental cabbages as centerpieces, those were my favorite and some of our wedding guests to this day still gush over her cabbage centerpieces… too bad i dont have a digital pics of the centerpieces (Eddie Boy E was still using fil then hehe), could have emailed them to give you an idea… but then again im sure you’d come up with something gorgeous… :)

  12. Hi There, i just came accross your blog through stumbleupon and think it is fantastic. Lovely food pics especially. I have so many blogs in my RSS that I usually dont even stop on food blogs as I hardly have time to read the ones that i have already! Good news is that I just added yours and will try and read it as much as possible. Have you been cooking long? If you feel like sharing some of your food pics and sharing them with others then http://www.ifoods.tv is my site and I’d love to see you there. I started as a blogger a year ago as well and realised that there are so many good blogs out there but so few people know about them and get to read them so I wanted to find a place to showcase food photos, recipes and videos. Anyway enough rambling on from me, best of luck and keep up the good work!

  13. I used these for my wedding a few years back! I’m not a big flower lover, but since I was getting married, I felt forced I had to get into it. My florist was a lifesaver! He and I talked a while and came up with a whole concept that was so me! oh.. and my hubby. hahah

  14. Hi! Glad you finally did a post on cabbage roses this time.

    My town mates in Talavera, Nueva Ecija was amused at the purple cabbage roses I put in our karo last holy week.

    Maybe next year I will use the white ones.

    Belles of Ireland is pretty too but a bit weak in hot humid weather.

    From where did you get your blue/purple hydrangeas?

  15. Dr.Nikki Chato is the florist to go to especially if your wedding is in Baguio. Very reasonable & superb arrangements!

    The flowers are direct from their farm and is super fresh!

    For my cousin’s wedding in 2006, the flowers in PMA chapel & the ballroom of Baguio Country Club was overflowing but the budget was reasonable.

  16. It’s so pretty MM!! =) Congratulations to the kid. can’t wait to see the pics of your artrangements =)

  17. WOW! Those purple cabbages are beautiful!

    Note to self: buy roses at this time of the year and send belated Happy Valentine’s Day card with 10 dozen roses. *lol*

  18. you are funny!!!! going over the top is genetic?

    please be sure to do a blog on the arrangements you came up with. i am sure they will not be ordinary or the usual

  19. Surprised to find out that they thrive in the tropics since they are often the last decorative exterior greenery left here in December (you see them flanking trendy restaurant entrances) long after frost has shredded hardy mums and right before evergreens take-over the landscape.

    Sorry MC, I just could not resist although it would not be the first time that I stepped on my mouth.

  20. ging, I am not sure if you can get them in Cebu, but I am sure a florist can special order them for a large event. Apicio, I was surprised to see them in local markets as well. A few years ago, imported versions were well over $10 a piece, now the local ones are a little less than $2 a piece and humongous to boot! sonia, yes, I believe going over the top could be a special gene altogether :) kasseopeia, yup, the same roses were as much as PHP150 a dozen two months ago, just before valentine’s, now they are 1/6th the cost… The Steak Lady and others, photos up in a few days of the arrangements made from these flowers. Tricia, SHARP eyes you have there. Yes, they are snapdragons and I got 3 dozen or so of those. Tricia, I can only imagine how much nicer, fresher and cheaper the flowers in Baguio can be! Nikka, you must have been amongst the earliest users… these have only been in the market a few years, I think.

  21. I’ve always loved your flower posts and this is just gorgeous :) cant wait for the final product… Congratulations to the Kid on her Confirmation. Its a receiving of a sacrament – just as important as a wedding or baptism, actually. These flowers are just perfect for it :)

  22. cabbage flowers? never heard of these before but they are just beautiful. MM, i wish i have your eye for beauty.

  23. MM, you probably know this but I’ll share it nonetheless.

    I use 3 barbecue sticks (like a tripod) around the stem of cabbage rose then secure it with rubber bands so I can easily arrange/attach them to the oasis floral foam.

    As you can see, the stems of cabbage roses are so makapal. Cutting them is hard. Poking them with 1 stick is impossible.

    This way, the cabbage rose seem to “float”.

  24. Off topic, I have been visiting this site for a couple of months now and there’s a long way to go to read all the posts! Good luck to me!

    I think your posts are very informative and at the same time very entertaining, especially for a homesick Pinay like me cooped up in Michigan.

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

  25. I’m tasked once a year to arrange flowers for our local church’s (a 400+ yr old cathedral) altar for the feast day of St. Joseph on May 1 and I’ve just about exhausted all my ideas on what flowers to use and what arrangement to make. Until I saw those gorgeous ornamental cabbages, that is. May I ask where I can purchase them?

  26. feifu,ornamental cabbages, from King Louis Farms, I have a post on them in the archives with contact numbers. Odette, thanks for visiting and feel free to troll through the archives when you have nothing better to do… Tricia, that’s a good trick… I have done that with other flowers but didn’t think to do it with the ornamental cabbages… thanks!

  27. MM, twice i visited your site, and everytime, i got what i want, be it delicious recipes or beautiful flowers. I’m into gardening and love my milflores colored purple and pink but it take a lot of time before they flower again. Can you help me with this? Any suggestion? Thanks a lot.

  28. phea, hydrangeas require relatively cool weather and LOTS and LOTS of water. I have several posts on hydrangeas in the archives, you may want to check them for additional tips…

  29. hi! I’m from iloilo city. my aunt’s been arranging the flowers every year during good friday. last year we bought flowers from dimasalang also. however, we do not have a regular suki. do you have any idea or suggestions for a less expensive way of getting these fresh flowers without us needing to go to manila. since these flowers are financed through donations only. i would love to have purple hydrageas and lisianthus (as seen in this website)this year, but would they cost so much?

  30. please send us a quotation on your wedding packages we prefer white, red and lilac/purple roses.



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