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Alstroemerias, spider chrysanthemums, sunflowers and gladioli
Alstroemerias, spider chrysanthemums, sunflowers and gladioli

Lounge Loves | Fresh Flowers, Foodhall

Spider chrysanthemums, Sweet Williams and other wild flowers in a bouquet

Best buds

Nearly all the women shoppers at the Palladium mall outlet of Foodhall in Lower Parel, Mumbai, on Wednesday evening left the store with a bouquet of wild flowers. Many stopped at the Fresh Flowers kiosk despite loaded shopping carts.

I had walked into the gourmet supermarket to pick snapdragons, but I left with a dozen flaming sunflowers, a pair of purple majesty ornamental millets, 10 spider chrysanthemums and a bouquet made with over 25 Sweet Williams and statice stems.

Ever since Foodhall launched its Fresh Flowers section three months ago, store manager Shelly Duggal says women exit the store beaming. The brand only stocks super-sized, rare or wild varietals of flowers, all sourced from farms in Ooty. Sunflowers here are like the subjects of Van Gogh’s painting and the red roses look as dramatic as The Enchanted Rose in Beauty And the Beast.

You won’t find ordinary and overused purple- and blue-dyed orchids here—we checked on multiple visits. Even the bulbous gladioli in bouquets can be replaced with the exotic ornithogalum, which resembles an artichoke blooming, or the alstroemeria, that bears miniature lilies with spotted animal print-like petals. The spider chrysanthemum petals have the same texture as onion or garlic skin.

Since the flowers are sourced domestically, you can make a medium-sized hand bouquet for as little as 200. Ask for store attendant Chirag Jiture—we noticed he picks out long-lasting flowers for floral arrangements and shares tips on how to care for them. The store also offers a range of decorative baskets and vases for floral arrangements, but most flowers are pretty enough to be wrapped in plain white paper.

Available at Foodhall outlets in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore. Prices range from 5-75 for a single stem.

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