Health

The Flower Mart at Mount Vernon Place boasts vibrant flora to welcome spring

I’ve always been a little bit obsessed with flowers. Every summer I eagerly awaited the days when my mom would take us to the grocery store, pick out the flowers we wanted to plant in our front yard and take us home for a day of gardening.

While I’m a bit ashamed of my track record of keeping plants alive since I’ve been at Hopkins, I decided that there’s no time like the present to start fresh. To celebrate the end of classes and the emergence of the beautiful weather, I ventured to the flower-mart at Mount Vernon Place with my roommate Becca.

The market ran on April 29 and April 30 from 11 am to 8 pm on both days. The Flower Mart, which is hosted by the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy, occupies the grounds surrounding the Washington Monument right outside the Peabody Institute.

On April 29, Becca and I stepped off the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute (JHMI) Shuttle and were immediately met with the vibrant market just moments after it opened. Dozens of vendors lined the streets that converge around the monument, creating a beautiful mosaic of greenery, flowers, artisan goods and delicious food. There were a couple stage areas set up for larger educational events and music performances, which unfortunately did not occur while we were there.

COURTESY OF GRETA MARAS

Becca immediately stopped by a macaron vendor for a cute sleeve of mini cake batter, Oreo and Fruity Pebbles macarons. Next to the macaron stall, we found a flower and plant vendor that was teeming with gorgeous options.

Across the market you could find any flower imaginable: hydrangeas, pansies, beautiful bouquets of roses, lilacs and the list goes on. I purchased an orange gerbera for $6, which now sits proudly in a planter on my row home’s front porch. To accompany it, I later purchased a pink begonia from another flower stand for $6. Both of the plants I purchased were not potted because most of the potted plants were on the more expensive end. With that said some stalls had adorable plant holders in the shapes of watering cans, birdhouses and picnic baskets.

While I am partial to flowers, there was a wide selection of succulents, greenery and produce plants. Fresh herbs are always a treat, so market goers were given ample opportunity to buy sprouts for home-grown basil, parsley, oregano and everything in between.

We were delighted to discover that Ekiben, a Hopkins favorite, was present at the market among many other food stalls that were serving barbecue and seafood. Becca and I stopped by to snag two spicy Neighborhood Bird chicken sandwiches before continuing our search for products.

I’m eternally jealous of the Peabody students who are more proximate to the lovely fountains and grassy areas in Mount Vernon. The rich history of the neighborhood is truly palpable when you sit beneath the old buildings and the monument.

COURTESY OF GRETA MARAS

After rounding the corner, the stalls transitioned away from plants and into jewelry, pottery and various other mediums of art. While all the vendors carried beautiful and quality products, Becca and I knew that it was love at first sight when we got to the District Harvests booth.

District Harvests is a small woman-owned business run by Amanda Starr Bean, who was managing the booth with her mother. Her creations by Ella involve dried flowers, which she bottles and presses to create gorgeous pieces.

I truly have never had a more difficult time deciding what to buy from a store before. I settled on a domed glass case with preserved yellow flowers inside for $48, and I purchased bottles of pink, blue and yellow flowers for each of my three sisters as well, each for about $25. Funnily enough Mayor Brandon Scott stopped by to converse with the stall owners and customers as we were checking out from District Harvests. Big things are certain to happen when Becca and Greta hit the town.

Overall Becca and I were delighted with our experience at the Flower Mart. The lively community atmosphere paired with the joyful and talented vendors provided the perfect start to our day and weekend. I make my pledge in the name of the Flower Mart to tend diligently to my new porch flowers.

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