Spirits dominate everything the Balinese do. Offerings are presented every day, every full and new moon and whenever there’s an event taking place in the banjar or at the temple. At least 30% of the average Balinese woman’s life is spent preparing for a ceremony, participating in a ceremony or cleaning up after a ceremony. So ardent is the practice that it has brought about what some have called the culture of ritual poverty. Frangipani blossoms, at Rp.80,000 to Rp.100,000 per kilo, are worth even more than recycled bronze and brass scrap on Bali! Since Balinese housewives need at least a pound of flowers each week to meet their ritual obligations, it is little wonder that flowers are grown everywhere.
It is from the widespread tradition of giving offerings that a unique and thriving commercial flower industry has emerged. Floral arrangements, in countless designs and styles, combine tropical and temperate flowers such as roses, as well as organic materials and found objects like seedpods and driftwood, to create fanciful and utterly delightful compositions. From petite bouquets to extravagant wreaths, the variety is mind-boggling.
The usual price for a professionally-executed flower arrangement is Rp.800,000 to Rp.1 million. But for something more extravagant, measuring up to 1.5 metres wide by 2 metres tall, you can easily spend Rp.1.5 to Rp.2 million in the florist shops of Bali’s tourist areas.
Along Denpasar’s colourful Pasar Kembang (Flower Market), less extravagant compositions cost as little as Rp.100,000-Rp.200,000, including the vase! Located on the south side of Jl. Sutoyo (one street south of Tiara Dewata), this short, busy street is lined with flower shops selling southern Bali’s cheapest freshly cut red roses, white roses, chrysanthemums, carnations, asters, orchids, small bouquets (rangkaian) and posies, and also indigenous flowers. Individual flowers may also be bought.
Many flower arrangement designs can be ordered for birthdays, bouquets to chaplets, congratulatory floral presentations, funerals, grand openings, weddings, automobile decorations for weddings and any other imaginable memorable occasion. No parking available, so go at off-peak hours (after 6 pm). Most of the flowers sold on Flower Street come from Jakarta, Bogor, Bandung and the Malang area of East Java. The gorgeous sedap malam stems are from Bali’s Bedugul area, Tabanan Regency.
Candikuning Market, Bedugul
Another great place to buy flowers is in the back of Candikuning market in Bedugul. Upon entering Bedugul, as the road descends and makes a right-hand turn down to the lake, you will find this traditional fruit, vegetable and spice market on the left. Pull into the main parking lot and walk through to the back, or take the side road on the left and park in the back. Four shops sell tier upon tier of fresh flowers – hydrangeas, begonias, cempaka and lovely mountain orchids, as well as potted plants, trees and ferns. This is the best place on Bali to buy white calla lilies (Zantedeschia), a symbol of purity and innocence.
While you’re in the vicinity, just up the main road (south) from Candikuning market is the start of the 2.5 km road up to one of Bali’s most popular destinations for flower lovers, the sprawling Kebon Raya Eka Karya Botanical Gardens, arboretum and housed mountain orchid collection. This extensive 130-hectare park, situated on the hilly lower slopes of 2,065-metre-high Mount Pohen is like a huge, beautifully landscaped, cool, green and inviting country estate, a superb place for a picnic or shady stroll with that special person.
Bali International Flora
Jl. Mertanadi II 9 Sunset Road
+62 (0)361 743 7475
Since 1996, BIF has grown flowers for the Bali market on six hectares of gardens in 1,300-metre-high Batu, East Java. Specializes in fresh gerbera, rose and Chrysanthemum hand bouquets and creative indoor or outdoor floral decorations for corporate events, luxury hotels and villas. Explore their website for floral designs. Excellent customer service.
Jl. Raya Basangkasa No. 88X, Seminyak
+62 (0)361 732700
Established by Michael Pritchard, who trained under floral designer Michel de Jong in Holland, this florist is top-of-the-line. Designers combine such organic and natural materials as terang susu (cow teat-shaped orange fruits), coconuts and multi-coloured leaves from Bali and Surabaya, as well as blossoms imported from as far away as Australia and Europe. Heliconia is a major supplier of arrangements to such upmarket hotel properties and restaurants as Bulgari, Como Shambala Estate, Four Seasons Jimbaran and Ubud, and Ku De Ta.
Jl. Sunset Road 7 X, Kuta
+62 (0)361 864 7039/0361 737 236
This small shop sells fresh flowers for hotels and weddings. Has much the same tropical flowers and wonderful arrangements as Heliconia, but cheaper. Choose indoor or outdoor compositions from their albums. Also sells glass and ceramic vases and unique wooden tableware.
Jl. Raya Kuta 81, Tuban
+62 (0)361 745 0695
Wedding decorations, hand bouquets and a wide variety of fresh flowers. Free online consultation: email@example.com or 24 hours SMS: +6281338338219.
Jl. Mayjen Sutoyo 38, Denpasar
+62 (0) 361 221 491
Floral arrangements, wedding decorations, bouquets and fresh flowers.
Puri Bunga Frangipani
Jl. Jayagiri XVI No. 5 X, Renon, Denpasar
+62 (0)361 245 418
Bouquets, fresh flowers and numerous designs and styles of flower arrangements from petite bouquets to extravagant wreaths.
Bali Orchid Garden
Jl. Bypass Tohpati, Kusamba 1, Denpasar
+62 (0)361 466 010
This beautifully-landscaped one-hectare garden, situated within the city’s green belt close to Sanur, grows and sells tropical flowers year-round. Open for individuals, groups and private functions.