Dorothy McDaniel’s Flower Market Will Have You Ready to Deck the Halls

A mantel with a pair of miniature Christmas trees.
Photography by John O’Hagan

Text by Bethany Adams

As you peruse the shelves of Dorothy McDaniel’s Flower Market today, it’s difficult to imagine that Dorothy started out keeping flowers in a Pepsi cooler. A lifelong floral enthusiast who directly attributes that passion to her mother and the garden she cultivated, Dorothy hadn’t originally intended to go into the business. Instead, she studied criminology and nurtured her floral inclinations on the side—until high demand compelled her to reconsider.

A Christmas tree with a feathered topper in Dorothy McDaniel's Flower shop.
Photography by John O’Hagan

“Friends called me often to arrange flowers for them,” she says, “and after a while, it became evident that I would have to go into business or out of friends.” Nearly 45 years later, she now offers a variety of floral services throughout Birmingham, Alabama. And while her shop is a treasure trove of beauty all year long, Christmas sees it transformed into a space bursting with magic—and plenty of glittering décor.

A Santa figurine surrounded by lights.
Photography by John O’Hagan

Tabletop trees, fresh and permanent garland and wreaths, lights, candles, and more fill the shop during the holidays, all topped off with eye-catching ornaments and ribbons that perfectly complement the fresh elements Dorothy and her staff love using in their clients’ homes. “There are very few things that say Christmas more effectively than poinsettias,” notes Dorothy, but she also enjoys using branches, feathers, pine cones, and ilex—a genus that includes holly. “Tall branches of red berries dropped in a tall vase is stunning.”

Blue-and-white ginger jars and a topiary.
Photography by John O’Hagan

But Dorothy isn’t content just to craft beautiful displays herself—she actively works to foster the same love her mother passed down to her in her customers. And from plants, planters, containers, and more to supplies and videos geared toward teaching clients to decorate their mailboxes for the holidays, she continues to do just that. So, whether or not your visit takes place during the holiday season, you’re sure to leave with a new—or renewed—love of all things floral.

A garland with red ribbon draped around a shelf of blue-and-white vases.
Photography by John O’Hagan

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