Scented sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, astrantia, forget-me-nots and sprigs of myrtle. Meghan’s bouquet at the royal wedding highlighted the beauty of the countryside and seasonal British flowers.
Flowers which have been locally grown can add a really personal, unique and special touch to your big day. Locally grown flowers follow nature and its seasons and that means that if you are really set on having peonies at your wedding you would have to get married in June when they flower. Or if you love dahlias you would want to get married in late summer or autumn.
I like to provide flowers for a couple and their family that you will always remember and where possible tie them in with a colour scheme or any personal preferences they might have. The process of growing wedding flowers can start over a year in advance so my blog this month is to help you, if you are thinking of booking flowers for your wedding.
Not everyone can book their wedding flowers so far in advance. What can you do if you get engaged in March and are getting married in July? You can definitely still book homegrown flowers for your wedding. However, this is where you need to be flexible and happy to have whichever flowers and colours are blooming best in the garden at the time of your wedding. I will already have planted all the bulbs and seeds for that year but will be able to tell you what I have in and what I can predict is likely to be in flower on your wedding date. I would be very happy to speak with you about your wedding flowers if you are getting married later this summer or autumn.
What if you are a bride who would just like a few buckets to arrange your own flowers? For this I would first get in touch to see what availability there would be. This will depend on the time of year and other bookings I already have. Usually for just a couple of buckets I wouldn’t need more than a months notice. Larger orders of several buckets I would need 3+ months notice.
Lets have a look now at weddings at different times of the year, the flowers likely to be in bloom and when is best to book.
I recommend booking your wedding flowers by June of the previous year to your wedding. A lot of the flowers I grow for spring weddings are bulbs and I have to order these in July of each year. I will plant them in the autumn and they will flower the following March-May. Bulbs can be ordered later than July but many of the varieties I grow will have sold out by even August/September which is why I like to get organised early.
Flowers you can look forward to in April are hyacinths, fritillaries, early tulips, narcissi/daffodils, muscari, hellebores and honesty. You can have a bright bouquet with all the colours of spring or if you order before July I can work with a colour scheme that you like. For example I have a bride next year who booked 18 months in advance and would like a white colour scheme. As she booked before the bulb order date I can plant white tulips, narcissi, hyacinth, fritillary and muscari for her and I have also been planting white hellebores this spring.
I can provide homegrown flowers for weddings from April. March in Scotland is too early for enough flowers and I would need to buy them in. The weather is unpredictable and in some years I will have an abundance of flowers in April. In other years I will have very little and may still have to buy in flowers from growers in England who are further on in their season. For example, this year the winter was so long I had no tulips in April at all but in previous years I had an abundance. Flower growing can be very unpredictable even when you have been doing it for a few years!
Again I would recommend booking your wedding flowers at least by the June of the previous year to your wedding. For May weddings I still make use of a lot of flowers from bulbs. With late tulips at the beginning and middle of the month through to alliums at the end of the month.
May is the most difficult month for flower growers as it is often at the end of the flowering bulb season but the annuals we have grown from seed have not yet got going. Although challenging the colours of May are beautiful and can provide shades of blues, pinks, purples and whites.
Here are some ideas of flowers that you may get in May: tulips, scented narcissi, hellebores, anemones, bluebells (early/mid May) hesperis, alliums, perennial cornflowers, aquilegia, jacobs ladder (mid/late May).
From late June to September you start to get an abundance of flowers in the flower patch. Working within colour schemes becomes easier as there are many more flowers to work with. The annuals grown from seed such as cornflowers, corncockle, sweet peas, cerinthe, ammi, larkspur and nigella all come into flower. As summer moves on you have cosmos and scabious starting to bloom. The list really is endless! The perennials I have grown from seed also come into flower such as astrantia, feverfew daisies and grasses.
If you are having a wedding between June and September I would recommend booking your flowers by the January of the year you are getting married at the latest. This is when I start to sow the seeds that will turn into your wedding flowers in the summer.
October is the month where we get the first frosts and the flower patch slows down. Having said that, October weather can often be lovely and the flowers can keep going through November. Having homegrown flowers at your October wedding is possible and it just means I may have to source a few from other flower growers if I can’t provide enough myself.
At this time of year you get some beautiful flowers such as dahlias, chrysanthemums, rudbeckia, scabious, helichrysum, cosmos, asters and often a second flush of flowers I have cut back like hesperis and astrantia. The colours are bold and bright and include reds, yellows and oranges. But it is possible to do smaller wedding orders in paler colours; there are just fewer flowers to use.
I normally make my orders for tubers like dahlias before Christmas the year before you get married and start these off in pots indoors in March. I do have a large stock of my own dahlias but if you were very specific about colours of flowers you would like I recommend book in 10 months + in advance of your wedding.
Bright and beautiful. Below is an example of the kind of bouquet you could have in late September / October
Paler colour schemes at October weddings. These were challenging due to many of the flowers being bold and bright in the flower patch. However there were some beautiful cosmos, helichrysum, scabious, asters and grasses that I grew which were in flower.
Unfortunately I cannot provide flowers for weddings in November, December, January, February and March as the flower patch is dormant. However at this time of year I can provide beautiful confetti which I make from the flowers I grow. Please just get in touch anytime if you would like some confetti for your wedding at any time of the year.
Growing your wedding flowers is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. I love to grow varieties for you which you love or are memorable to you. Maybe you remember a particular flower from your garden or a grandparent’s garden when growing up. Ordering your flowers well enough in advance means I can grow these special flowers for you and provide a truly unique part of your wedding.