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Wedding flowers ideas

This is an unusual one for me. A friend is getting married in July 2017. She wants me to provide an abundance of home grown flowers for the venue to match her bouquet. The bouquet will be orange gerberas, purple irises, lime-green crysanthemums and something blue coloured. What can I grow which will flower in July reliably and without a greenhouse, which will match and mimic the bouquet, but be cheap enough to produce large amounts? I thought of plain pot marigolds to replace the gerberas, but am concerned they'd be a bit unpleasant to smell. Maybe cerinthe for the purple? I want to trial it this year ready for next year. 



  • JoneskJonesk Posts: 205

    Cornflowers come in multiple colours. They are cheap, easy to grow and flowering then. My delphiniums 'black knight' is actually a deep purple/blue and would make a great centre piece and contrast with the orange and lime beautifully, they reliably keep flowering if you dead head them.

    How lovely to have home grown flowers, good luck image

  • If grown from seed would it be flowering well in July 2017? Or would I need some potted plants?

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,322

    Frankie 6 - this is a lovely idea but please, for your own sanity, do rein in your friend's expectations of what you may or may not be able to produce.

    I am seriously not trying to be a killjoy but, trying to time flowers to coincide with an event such as this is difficult - especially if you do not have any special facilities to hold  back or bring on the flowers if the weather doesn't play ball. The timing of flowering will depend so much on whether or not we have a cold or warm spring.

    Please make sure she knows this and has a back up plan to get some flowers from another source if things don't go to plan.

    That said I would suggest you buy some perennials to grow this year so they will be more substantial plants next year and producing more blooms. I would consider buying several largeish plants of alchemilla mollis for their lovely greeny / yellow froth of flowers - a good filler. Largeish delphinium plants bought this year and grown on will probably produce several spikes each next summer.

    I would also look at larkspur, sweet peas, ammi major along with the other plants suggested before. Don't forget that hardy annuals sown in the autumn (such as sweet peas) will be a bit more reliable for producing flowers in July. Early sown cosmos & stocks should be ok if the colours are suitable.

    I suggest you have a good browse through Sarah Raven's website - she has some lovely combinations to give you ideas for seeds etc

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • Hi, yes there will be a back up plan! I have a lot of alchemilla mollis but the flowers go yellowy, so I wanted a more reliable source of acid green. I agree blue sweet peas would look and smell good. I need a big orange daisy type flower which doesn't smell bad. I've looked on Sarah Raven - that is where I got the cerinthe idea from. 

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,322

    If you're happy to experiment this year I would see how you get on with zinnias (there are some green ones) and perhaps with the green nicotiana.

    I don't think the zinnias would be ready for July but you could try sowing in various locations at different times & keeping them in different spots in the garden to see if something works. Nicotiana are more reliable but you might want to see if these work as cut flowers - never tried cutting them myself.

    Failing that I'd consider white flowers (stocks, cosmos, antirrhinums etc) with lots of green foliage and a few injections of orange / deep purple / blue etc.

    The salvia "nemerosa caradonna" (plants bought this year to make big plants for next) reliably produces rich purple spikes of flower and cornflowers and marigolds would be reliable to use as highlights.

    If all else fails pots of french lavender tied round with orange or lime green ribbons might look ok. Depends whether you're doing small individual table decorations or aiming for large stand alone displays...

    Good luck - hope you can find something to workimage

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,569

    Jam jars full of sweet peas.. lots of colours. Start this autumn, overwinter in a cold frame, sow some as back up in march, if you have a 12ft row, you should be picking 100s right through July and August. The more you dead head or pick, the more you get. See David Ks sweet pea thread.

  • Some really good ideas, thank you everyone who has posted ideas image

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,569

    Do you want centrepieces, table decorations or big church decorations?

    I did my centrepieces with gladioli, but that was October, in July a lot of delphinium spikes would look good in tall jugs.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,569

    Have a look at "having a go at a cut flower patch" page 12

  • the first thing to consider is do you have a sunny but sheltered spot to grow your flowers? As annuals need plenty of sun and reasonable soil to give their best.  I grow lots of cut flowers in rows in beds in my veg patch  with adequate spacing & treat them as a crop, and most importantly you will need to support most annuals to get straight stems for cutting.  I use pea & bean netting tied horizontally between posts about 30 to 45cm high and this works very well.  I've never noticed an unpleasant smell from pot marigolds but that could be subjective! I grow a variety called Neon, seeds from Sarah raven that is pretty, cerinthe is good but you must scald the stems for 30 seconds in 5cm of boiling water then plunge into cold water to condition or them stems will wilt.  Iceland poppies are good cut and come in orange they need the same treatment as cerinthe and are rather tricky to germinate but I think you can buy seedlings. for lime green nicotiana alata 'lime green' is very good cut but again needs starting off indoors from seed then hardening off before planting out.  As a final note Sarah raven has a book called grow your own cut flowers which is very good, and if you look on amazon there is one called 'grow your own wedding flowers' by georgie newbury again that is full of very useful help and ideas. good luck

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