Thursday, April 17, 2014

How to grow your own Wedding Flowers: Part 2

Most important thing about local flowers...

Before we get carried away choosing any flowers, you must check when they are expected to bloom. This is crucial for your wedding to go as planned. You need your plant to be at the height of its blooming for your wedding day, some biennials won't bloom until the second year! So always check and double check flowering time. Check this flower page for an idea of what flowers are available when in Nova Scotia.

Eddie asleep on seed catalogue

Favourite Easy (ish) to grow Flowers for Summer Weddings

  • Gladioli - tall and simply stunning, more expensive than most seeds that's because they come as bulbs and you simply dig a large trench and plop them in. There are some awesome colours out there too as well as Wedding white. Perhaps too large for a wedding bouquet, but will surely make dramatic arrangements with height.
  • Snapdragons - Hardy and one of the earliest flowers in Nova Scotia. Come in a variety of colours and bloom all summer long too so there is bound to be something that matches your colour scheme. Many nurseries grow these so you may be able to buy plants rather than growing from seed. But check they are not dwarf varieties, because you won't get decent stem length.
  • Sunflowers - why not? Easy to grow and everybody loves them. They come in a fantastic array of colours from chocolate to peach to lemon yellow.
  • Zinnias - Come in a variety of colours and sizes and some even look very dahlia-esque. Many nurseries grow these so you may be able to buy plants rather than growing from seed. But check they are not dwarf varieties, because you won't get decent stem length.
  • Cornflowers / Bachelors Buttons - For me this is the best blue flower around, simple, elegant, stems can be cut long for dramatic arrangements or mini for posies. Best started from Direct seeding, which is kind of annoying because of the weeding involved! but it is worth the effort (get Mum and Dad to do it!).
  • Salvia - Not an impressive bloom but a great filler that comes in a variety of colours like white, pink, purple and even red. Again can be found in nurseries so you could just buy a plant but do check it's a cutting variety.
  • Statice - A great filler, keeps going all summer, comes in loads of bright colours and has a long vase life. Also keeps its colour when dried if you like to keep your bouquet.
  • Sweet peas - If you want fragrance and old-fashioned beauty then these are a must. They are hardy so can be put in the ground early.
  • Lilies - Well, these require a bit more planning, since they need to get in the ground in October the year before your wedding. Some associate them with funerals but I think they are great and easy to grow which is a bonus. But always check when they will bloom, they have a tendency to just explode, way before you really want them to.

    Also worth considering

  • Local grasses and wild flowers like Brown eyed Susans, daisies, cat tails, willow branches etc. Some of these don't have a great vase life but you can certainly use them for one day!
  • Perennials - you might not have your own well established garden, but may know someone who does. Here you will find roses, peonies, sea holly, globe thistle, lilies, alliums, hostas, astilbe etc. Obviously ask permission before you get harvesting!
  • Herbs - Many varieties of herb can add unusual flair to bouquets, look at basil, parsley, feverfew, garlic scapes, wormwood, rosemary, bee balm and even mint to name a few.
If you still love the idea of local flowers for your wedding but don't think you've got the time or energy then take a look here to see what services Oliver Farm can provide. Contact us with questions through the contact form on the left hand side of the blog or find us on Facebook by searching for Oliver Farm Botanicals.

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