Planning a Wedding Flower Garden

Its already started! I’m planning the garden for next season but this time all the raised beds will be filled with cut flowers for a wedding. The bride to be has sent me her list of flowers she would like me to grow for the wedding and half the seeds have already arrived. The rest of the seeds can’t be ordered until early December but that’s not far off. I love growing flowers for events. Okay, I love flowers any time. The colours we are using are light pink, white and light purple. Some of the flowers are new to me so I have to admit I’m a bit nervous about growing them. I’ve done a garden plan and grouped the flowers in the beds depending on their heights. Plants growing 3′-4′ tall will get their own bed and be supported using floral netting. It’s a good thing I kept the netting from the last wedding I grew for. I’m not looking forward to untangling the netting. As much as the netting supports the plants its a pain to take down when the plants are done.

So what am I growing next year? The main flower is Lisianthus which needs to be started 10-12 weeks before last frost. That means I’ll be planting the seeds in mid to late January so we have blooms in time for the wedding. I’ve also learned that Lisianthus is a bit of a diva and doesn’t like the rain. That means I may need to have a hoop house ready to cover her tender blossoms. Talk about drama!

I’m also growing carnations in white and light pink. I love carnations as they last so long in a vase. They will be the perfect wedding flower. Carnations grow to about 3′ tall so they will need some support to keep them from falling over. I’m growing annual carnations which will be started in late winter. Carnations need at least six hours of sun and a well drained soil. Did you know carnations are one of the most popular flowers in the world?

There will also be green orach and Persian cress which I will grow in an area where its shaded in the afternoon. The cress can be dried so that’s a lifesaver if it decides to bolt and go to seed when summer arrives. The Persian cress may require multiple plantings to get the timing right for the wedding. Both the orach and cress are edible plants with either beautiful leaves or seed pods.

Snapdragon and Larkspur will fill one of the raised beds. These two flowers are amazing fillers for bouquets. I will start the Snapdragon seeds in early March in the greenhouse. They could be sown directly outside in April but I want to get the spacing correct and sometimes that’s not so easy with tiny seeds. Larkspur is best direct sown where you want it to grow but I’ll have back up seedlings just in case. Planting seedlings is always the best bet as they are more tolerant to pests like slugs when they are larger plants.

I’m growing one of my favourites for the wedding, Ammi. Its got such large flowers with some of them being about 7″ across. If you want an architectural plant this is the one. Check out the perfect patterns within this flower. Isn’t nature amazing? Ammi or false Queen Anne’s lace prefers to be direct sown but it’s a slow starter so be sure to plant it in late April.

Statice in shades of purple, pink and white will make up fillers for the wedding flowers. Statice is so easy to grow but I was surprised at how tall it could grow. Its about 30″ high and takes up little room so plants can be planted close together. If you follow my Facebook page at That Bloomin’ Garden you’ll know how much I love drying flowers. I think it’s because it gets me through the winter months when the skies are so grey here on the west coast of British Columbia.

Have you grown wedding flowers for someone? I’d love to hear how that went. I know I can’t control Mother Nature so rain and heat can be an issue. Fortunately there are always alternate flowers to choose from in the garden. For example, the Tanacetum or feverfew is a great filler in bouquets. Here it’s been combined with asters and hydrangea flowers for a striking bouquet.

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