Here are two very different floral creations that would both suit a casual centrepiece. The top image shows roses, jasmine and unripe strawberries in a fancy vase; the bottom image is a collection of blue flowers in plain metal dishes. Both look striking in their own way and both look like they’ve been casually thrown together on the spur of the moment – none the worse for it.
Oh, what gorgeous colours for a summer bouquet – soft pinks, pale yellows, blues and green. And I do love the turquoise backdrop. This is more likely a late spring/early summer bouquet, with flowers including peonies (they bloom from late spring to early summer), tulips, dahlias, blue larkspur, Queen Anne’s lace, bupleurum (with green and yellow umbels), and scabiosa seed pods (the starball scabiosa). Quite lovely for brides or bridesmaids – or for a vase indoors. See more of these lovely photos from The Bride’s Cafe.
Ranunculus corms are in garden centres now, so buy some and bung them in the fridge. A cold spell helps to break dormancy and encourages germination and good flower production. Four weeks is a good time. After that, soak them in tepid water for a few hours, then plant them out, with their claws facing down. If you plant them now you’ll get winter blooms, a little later and you’ll get spring blooms. Don’t forget to feed your plants. Ranunculi are greedy guts. Feed them once a month with a general purpose fertiliser.
At first glance I thought this was paving, but when I read the description I found it was actually cladding for a 1903-1904 apartment building in Paris. I think it’s gorgeous, and it would make the most exquisite paving, wouldn’t it? I wonder if I can make some leaves or petals out of concrete?
Photo from seier+seier’s Flickr photostream.
Zinnias are quick bloomers – sowing to flowering can take as little as 80 days. They’re quite the little workhorse in the flower garden too, producing a constant supply of blooms for the vase for many weeks.
Zinnias come in almost every colour, including bi-coloured and speckled, pale or vibrant hues. Mostly we think of them as bright and gaudy, with hot pinks, juicy oranges, yellows, reds and maroons, like in the bottom photo from Twist of Lime. Though there are soft pastel colours to choose from as well (middle image is from brilliant photographer Tammy Hughes). The top bouquet, designed by the ever-fabulous Florali, also features vibrant orange zinnias, marigolds, celosia and peonies, among others.
Sow seeds or plant seedlings now for a vibrant autumn show, and plant in full sun.
It’s so simple, but so very clever! Get the full instructions here.
Pelargoniums have an impressive vase life, particularly the double-flowered varieties. ‘Apple Blossom’ is one of my favourites, though any variety with double blooms is a winner. The leaves of pelargoniums that sport fancy patterns are stars in their own right and are ideal for filling bouquets and vase displays.
Plant pelargoniums in part shade to full sun in free-draining soil.
Regular readers will know that I’m a big fan of succulents in bouquets, their plump leaves often forming a rose-like bloom. And if you’re whipping up your own wedding bouquet – or just need a sure bet ‘bloomer’ – succulents are a good pick. Their colours are super trendy too, with deep burgundies and silver greys extremely popular.
For a shaded spot, here’s a plant that pulls out all the stops. Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum x hybridum) is a woodland dweller whose sublime green-tipped bells march four by four along graceful, arching stems. The plant peaks at around 1.2m high (a shorter version is Polygonatum multiflorum, which grows 60-90cm high), forming an attractive clump of rich green leaves.
Bloom time is late spring to early summer, and the tall stems can be picked for the vase. Pick when most of the flowers are open.
Solomon’s seal is a hardy, herbaceous perennial, dying back in winter, and reappearing around October in the Southern hemisphere. It does best in cool, dappled shade in rich soil with good moisture. Top-dress each year with compost or aged manure then leave it to its own devices; it doesn’t deal too well with disturbances.
Oh, I so love spring blooms, particularly anemones, ranunculus, poppies, tulips and peonies. They’re all so elegant and full of petals, and the soft romantic hues or sumptuous deep reds and purples have me quaking in my gumboots.