Early summer bouquet


Head to your flower borders and throw together a bouquet of seasonal summer blooms. In my garden there are plenty of hydrangeas and roses – and down the road a snip of eucalyptus leaves (with the neighbour’s permission) pads it out. What’s flowering in your patch right now?

Romantic anemones and roses


I luuurrrrve this bouquet by Joy Proctor. It’s so very pretty with the burgundy anemones and deep red cabbage roses. It’s tied together with black berries, sweet peas and lovely mid-green foliage. Gorgeous!

See more of this moody design that was created for a film photography workshop over at Style Me Pretty.

Summer posy



A quick summer posy. Virtually anything looks good in a vase with daisies or roses – and a posy of both looks divine. So country chic.

Lovin’ those dahlias

I adore dahlias, and so does Studio Choo, who put together these gorgeous bouquets. The top image has dahlias, roses and hydrangeas, among other blooms; the middle one has dahlias and clematis. The bouquet in the bottom image is more about nigella (love-in-a-mist), peonies, passionfruit flowers and clematis foliage. Simply divine.

Plant Now: Roses

Beautiful roses
amber carpet rose
It’s not the typical time of year to plant roses (at least not in the southern hemisphere), though potted roses can actually be planted year-round. In fact, it’s not a bad time of year at all to get your roses, because you’ll be able to see them in bloom in the garden centre. The colours on the labels are often not a complete match to the actual blooms (that’s to do with the printing process), so to see them in flower is a good option.

Particularly Flower Carpet roses. My Flower Carpet Amber (bottom image) is flowering its socks off right now and it looks spectacular. This rose was introduced in 2009 and recently won an award in the All Deutschland Rose Trials, considered the world’s toughest test of rose performance. It’s certainly a great performer, producing masses and masses of blooms from spring till late autumn. It inspires passersby too. Planted at the front of my house, I often see people taking photos (truly) as well as cuttings! Well, at least there is plenty of it to go around.

If you are planting roses now, make sure you water them well over the summer period. Plant them in compost-enriched soil in full sun, and feed regularly.

Manuka in a bouquet


Who would have thought to use manuka (leptospermum) in a bouquet? This beautiful floral arrangement was created by Rebecca Shepherd and photographed by Elisabeth Millay.

It’s so simple, yet stunning, with purple, pink and white roses and branches of manuka. This is, in fact, a belt, which is tied around the middle of a bride’s waist. Check out more of this lovely photoshoot over at the amazing Chic Vintage Brides.

Plant Now: Roses

Bouquet of white and pink roses
Pink roseswedding bouquet and vintage wallpaperOrange Roses
Roses are dormant in winter so it’s the best time to plant bare root roses. Containerised roses can be planted too. For armloads of cut flowers over a long period, choose Floribundas and Hybrid Teas. Take a trip down to your local garden centre and you’ll find a large number of varieties in stock. Avoid plants with shrivelled canes as that’s a sign the plant has dried out – and a sure bet for failure. Buy plants that have at least three strong, healthy looking canes.

When planting, dig a hole big enough to accommodate the roots when spread out, around 40cm wide by the same deep. If planting several roses, don’t squish them together, as this reduces airflow around the plants, raises the humidity levels and encourages disease. Position roses a metre apart; climbers and ramblers can be spaced at a distance of 4m.

Add slow release fertiliser to the bottom of the hole, add a small amount of soil to form a mound, then place the rose on top of that. The bud union should be level with the surface. Backfill with soil and water well.

Rosy outlook

Wedding bouquet

Wedding flowersWedding flowers
Get a head start on spring by ordering your rose bushes for winter planting. Look online for specialist rose nurseries. There are a far great number of rose varieties and species available by mailorder than there are at your local garden centre. Bare-root roses will be sent out in winter, when they’re dormant.

In the meantime, be inspired by these delicious photos from Style Me Pretty. I adore the light pinky-brown rose. The berries look to be from the snowberry (Symphoricarpos), and the white flower in the bottom photo is love-in-a-mist (Nigella).

Foliage filler

bouquet with dusty miller
Duster miller (Senecio cineraria) is an old favourite and it’s especially useful as a filler for vases and bouquets. It’s velvet-like foliage is truly elegant, making other flowers, especially white ones, shine. Dusty miller can be picked throughout the growing season and needs no particular care, other than a spot in full sun.

This beautiful bouquet, from Style Me Pretty, features dusty miller and gypsophila amongst creamy white roses.

Flowers for the table

table flowersBlue table centrepieceHere 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.

Image source: rose bouquet Moonlight Rainbow; blue flowers Basket Bike.