GROW YOUR OWN WEDDING FLOWERS AND GREENERY (1)

Updated: Aug 7


Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers

The 2020 Yorkshire Bride Magazine gave PC Creations Leeds a mention in their magazine recently. They were focussing on green weddings.

In the magazine I talked about the fact that I had a number of plants in my garden, some of which I use for weddings.

You may find you also have the same plants growing in your garden. If you're planning on designing your own wedding bouquet and centrepieces maybe you should consider having a look around your garden to see what you could incorporate into your wedding flower bouquets and displays.

IN THE BEGINNING

When I set out to tame the front garden I was only concerned with putting plants in there which met certain criteria such as; they needed to be attractive, hardy, evergreen, not too invasive, could survive in a garden which was void of sun for a good part of the day and didn't require too much care and attention.

DO YOU HAVE ANY LEAFY PLANTS IN YOUR GARDEN?

If you are a DIY bride and you also plan to create your own fresh flower wedding bouquet and floral arrangements, I'm hoping that you may get some inspiration from here.

I love leafy plants, especially those with variegated leaves, which really come in handy when creating wedding bouquets that require lots of foliage.

There are several in my garden. I haven't used all of them for weddings, though in time the chances are I will eventually.

I've packed in as much as I can. It is what you might call a busy little garden, but I love it, as do the birds and the bees.

Below is a list of some of the plants I have growing in my little garden. My hope is that after taking a few minutes out to read this you might be pleasantly surprised to find that you already have some or most of what you need at your finger tips. It will definitely be beneficial to your wedding budget if you don't need to spend a fortune purchasing everything.

1.

BERGENIA

The Bergenia plant is a warrior in the garden. When all other plants have given up in the cold and the wind the Bergenia will thrive. The large, strong, leathery leaves of this plant are plentious. Not only that, the leaves will develop a red tinge in very cold weather.

This plant is one of the first to burst into flower when it's still very cold. Keep dead heading it and it will try it's best to keep rewarding you with a plethora of flowers throughout spring and beyond. It doesn't ask for much, just water and sunlight.

USES:

I have used both the flowers and the greenery in bouquets. The flowers clusters do look good in a small Boho bouquet. The large leaves will hold their own in any bouquet or floral display.

2.

BUXUS / BOX

This shrub has small dark green, oval shaped leaves, though fresh shoots do come through a few shades lighter.

Here in Leeds you won't have to look for too long before you find a garden containing one or two compact and well coiffured Box shrubs. If you are the proud owner of some, then you know they make a lovely hedge, or stand alone plant. The best thing about them is that they can be snipped and sculpted into all sorts of fun shapes. I'm not that adventurous I keep mine low and box shaped. I like their sturdiness. It's definitely one plant you needn't worry about during a storm.

It's a plant that doesn't ask for much except a nice trim, the best time to do this would be anywhere between November to February. Added bonus it's an all year round plant.

3.

DUSTY MILLER

Senecio Cineraria

A plant with beautiful soft silvery flock like, grey leaves. It doesn't demand too much attention, though it can get a bit leggy, and unattractive if left to flower. All of my Dusty Miller plants are looking unattractive at present. I thought I was the cause, but then noticed that the feathered friends in my back garden (I believe it's either the Sparrows or the Blue Tits) select only the finest leaves from these plants when I'm not around. Not for eating, but to feather their nests! Thankfully, the branches can root quite easily if placed in a jug of water. The plants are now protected with makeshift cloches created from chicken wire. I'm not being mean. It's just that I purchased these plants so that I could have them to hand when I needed some. I really do favour the variety that I have which has deep cut leaves. There's an added bonus for me also and that is that this plant is hardy enough to tough out the winter plus it doesn't mind a good pruning either.

I neglected to mention that this is a plant if left to it's own devices will produce clusters of pretty little gold flowers, but since I'm only interested in the foliage I will pinch the buds out as soon as I see them.

USES:

Fantastic in all types of bouquets and boutonnieres. The cut leaves look particularly good in boutonnieres

4.

EUONYMUS

Spindle tree variegated

I love the leaf colouring of this plant. The yellow/gold colouring on the edges is quite vivid, the leaves are glossy and long, but not too slender.

Again this plant doesn't ask for much just the occasional drink of water. At the moment it is competing with a couple of rambling roses for space and light and is still managing to hold its own. Added bonus, it's an all year round plant.

USES:

The branches work well in all types of bouquets, and the leaves really come into their own when used in buttonholes. This is another plant that doesn't ask for much. It also has long branches which are good for using in a trailing bouquet.

5.

EUONYMUS

Emerald Gaiety

This Euonymus is absolutely brilliant for ground cover. It may look and feel quite delicate, but it is a hardy all year round plant. It doesn't grow too fast or too tall. If you put it near a fence it will climb it. You can get some nice long branches, and in winter the leaves can get a pretty pink edge on them. Added bonus, it's an all year round plant.

USES:

The longer branches look good in loose tied or Boho bouquets, and shorter lengths look lovely in boutonnieres and corsages. I've used them to add a bit of interest and colour when greening in floral displays as well. It's a nice all rounder.

6.

EUONYMUS

Gold Spot

The Gold Spot Euonymus is variegated, similar to the previously mentioned Euonymus (Spindle Tree). The two main differences are; the leaves are not as long, they also have green edges and gold centres, which is the reverse of the markings on the spindle tree. Added bonus, it's an all year round plant.

USES:

See the Euonymus Spindle Tree.

7.

HEBE

Variegated

The Hebe I have is quite low and doesn't spread much. It produces a beautiful bottle brush like purple flower in summer. It's an easy going plant, just remember to water it occasionally.

I forgot it was there once when the lavender bush grew so large that it was completely covered. I literally only remembered it was there when I spotted one of it's beautiful, bright purple flowers coming out from beneath the lavender bush. Added bonus, it's an all year round plant.

USES:

I've used the branches successfully in floral centrepieces. The leaves should lend themselves well as part of a buttonhole as well.

8.

HEBE

The other Hebe in the front garden forms part of a hedge along with the Viburnum. At this time of the year it has feathery, lilac white flowers on show. If left to it's own devices it will grow quite tall and bushy. I don't water it or feed it. It looks after itself. It provides lots of shelter for the sparrows. In fact I've lost count of just how many of them are living in there.

Added bonus; it's an all year round plant, both the bees and the butterflies are attracted by the flowers.

USES:

I have used it for greening in before, but it's not a plant I necessarily favour. Not for any other reason than it's branches do not drape, and I like a branch that will do that.

9.

VARIEGATED HOSTA

Hostas have been a favourite plant of mine for a s long as I can remember. I also recollect that most of them tend to get destroyed by snails and slugs which is why I avoided having them in my garden for such a long time. Yes I have them now, but in order to prolong the beauty of my plants I chose to strategically place them in hanging baskets to protect them. It works. I love them for their foliage, and it's nice to be presented with a spike of purple flowers when I least expect it as well. Yes the plant will die back but each year in Spring those beautiful leaves start pushing through.

USES:

The leaves of the hosta can transform a wedding bouquet. I like to see them used as a collar around ivory roses, but the possibilities are endless. I haven't had the opportunity to use mine yet, but that won't stop me growing them.

10.

HYPERICUM

I love my hypericum. Why? because I get 3 for the price of one with this lovely plant. Firstly this is a hardy evergreen, which means I can enjoy it all year round. Secondly, when it is in bloom, it is covered in a carpet of golden yellow flowers. Thirdly, the added bonus is the beautiful dark red berries that come into their own when the flowers are gone.

All this plant needs is water every now and again, and a really good pruning between March and April will ensure the plant will reward you richly.

USES:

The berries are ideal for use in boutonnieres, bouquets and floral centrepieces.

11.

LADY'S MANTLE

Alchemilla

I took this picture first thing in the morning. It shows why I love this plant so much. I adore the shape of the leaves, the long elegant flower stems, the clusters of small yellow flowers, but most of all its the way the leaves hold onto the morning dew, which glistens in the early morning light. This greenery maybe considered more like a weed than a garden plant, but I think it is beautiful and looks lovely in a nice leafy wedding bouquet. Minus the dew that is.

USES:

You can use big bunches of the flowers in vases for impact, and to be perfectly honest with you greenery is not necessary. Add a few stems of them to your wedding bouquet to create an airy feel.

BLOG UPDATE

Image above uploaded Friday 3rd July, 2020

Due to the copious amount of rain in the last few days, the Alchemilla is abundant with flowers and the Hypericum with both flowers and berries.

Very often considered as purely filler flowers they look good enough without the introduction of any other larger focal flower.

BONUS:

DIY BRIDES Not a penny was spent to create this centrepiece.

12.

LEUCOTHOE

The Leucothoe leaves are more green than red at present. In winter it is a totally different plant when the cold weather turns the majority of the leaves to a beautiful deep red colour. This plant doesn't seem to ask for much. Some sun, some water, decent drainage and best of all it needs no pruning.

USES:

Another plant with foliage that lends itself well to a Boho, or loose tied bouquet.

13.

LEUCOTHOE AXILLARIS

Curly leaves

This plant also has leaves that go red when the weather is much colder. I bought it at the same time as the previous mentioned, but it hasn't faired very well in my garden thus far. I've moved it a few times in the hope that it would make a difference. It hasn't. I now believe that the soil type has been the problem all along. In the next few months I will no doubt find out if I'm wrong. As it now stands in a bigger pot with the same ericaceous soil that I use for my Rhododendrons.

14.

YUCCA

Variegated

I have 4 of these beautifully statuesque plants. all purchased at the same time, the one in the front garden is very happy, and I think the ants love it just as much as I do. It seems happy with dappled afternoon sun and occasional water.

Word of warning: The leaves of this plant are not only sword like, they can be quite lethal if you walk into them accidentally. If you have pets or small children I would advise that you keep this plant well out of their reach.

REMEMBER: If you are going to use your own flowers, you will need to set aside enough time to prepare them before you create your bouquet.

Find out what to do here

Did you find any of this information helpful? Have you decided which of your plants you'll be including in your DIY wedding flowers?

Part 2 of this particular blog will focus more on the flowering plants in my garden, though there will still be a little greenery included.

GROWING YOUR OWN WEDDING FLOWERS - Part 2

Are you a DIY bride? Will you be designing your wedding flowers? Let me know which flowers and foliage you included in your bouquet from your very own garden.

Happy wedding planning.


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