As our thoughts turn to the spring sowing of flower seeds we have been keeping an eye on the current trends for 2018 weddings. Certainly the talk on the various bridal forums has indicated that blue, particularly navy and royal blue, is likely to be very popular this year. This is also borne out by the orders we have received so far.
As there are relatively few true blue flowers this could potentially be challenging if we don’t carefully plan our sowing to ensure we have a good range in flowers throughout the season. It is, however, not just about the blue as we need to ensure that we have a selection of complementary and contrasting colours available to set off the blues perfectly.
So what are the options available for providing these blue floral arrangements with country garden flowers?
I feel the lighter powder blues are perhaps easier to achieve than the darker navy and royal blues. Many of these varieties make lovely garden plants as well as having the advantage of being good cut flowers. Some of our favourites include:
- ‘Love-in-a-mist’ (Nigella damascina and Nigella hispanica) – a lovely, delicate true blue flower that also yields interesting seed pods later in the season.
- Ageratum – we particularly like the F1 strain ‘Blue Horizon’ as it has much longer cutting stems than the typical bedding varieties. It is a great garden plant and goes on flowering its socks off and looking good until the first frosts of the autumn.
- Sea lavender (Limonium latifolium) – a light and delicate Limonium that is great for creating the open, wispy effect that sits so well with country garden wedding bouquets. It also dries well.
- Scabious – this is such a fantastic meadow style flower and always looks good in country style and wild garden bouquets.
- Sweet Peas – for fragrance you cannot beat the Sweet Pea and there are some pale blue varieties that fit this blue trend perfectly.
- Didiscus – a delicate and interesting bloom that holds well and adds a meadow touch to any arrangement.
- Cornflowers – probably one of our most used blue flowers ideal for bouquets, arrangements and buttonholes. They hold extremely well and can cope with being out of water for some time. Cornflowers are one of a limited number of flowers that work reliably in a flower crown of fresh flowers on a hot summers day. They are also edible and can be used as cake flowers.
- Delphiniums – these are extremely valuable as they come in a range of blues from a light powder blue shade, through mid-blue and also rich deep blues. The blooms are rather more ‘chunky’ than larkspur but that makes them particularly good for large pedestal and church arrangements.
- Dutch Iris – blue is a receding colour and it often requires a pop of white or yellow to bring it to life. There are some varieties of Dutch Iris which are almost a deep velvety blue but the typical dutch iris is mid-blue with a flash of yellow or white that sets off the blue nicely.
Deep Blue to Mauve/Purple
- Anemone – if you are putting together a spring wedding then the Anemone will be one of the stars of the show. We have found that they are relatively short lived in our garden and each year the flower stems get shorter and shorter. Although still useful as a garden plant they become less useful as a cut flower as time goes by. We therefore tend to buy and plant new corms each year to maintain a good crop of usable stems.
- Delphinium ‘Volkerfrieden’ – this Delphinium of the ‘Belladonna Group’ provides a true blue flower that is open and delicate. It regularly appears in our Honey Pot Flowers designs!
- Larkspur – although strictly speaking a Delphinium the annual Larkspur species D.consolida and D.ajacis tend to be much more delicate than the perennial border delphiniums. They therefore lend themselves better to smaller bouquets and table arrangements and can also be dried and used for petal confetti.
- Clary Sage – a well behaved flower stem that provides colour all summer. A useful filler in both the borders and in bouquets. It is in fact the colourful bracts rather than the true flowers that provide the shot of blue.
- Salvia caradona – a very useful addition to any arrangement providing an architectural spike of deep blue/mauve. In the garden we do find that it is a short lived perennial that needs to be replaced regularly.
Complementary and contrasting colours
I think it is important to mention that when designing with blue, either in a garden setting or in a floral arrangement, you need other colours to bring the blue to life. Blue and white sit well together and provide a pleasing and relaxed effect but equally pairing deep blues and mauve with pops of yellow or even orange create a strong vibrant effect that can be truly stunning.
Blues have the ability to offer both soft or vibrant displays. If the blues become a strong trend in 2018 it could prove to be a very exciting year.