Since many brides are interested in do-it-yourself wedding preparations, one possibility that crosses their minds is growing their own flowers for the ceremony and reception. Yes, you can! Here are a few guidelines:

  1. If you’re planting in the spring for a ceremony that will be held this summer or fall, don’t count on newly planted perennials for your flowers. New perennial plants won’t produce very many blossoms, so plan on planting annuals instead.
  2. For weddings held in June it might be difficult to grow enough annuals unless you live in a region where you can plant in February or March. Most annuals that are planted in May don’t really start to come into their own until the end of July.
  3. For May or June weddings, put out the call to people you know for flowers from established perennial gardens. Those who like the look of Queen Anne’s Lace can grow Ammi majus from seed planted in April or May for flowering at the end of June or early July.
  4. For end of the summer and fall weddings, zinnias and dahlias are perfect. Marigolds are also prolific. Plant large ones to use in arrangements and small flowering types to string into garlands as they do in India.
  5. Some garden centers stock hydrangeas that are already mature and in full bloom. Buy these and harvest the flowers a couple of days before the wedding. Plant the shrubs after the wedding once all the hubbub has died down.
  6. You’ll need greenery as well as flowers. Test small sprigs cut from various shrubs, perennials and grasses around your property and see if it holds up in a vase for three or more days. Hint: variegated Hosta leaves make great filler greens.
  7. Don’t just look for flowers. Seed pods, berries, grass plumes, branches, and buds can look amazing in arrangements, bouquets and even boutonnieres.

    Most of the flowers in this table arrangement were grown in a cutting garden. Zinnias, dahlias, hydrangeas, and Scabiosa came from the garden. The roses and purple Trachelium were purchased from an on-line wholesale florist. The filler greens were wild aster branches (in bud) and foliage from native Bayberry bushes.

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