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What impact will the unusual weather have on your seasonal wedding flowers?

Charlie / 8 May 2016

Seasonal spring arrangement with helebores and ranunculus // The Real Cut Flower Garden // The Natural Wedding Company

If you are a bride-to-be visiting our blog, it is highly likely that you adore seasonal, British grown flowers, just like us. Every year the weather fluctuates, but I still feel slightly anxious by the variations in the seasons and the impact that will have on locally grown blooms.

Perhaps as a bride-to-be this is something you have concerns about, especially after this long and unseasonably warm winter, followed by the recent cold snap with hail and snow across various parts of the country. And yet as I write this, today we have eaten lunch in the garden and have hats and flip flops on it’s so warm!

“I always worry about the weather…well I’m obsessed by it, but sure enough, the flowers defy nature and arrive at just the right time” – Helen, Bouquets and Butterflies.

Bucket of British grown narcissi // Organic Blooms // The Natural Wedding Company

Dreaming of a church filled with cow parsley

Every year as we enter spring, my mother likes to reflect on the weather in relation to the cow parsley and whether it would have been out for our wedding date of 21st May (I chose May because I love the cow parsley lined lanes of my childhood home in the Cotswolds). Now let me explain, despite getting married 5 years ago, my mum still contemplates this detail every year – I can quite imagine it continuing for many years to come!

I dreamed of a cow parsley filled church in which to get married, and this is what we got (phew). However, in the run up to our wedding there were lots of nervous moments – was the cow parsley going to be out or was it going to be over? So ever since, even as early at March, my mum starts to comment on the weather and it’s impact on the cow parsley’s development in their part of the country. Luckily I don’t have to worry about the status of the cow parsley, but I know there are many of you who will have similar anxieties.

“I think that Mother Nature throws us curveballs now and again, and that it’s how we [florists] deal with what we have that sets us apart” – Sarah, Floribunda Rose.

April spring flowers // Forage For // The Natural Wedding Company

It seems I’m not alone. Sarah at Floribunda Rose confirmed my weather concerns are shared by other brides: “As I use British flowers first and foremost, this is something that my brides for 2016 – and even 2017 – have been asking me about.”

So I got in touch with our flower farmers and florists to find out their thoughts on the weather this year and whether they have any concerns or advice they could share. To my surprise, I was reassured by the responses I received, and hope you’ll find it helpful if you too have anxieties about flowers for your wedding.

“The key thing brides need to understand is that what is in season on a particular date may vary year to year. The best florists will be able to cope with that uncertainty to produce bouquets of unexpected combinations and spontaneous beauty” – Angela, Petal and Twig.

Spring bouquet with tulips, blossom and daffodils // Lock Cottage Flowers // The Natural Wedding Company

Below you’ll find some reflections from some of the flower farmers and florists listed in our wedding directory. I have included their location so you can appreciate variations across the country, and links to find out more about them. At the bottom of the post you’ll find the credits for all the beautiful images, which showcase some fabulous seasonal British grown flowers.

What is the impact of the weather so far this year on flowers?

Charlie at The Real Cut Flower Garden in Dorset:

“I really don’t think there will be any great knock on effects, nature always sorts itself out. Hellebores have been flowering madly without stopping since late December which is a bonus. Camassia are flowering already and alliums aren’t far behind so it’s a win some and lose some situation which is fine. Fritillaries are looking wonderful as they like a bit of prolonged damp and the roses are budding up frantically and look to be in for a good year – they loved the wet in my hideous clay soil and have certainly not suffered at all.”

Carol at Honey Pot Flowers in Warwickshire:

“The unseasonably warm winter weather has meant that tulips look as though they are going to be very short stemmed and therefore not great for arranging in bouquets etc. On the other hand they will be useful for the seemingly continuing trend for jam jar arrangements for wedding table decorations.”

Spring buttonholes with daffodils and catkins // Floribunda Rose // The Natural Wedding Company

Angela at Petal and Twig in Lancashire:

“Every year brings different challenges. Last year the spring was so cold that I had virtually nothing flowering outside until June, but the gorgeous late summer and autumn meant that I was cutting extensively from the gardens up until November.

If I was totally reliant on my own growing, I would be in trouble, but fortunately I am increasingly well served by the network of other British growers, from Cornwall, Cheshire and Flowers From The Farm friends locally who have polytunnels.”

Jan at JW Blooms in Somerset:

“We aren’t that affected by the weather. These days we have such a wide selection of flowers that, even if one thing is late, there is usually something else to substitute it. In the spring, the hellebores come up beautifully whatever the weather and, with the polytunnels we can shelter spring-flowering plants from the worst of the weather.”

Spring seasonal arrangement with tulips and daffodils // The Garden Gate Flower Company // The Natural Wedding Company

What would you say to reassure brides-to-be choosing seasonal flowers?

Sarah at Floribunda Rose in Hampshire:

“I always tell brides that seasonal flowers are just that, and we discuss and make plans around what is likely to be in season for their wedding date and have back up floral ideas in the right colour palette in the wings just in case.  Mostly brides have been really understanding about this as they want truly seasonal flowers.”

Charlie at The Real Cut Flower Garden in Dorset:

“Brides really mustn’t worry. If they are happy to choose seasonal flowers there will always be some variation, and at the beginning and end of the seasons there is always a slight question mark, but any grower who is selling to brides really should have enough to ring the changes so that there are never, ever, disappointed brides. When brides are booking natural flower providers, it is always worth asking the question “If there is a problem with supply for freak weather conditions or anything else, do you have somewhere else you can get flowers in emergency?” All responsible flower providers will know other growers/sources that can be tapped if necessary.”

Garden bride with dahlia flower crown // Photography Alex Robertson // JW Blooms // The Natural Wedding Company

Tracey at Campbell’s Flowers in Sheffield:

“As a florist I always think it can be a bit dangerous for couples to set their hearts on specific flowers or varieties as in my experience, flowers are never ever uniform – which for me is their attraction! If you add in the vagaries of the British weather, then variables are just multiplied. Wherever possible, I’d always recommend a few back up ideas, just in case.”

Rachel at Hollow Meadows Flowers in Yorkshire:

“[I have] learnt to have a relaxed approach towards my growing and the flowers that will be available at certain times of the year and I pass that onto my brides, if I feel I can’t fulfil any requests on our initial chat I will let them know.

Some brides are understandably worried if the weather is playing games but there is always something available and I reassure my brides that if a disaster did strike in my corner of Yorkshire that there is a great network of British flower growers that I know I can call upon.”

Dahlia flower crown and seasonal summer bouquet // Photography Alex Robertson // JW Blooms // The Natural Wedding Company

Angela at Petal and Twig in Lancashire:

“I love the variation each year and it’s not something I regard as a problem. I never guarantee specific flowers for a specific date, and always say to my brides that I will attempt to grow as much as I can, but will source from other British growers and the regular wholesale markets if necessary. Brides get quite a long explanation of this at the consultation, and they can make a choice at that point whether they want a definite colour scheme, or will let me choose whatever is best in the garden or market.”

Jan at JW Blooms in Somerset:

“I always tell our wedding couples not to fret about it – there is always something gorgeous! Most of our customers understand what we do here and are flexible. We tend to attract lovely, laid-back clients anyway, which helps!”

Seasonal bouquet of hellebores // Wild Bunch // The Natural Wedding Company

Do you anticipate any unusual combinations of flowers this year?

Sarah at Floribunda Rose in Hampshire:

“There may be some flowers which are a little early alongside those who are ‘right on time’ (by our timings at least) and I feel sure that they will all work alongside each other beautifully.”

Sue at Raindrop Flowers in Somerset:

“If unusual combinations have to be made then this could be viewed as a positive contribution to floristry and 2016 brides who truly want seasonal flowers will probably be of the mindset that won’t mind a bit of tweaking!”

Charlie at The Real Cut Flower Garden in Dorset:

“Bluebells are very early but it’s lovely to have them flowering with all the white narcissi and wind anemones so a definite plus.”

Seasonal spring heart wreath // JW Blooms // The Natural Wedding Company

“Mother Nature always wins, you just have to walk patiently by her side” – Rachel, Hollow Meadows Flowers.

If you are looking for more seasonal wedding inspiration, then you should check out our bespoke Pinterest boards for each season:

Images: (1) The Real Cut Flower Garden; (2) Organic Blooms; (3) Forage For; (4) Lock Cottage Flowers; (5) Floribunda Rose; (6) The Garden Gate Flower Company; (7+8) Alex Robertson with flowers by JW Blooms; (9) Wild Bunch; (10) JW Blooms

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