Thursday, February 10, 2011

Flowers that I love...

Here is a little info on wedding flowers that I found & would like to share. I of course will be sharing a few of my favorites:


Season: Hydrangeas are readily available from late spring through fall.
Cost: You can expect to pay $10 and up per stem but bear in mind that each stem has a VERY large head made up of tons of individual flowers – a little goes a long way as each head usually measures 6-8″ around.  They make a big impact!
Varieties: There are lots of varieties in nature but unlike roses or orchids or lilies, you generally don’t have to specify a type of hydrangea.
Colors: Depending on the season, you can find them in white, blue and light blue, purple and lavender, green, pink and hot pink and burgundy.
Hardiness: Not so much.  Out of water, hydrangeas are as delicate as a Junior High school girl’s self esteem.  Even in water, hydrangea blooms are still susceptible to heat and sun – keep them out of both as much as possible. Big stem = major water needs.  If you want an all hydrangea bouquet, make sure you have vases of water around to rehydrate it as often as possible or you will not have a pretty bouquet for long.
Pairings: Hydrangeas are a wonderful base flower and go well with most other flowers – cluster several heads and then add other flowers you want to highlight.  They take up a lot of room and can serve as an almost neutral backdrop for other flowers.
Good Things to Know: Hydrangeas are white by default but the climate and the amount of aluminum in the soil actually contributes to the final color of the bloom.
Hydrangeas have rather large stems so don’t be surprised by the size of your hand tied bouquet if you go all hydrangea – it will likely be even larger than another bouquet with more individual flowers of a different type.

English Garden roses:

Season: Roses are available all year long with some seasonality based on variety and country of origin.
Cost: Expect to pay upwards of $1.50 per stem for a basic rose from a florist – prices go up from there.  The most rare colors and varieties could run as high as $10-$15 per stem.
Varieties: The most common varieties of roses used in weddings are:
-The hybrid tea rose.  This is the classic rose that you see in all the pictures above.  Quite uniform from rose to rose.  The are simple, classic, clean and lovely – the most reasonable and available of the varieties.
-The spray rose.  Spray roses are actually clusters of small roses on one stem.  They are wonderful for filling in a bouquet and adding interest, texture and depth to an all rose bouquet.
-The English garden rose.  The English garden rose is a large, lush bloom with almost ruffly edges.  No two roses will be the same as they are allowed to grow more freely than the tea rose.  They have always reminded me a bit of peonies.
Colors: Hundreds and hundreds.  Roses literally come in every color in the rainbow except blue and black.  There is a very dark maroon that is sometimes called black but there is no true black rose and blue roses only exist among fake flowers.
Hardiness: Extremely hearty.  These flowers can be out of water for some time without worrying about wilting and aren’t affected by heat and cold which makes them perfect for boutonnieres, corsages, bouquets and for petal tosses.
Pairings: Roses can be paired with just about any other flower and look lovely.  They can be used as the main flower in a bouquet or easily blend in the background and serve as a type of canvas to feature other flowers.
Good Things to Know: Roses are always going to be more expensive around Valentine’s Day – if you are getting married in February, be prepared for sticker shock or you might want to skip the roses altogether.

Season: Dahlias are in season from summer through early fall.
Cost: Expect to pay upwards of $5 per stem for dahlias – they make an impact though as the blooms are often over 4″ across.
Colors: You can find dahlias in white, yellow, orange, hot pink, burgundy and burgundy/black as well as bi-color varieties.
Hardiness: Dahlias grow in full sun and hot areas (Mexico and Guatemala) but do not fare well in full sun as cut flowers – keep them in the shade and water as much as possible.
Pairings: Since dahlias are a summer garden flower, I would suggest pairing them with other garden flowers such as peonies or daises for a fresh, light look.
Good Things to Know: Dahlias are often confused with chrysanthemums – you can tell them apart by looking at the stem.  Dahlias have a hollow stem, chrysanthemums do not!
Dahlias are native to Mexico and 16th century Spanish conquistadors found them in the gardens of the Aztecs and took them back to Spain.  Madrid was the first place that dahlias were cultivated outside of Mexico.


Season: Peonies are a late spring/summer flowers.  May, June and July plus or minus a month on each side depending on the weather that year.  You can import them other times of the year but you will pay dearly for them and honestly, there are NO guarantees that they will actually arrive open and usable.  Unless you are getting married in the late spring or summer, don’t set your heart on peonies even if they have been promised to you.
Cost: High.  You can expect to pay at least $12 per stem for peonies – double or triple that if you are out of season.
Varieties: While there are different varieties of peonies such a single bloom or full double bloom, you can generally request peonies and know what you are going to get – no more specification needed.
Colors: You will find peonies in colors all along the pink spectrum from white, light pink and hot pink all the way to burgundy and red.  You can also find yellow and coral peonies.
Hardiness: It depends on the growing season.  If you are out of season, the blooms will be smaller and much more delicate because they were forced to grow.  Because of that, they can bruise and crush more easily than if you are dealing with in season peonies.  The blooms themselves can be delicate but they have lots of petals so even if you lose a few along the way, they will still look beautiful.  Just keep them in water as much as possible as they have a short cut life and their large size requires a ton of water.
Pairings: Peonies can absolutely stand on their own but also look fantastic as part of a mixed bouquet.  I especially like them with hydrangea and roses as well as with fillers like berries, cox comb or bachelor button mums.
Good Things to Know: If peonies are out of season or your price range, you can get a similar look using cabbage roses or ranunculus. Cabbage roses especially look very similar to peonies with ruffled petals and round shape.  The casual bystander will not be able to tell the difference between cabbage roses and peonies.

Season: Ranunculus are generally in season from January to May – plus or minus a month depending on the weather in the growing regions.
Cost: Ranunculus are a cost effective alternative to other multi petaled flowers like peonies, garden and cabbage roses.  Expect to pay $2-$3 per stem to start.
Colors: White, yellow, peach, orange, pale pink, hot pink and red.
Hardiness: Ranunculus are delicate blooms and need lots of water.  They are an exceptionally thirsty bloom so keep them hydrated as much as possible.  Their stems are slender and touchy as well so be gentle with them too.
Pairings: Since ranunculus are reminiscent of cabbage and garden roses as well as peonies, they pair well with those flowers as well as other garden flowers.  I love them on their own as well – a whole bouquet of hot pink ranunculus?  Jaw dropping!
Good Things to Know: The name ranunculus is from the latin word ‘rana’ for frog.  It has nothing to do with how they look but rather where the wild variety grow – in wet areas.
Ranunculus are also called Buttercups or Persian Buttercups.  The Persian part references their Middle Eastern origins.


Season: Carnations are available year round.
Cost: You can expect to pay $1.50 per stem and up.
Varieties: The most common varieties of carnations used in weddings are:
Carnations: Round, ball shaped flowers which measure a couple inches across. They come one to a stem and have the distinctive ruffled petals.
Spray Carnations (Mini Carns): Just what it sounds like – a mini, spray version of the full size carnations. You can expect 5-10 blooms per stem.
Colors: White, all shades of pink, red, peach, yellow, all shades of purple – basically every color of the rainbow except black. You can also find stripes and bi-color varieties with tipped petals. Carnations take color very well so if you want blue or green, they can easily be dyed to accommodate that request.
Hardiness: Extremely hearty and long lasting, carnations can generally take whatever you throw at them from being out of water to standing up to heat and direct sunlight.
Pairings: Carnations are among those that can either blend in or stand on their own. I am a fan of clustering a bunch of them together tightly on their own. Roses, greenery of all kinds and hydrangea all work with carnations.
Good Things to Know: Carnations are believed to be at least 2000 years old – they can be found in ancient Greek and Roman art.
I have a florist friend that clusters carnations into tight groupings, refers to them as “mini peonies” and uses them in weddings all the time. This florist doesn’t tell what they really are unless directly asked – they have even fooled brides who said absolutely no carnations at first! Once they saw the carnations in person, they changed their minds – especially since carnations are so cost effective!

A few bouquet fillers that I adore:

Babies breath:

Queen Anne's Lace:

Seeded Eucalyptus:

Last but not least, An AMAZING flower alternative:

Balsa Wood Flowers!!

I'm obsessed with these flowers! They look amazing!

These flowers are handmade from tapioca wood peel, also called sola wood, a naturally derived paper product. The sola wood is cut into pieces to make each delicate petal. And best of all, these buds aren't alive meaning they won't ever die...making them a great Eco-friendly option for your wedding day. 


  1. Hello,

    I just came across your blog and I was wondering if you knew what the blue leaves in the last bouquet picture are made of? I love this idea, but I don't know what the leaves are so I can't search for them.


    1. That would be either Lamb's ear or dusty miller...leaning towards the lamb's ear.