Top Flower Picks for Hot Summer Weddings
The summer of 2012 was a scorcher in Southwestern Ontario. As a florist, I’m always in tune to the season, what’s available, and which flowers have staying power for weddings and events. Most brides begin choosing their flowers in winter or early spring, when the heat and humidity of July and August are a distant memory. Many varieties of flowers, both locally grown and imported are available year-round, but not all stand up to the hottest days.
Here are some of my top picks for heat-busting blooms;
Orchids, especially cymbidium are excellent choices for bouquets and corsages. They are often removed from their stems and wired into designs, and are one of the best performers in hot temps. White orchids are popular for modern classic bouquets, but shades of burgundy, green, yellow, and rust are right at home in garden-style and rustic bouquets. Smaller Mokara orchids in pink, yellow or orange last well, and are great additions to fun, mixed bouquets, or several can be bound together for a stunning mono-bouquet.
Callas. The large white flute shaped calla was long a favourite for arm bouquets and tall arrangements, but “mini” varieties have taken over, and are hugely popular both as a cut flower, and as a wedding flower. They are often used solo in bouquets for a clean, modern look, but also add interest to garden bouquets as well. Deep eggplant and two-toned ivory and purple varieties are wonderful with many purple themes, while mango and rust shades add drama to late summer and fall bouquets.
Roses. Whether the classic tea rose, or the current star on the wedding scene, garden roses, either are great choices for summer. The newest varieties offer sturdy stems, and a gorgeous array of colours to suite any colour palette. Spray roses, which have several smaller blooms on a stem, come in wonderful colours, and when combined with larger roses, add a garden feel to bouquets.
Seasonal, locally grown flowers; Of course! Southwestern Ontario is blessed with tons of beautiful flowers that are at their peak from late July until early frost. Dahlias, zinnias,sunflowers, everlastings such as globe and hanging amaranthus, and hens and chicks are just some of the heat busters that new favourites for summer bouquets
Some blooms to avoid;
Tulips, freesia, iris, and lilies are my top flowers to avoid in the heat Bulb flowers are at their peak in spring, and although they are readily available in summer, they struggle in hot conditions. Lilies fare the best, but if they are stressed, they will quickly wilt. The large petals of lilies also break or bruise easily, and may be best suited to arrangements rather than bouquets.
In general, flowers that have few petals, should be used with care, as flaws, wilting and missing petals are quite obvious. You want perfection for pictures! Flowers with many petals, such as roses, and hydrangeas (yes, hydrangeas!), when properly conditioned, and are at their peak, are great choices because of their density. Even when they begin to feel a bit of stress, it will take much longer before it is noticeable.
There is no way to absolutely guarantee how flowers will hold up in extreme heat. Keeping them out of direct sun, and in air conditioning as much as possible will be a big help to them, as will misting throughout the day (especially hydrangeas).
When talking with your florist, give them your dream list of flowers, then let them guide you along for perfect blooms on your wedding day.
There’s a new Floral Boutique in Town
There’s a new boutique, and it’s mine! Flourish Eco Floral Boutique. I’ve been known as an eco-florist for the past seven years, while operating from a home studio, and I’ve embraced the challenges of those practices moving forward into a retail setting.
The location I chose is in the the heart of Downtown Kitchener. I’ve always thought my shop would be in a small space, in the centre of town. I chose Kitchener because I remember what it was like when there were flower shops,(at one point, 6 on the stretch between Water St. and Market Square) clothing stores, coffee shops and movie theatres, and wanted to be a part of the rebirth of a vibrant, hip community. Each day, I’m treated to enthusiastic people, who either live close to downtown, or who work nearby, who stop in and express their joy at having yet another new place to visit, and that another area is being rejuvenated.
I want the boutique to reflect a strong sense of community as well. Besides the flowers, chosen from suppliers who share a commitment to the environment, as well as a social responsibility to the communities where the flowers are grown, both here in Ontario, and around the world, I want the gift items that fill the store to reflect a sense of community too. There’s a whimsical line of greeting cards, from a fantastic company in Winnipeg, who recycle paper from local companies, then infuse the card stock with seeds, creating pretty plantable cards, fun wine glass tags and whimsical confetti. The warm scent of bees wax is in the air, thanks to the wonderful candles from Your Time Boutique, a Kitchener company that makes a range of beautiful, high-quality tapers, pillars and tea lights. We’ll be playing host to works by various local artists, and we’ve kicked off with the bold work of well-known Kitchener artist Jennifer Gough, of Minds Eye Studio Art
I’m so fortunate to share the space with the fabulous PJ from nomnom treats, who creates tasty cookies, perfectly branded with event and corporate logos. There is always a fresh supply of Flourish cookies on my counter, so stop in say, hi, take home a treat, and sign the 8 x 9 foot guest book! Oh, and of course check out the beautiful blooms and Flourish creations!
A Grand Backdrop for a Garden Wedding in Waterloo
A gorgeous backyard, perched on the banks of the Grand River, was the scene for this beautiful Waterloo, Ontario wedding. Matt and Ainslie chose a simple palette of dove grey and pink, then filled the day with personal touches of glam and touches of fun. Ainslie’s dress was a mermaid style, with simple details, and her lush bouquet set it off perfectly. Heavenly scented garden roses and peonies set the tone for this beautiful garden wedding. All was beautifully captured by the very talented Debra Eby
Dreamy white David Austen garden roses and peonies were a lovely compliment to Ainslie’s gown.
Pink O”Hara garden roses and Pink Majolica spray roses for the bridesmaids.
Hydrangeas, roses and hot pink dahlias added a punch of colour on the guest tables, with a hint of rustic charm from the menu cards set into wooden frames.
Pink flip – flop fun!
Matt and Ainslie were such a pleasure to work with, and I love all of the details of their wedding day. Many Thanks to Debra for the wonderful photographs!
Photography; Debra Eby Photography
Fun details; The Bride and Groom