The Bride Arrives Too Early

IMG_6977Younger Daughter’s wedding, for which I am providing posies and buttonholes, is at the end of April, only six weeks ahead, but I will not be using the batch of Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’ which were planted in the greenhouse in the middle of November. Similarly, it is unlikely that the blue ‘Dr Fokker’ planted inside at the same time will still be flowering. Whether the alternatives, batches planted inside in mid December and mid January and those planted outside at the same three times, will be flowering by then is anyone’s guess as the longer hours of daylight and milder temperatures should provide a big boost to growth but don’t come with a  guarantee.

anemonesAlso outside are batches of Narcissi ‘Bridal Crown’, Muscari armeniacum and species Tulip linifolia, all planted at intervals. There are a few spikes of narcissi showing, some with flower buds, and whilst the many of the muscari are in bud the tulips are only just beginning to poke their noses above ground. Strangely, there is little difference in progress across the three batches of each. I have visions of The Poppet with a basket of muscari but they may all be over and done with by the end of April leaving her basket empty…

wedding.flowers.2IMG_6990Meanwhile, in the greenhouse the Winter Sunshine sweet peas are happily putting on visible inches of growth, the later ordered batch of ‘Scarlet’, ‘White’ and ‘Mid Blue’ sown in mid November having virtually caught up with ‘Opal’ and ‘Navy’, sown six weeks earlier. Bred to grow in lower light levels these are meant to be capable of flowering in late March or April, so perhaps I could allow myself a little optimism with these.

By the end of April there could be other red, white and blue contenders in the spring garden which might contribute to the occasion – aquilegia and bluebells, perhaps, and certainly some greenery – but till then I need to keep every option open!

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39 Responses to The Bride Arrives Too Early

  1. susurrus says:

    It is so hard to get plants to flower at a specific time. Good luck!

  2. AnnetteM says:

    Gosh you are very brave, but it sounds like you have lots of possibilities and have all eventualities covered.

  3. Christina says:

    The Anemones could still be in flower, my ‘The Bride’ have been flowers for a couple of months and are still full of buds. Fingers very firmly crossed.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh that’s useful to know, Christina, as I had written this batch off for end of April flowering. I might move them into a bigger pot nearer the time – although I may well be doing a lot of moving pots and plants by then!

  4. Peter Herpst says:

    You must be on pins and needles trying to anticipate what will be in bloom for the big day! You’ve always so many beautiful flowers that the event will be a smashing success!

  5. Pauline says:

    You seem to have all eventualities covered, I’m sure you will have a lovely selection of flowers to choose from, it can’t be easy, especially with our changing weather!

  6. I can’t wait to see how the posies and buttonholes turn out. At this rate you might have roses too (; .

  7. I bet it is nerve racking wondering if your preferred flowers are going to bloom. Good luck.

  8. croftgarden says:

    You have set yourself a mega challenge with this one, but I’m sure there will be something in flower even if it’s yellow. Unfortunately we can’t do 24 hour delivery from here otherwise I’d offer some muscari, although it by some miracle it gets warm even my muscari will be over.

    • Cathy says:

      No, yellow wouldn’t be allowed anyway – Younger Daughter was a little alarmed when I said that daffodils were a possibility, not realising they weren’t always yellow 😉 And thank you for your generous theoretical offer of available muscari!!

      • croftgarden says:

        Are you sure you can’t sneak in a few N. poeticus? I suppose that if the weather is good there is always the chance of some aquilegias.

        • Cathy says:

          Yes, I wondered about aguilegias which often surprise me with their earliness – and I had forgotten until very recently about the bluebells, which I feel quite optimistic about

  9. Brian Skeys says:

    How nerve racking, I have helped youngest daughter do flowers for weddings, that was bad enough and she was buying the flowers. It is a wonderful personal thing to grow and arrange flowers for your daughters wedding.

    • Cathy says:

      For me, liking a challenge as I do, it really had to be home grown ones, so I will rise to it one way or another, even if I don’t know what the ‘other’ might be yet! 😉

  10. rickii says:

    All the practice of putting together a vase every single week will surely stand you in good stead.

  11. Anna says:

    Always the bride’s prerogative Cathy but as Christina points out there may still be some hope in that department. I think that everything outdoors would put a bit of a spurt on with some rain which we seem to have not had much of lately. I’m sure that you will rise to the occasion splendidly.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for your confidence Anna! Admittedly, I assumed this batch of blooms would have been over by the end of April but in truth I have no experience of these anemones (apart from A Sylphide which were a complete failure!) so I hope you are both right, or at least that other batches will be flowering. The red ones seem to be slower in producing growth. Hmm, some rain would be useful, dare I say…

  12. Cath says:

    Oh, interesting that you have ‘short day’ sweet peas. I have seeds for some of those, red ones, which I will plant soon. I’m sure you will have lots of options and will choose the best one.

  13. Poor Poppet! That can’t happen! I’m sure you’ll have some lovely blooms for her basket. It’s all very exciting, but I also imagine, very daunting. Good luck! We look forward to more photos of the big day! And congratulations! (P.s. Got your hat yet?!)

  14. Chloris says:

    A wonderful effort, you have set yourself a real challenge, flowers work to their own timetable. I hope they all bloom on schedule for the big day. How exciting!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris – although fortunately I won’t need them but just wanted to try for as many options as possible. Hoping for some existing plants to be available too…

  15. Good luck! I hope the flowers you have put all your energy into growing bloom at the right time for you. It is definitely nerve wracking time of year. I am growing flowers for a wedding the first week in May and it is so difficult to predict what will be in bloom then. I am hoping for some ranunculus, anenomes and tulips. I hope it all goes well for you x

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, so just a week after Younger Daughter’s! I tried to have lots of options and the only stipulation was the colour so I shall go with what’s available nearer the time. Red is going to be the hardest although I am hoping for some red tulips and anemones. Have you got a colour palette in mind? It’s an exciting challenge, isn’t it?

      • I have pinks, whites and creams as our main wedding colours. I have experimented planting tulips in early January as well as November just in case the first planted ones are over early. I am intrigued to know if the gamble will pay off! I was keeping my fingers crossed there might be some early hesperis or honesty flowering too then.

        • Cathy says:

          And I too am anticipating there will be other blooms in the garden which can be incorporated. All will be well, I am sure, and hopefully with you too. My successional planting of bulbs means that there will be lots of blooms to enjoy before or more probably after the wedding as well!

      • Red poppies might look beautiful for your wedding too. It is an exciting time!

  16. Goodness, I know you love a challenge, but what a potential source of stress, it certainly adds a while new level of importance to the regular springtime occupation of eyeing up the new growth… As ever you are wonderfully well organised though. Exciting times!

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