The Wedding Planner

Practising buttonholes and posy for Younger Daughter’s wedding the other week was such a useful exercise, giving me a feel for the task and a reasonable idea of the time involved and potential material required. Experiencing first hand the durability of the result when out of water was particularly helpful because, after conditioning in water for several hours, all then survived being left out of water for at least 15 hours with no noticeable ill-effects, much to my relief. Even the aquilegia foliage which had quickly flopped perked up after being in the vase for a couple of days so if picked a few days in advance should be fine to use for the real thing. I have also taken on board what others have said about picking in advance and conditioning.

Since then I have enlisted the support of some Knights in Shining Armour, namely four pots of red anemones:

IMG_7111When describing the practice pieces in the post I explained that not only would red tulips used be well past their best by the end of the month and that those planted specially were nowhere near flowering, but also that many of the red anemones planted in batches had rotted, potentially leaving me short of the red element of the required red, white and blue. This left a dilemma – I did not want to ‘buy in’ any blooms (the easy option), as the results would neither be as special nor as satisfying if blooms were not from my own garden, but I was also limited by my self-imposed embargo on plant-buying. I wrestled with this conflict, but when the above four pots of strongly growing plants with many emerging buds (“take care, they spread”, I was told) presented themselves at a car boot sale the day after the practice pieces – and at £2 each: £2! – it seemed as if Fate had stepped in. If justification is needed, they are simply replacements for the original failed corms…

I am now in a position to feel confident about the availability and quantity of blooms, the timing required and my own ability to put something acceptable together – hurrah! Perhaps even more importantly, Younger Daughter has approved of the general appearance of all of my efforts, including the practice posy for the grown-up bridesmaids which was put together today. Ideally the dominant colour of these was to be red, so the Knights will help with this – I used 3 in today’s posy, but if there are not enough left from the Bride’s posy then it could be just a single one on the day.

The material picked is shown below, but the hellebore was left out of the actual posy – note the inclusion of Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ and Uncinia ‘Rubra’:

IMG_7112IMG_7113-001When attempting to text the above picture to Younger Daughter for appraisal I ‘discovered’ the facility to edit the picture on my mobile in numerous ways and had a bit of fun with it before abandoning trying to send such a large picture by this method and emailed it to her instead:


As the first comments coming in seem to interpret my car boot Knights as an indication that I have broken my embargo, some additional justification is clearly needed – and I thought you might be a little more supportive! As the plants are replacements for something bought last year for a specific purpose (and an important purpose at that!) I feel the purchase falls outside the embargo, which was designed to stop me randomly buying plants and then having to figure out where I would put them – definitely no randomness here! Indeed, them being at the car boot sale and at such a ridiculously low price was the only random element.

And if anyone still thinks I have failed in my challenge, well, it’s my own embargo so I can make my own rules!


This entry was posted in Gardening, Gardens and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to The Wedding Planner

  1. Renee says:

    What an excellent reason to break your no-plant buying spree! The posies look very cheery!

  2. johnvic8 says:

    I have a vague recollection of betting against your no-plant commitment. Alas. Enjoy your daughter’s wedding. You have certainly proved your mettle with the posies.

  3. Christina says:

    I don’t think you should count these purchases as a failure. If you buy cut flowers from a florist they will cost far more and as you say not have that ‘home grown’ quality. If you were betting against me I would think I’d won! Good luck, I still think you are very brave.

    • Cathy says:

      Pah! Cut flowers! It’s funny how much I wanted to avoid that at all costs (that’s what all these months of Monday vases does to you, well, to me!) – I would rather have bought silk flowers to plug the gap, I think 😉

  4. Sam says:

    This posy is so lovely Cathy. I’m full of admiration. What are you going to do with yourself after the wedding?!! After you’ve had a rest, that is 🙂

  5. hoehoegrow says:

    I too have wrestled with those same dilemmas! I just so wanted it to be right! I was doing the table flowers – armfuls of sweet peas and summer annuals, but TIMING a flush of sweet peas was terrifying! I caved in in the end and bought in some additional English rose blooms, as fillers just in casein went pear-shaped. It didn’t feel like cheating – and it helped me sleep at night!!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, I certainly have no qualms about availability of blooms since the Knights arrived – and strangely the majority will be things that were already in the garden as most things planted specially will not be ready. My first sweet peas are JUST coming into bloom but there is only likely to be one or two for next week. Younger Daughter has made all sorts of things for the tables so didn’t need flowers – wouldn’t have wanted to do both, not for a wedding at the end of April. Or perhaps with enough notice I would… 😉 Were you pleased with the results of yours, and was the bride pleased?

  6. Chloris says:

    Blow the embargo! What does it matter? The important thing is to produce the very best flowers you can for your daughter’ s special day. I love the red posy and the anemones are perfect, just the touch you need. What a great buy.

    • Cathy says:

      The embargo is still intact, in my mind, and will be until 31/12/16 😉 The persicaria foliage didn’t last well – it was a very new shoot and clearly wasn’t up to the job. There was also a piece of new peony foliage which is still full of life so that will do the job instead

  7. This is the best yet.

  8. They are beautiful and a good deal too. Ignore the nay-sayers!

  9. jenhumm116 says:

    Just gorgeous.
    And I don’t think we can really consider the embargo ‘broken’ but it was always a bonkers idea anyway 😉

  10. FlowerAlley says:

    This is so special. I will keep this in mind for my two children’s weddings. Flower’s have always been a part of our family. A wedding is the perfect time to include some favorites, instead of shipping in a dyed bouquet of strangers. Lovely work mom!

    • Cathy says:

      I would certainly recommend making posies for any family weddings – to all of us that love flowers and our gardens, that is!

  11. Anna says:

    You made a most sensible decision Cathy and have just replaced like with like! I like the addition of the leaves and the stems of the Dragon. Have you decided yet what will you use to tie the stems up on the day?It’s fun to play with photos – that black and white image of the posy is most striking.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for your support Anna – definitely like for like… Don’t think I can trust The Dragon not to flop so may not include him after all

  12. croftgarden says:

    What the hell, if necessary send the golfer down to the nearest garage or convenience store on the morning in question. Most mothers-of- the-bride are in melt down at this point, so breathe, relax and enjoy. I’ve done everything short of human sacrifice to send you good weather and wonderful flowers. Do hope the Heb magic works south of the border.
    Remember, enjoy and have a wonderful day.
    P.S. Don’t forget to post photos of m-o-b’s hat!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for all the positive vibes (and I am relieved there was no human sacrifice involved) although I can assure you there will be no MOTB meltdown nor hat!

  13. homeslip says:

    I think one of the reasons I love anemones such as these so much is that they remind me of my 1960s Mary Quant childhood. Looking forward to seeing the posies, and yes, do think about how to tie them, I would recommend a visit to VV Rouleaux (ribbon purveyors extraordinaire) except I’m sure you have a box of ribbons in a cupboard – I know I have!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh yes! I can see what you mean about the MQ and 60s connection (we must be of an age…) Sadly not many ribbons here and I am leaving it a bit late – may just plait red, white and blue embroidery threads together

  14. Pauline says:

    After all this practising, the flowers on the day are going to be wonderful! I admire you for taking on such a huge task and will wait to see all the photos.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Pauline, and especially after practising it doesn’t actually feel such a huge task although I might feel differently come Friday!

Comments are closed.