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:
When 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’:
When 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!