The Queen of spring florals is set to reign at the wedding of the year this May. As suspense builds across the nation for Prince Harry to marry his bride-to-be Meghan Markle, the countdown to the royal wedding is officially on. All eyes will be looking to Windsor on Saturday 19th May as each eagerly awaited detail of the wedding of the year unfolds.
With the official florist for the big day recently revealed as London-based Philippa Craddock, Dobbies Garden Centres has provided a preview of the beautiful blooms tipped to take centre stage this spring.
Widely known as Meghan’s favourite flowers, peonies are the pick of the bunch when it comes to the floral arrangements, and her selection is bound to inspire the future choices of couples planning their nuptials. May is the perfect month for in season peonies, so the wedding date couldn’t be better timed to include Meghan’s much-loved flower. Other blooms reported to have been selected are traditional white garden roses and foxgloves.
Blooming with inspiration, Dobbies has collaborated with leading stylist and author Selina Lake to bring you a whole host of gorgeous styling ideas, all using the soon to be reigning flowers of the wedding season. From sophisticated centrepieces to bridal flower crowns, create flourishing picture-perfect displays with the great British blooms of the moment.
To find your local Dobbies Garden Centres store and browse the online range, visit www.dobbies.com.
Dobbies resident gardening expert, Louise Golden, explains why peonies are a firm garden favourite, plus how to make sure they thrive in years to come:
“With their showy flowers in a range of gorgeous colours from pure white to richest crimson, peonies are hardy herbaceous perennials. So, once you’ve established them in your garden they will return for many years, flowering towards the end of spring and into early summer. In early spring plant container-grown peonies straight into well-drained soil that has been enriched with compost or manure. Give them a position in full sun and keep them well watered as they establish.”
If you don’t have the room to grow your own, The Real Flower Company’s Simply Peony Pink Bouquet is available to order online at www.dobbies.com, so you can experience for yourself just why the heavenly scented blooms are the soon-to-be royals favourite. Delivered straight to your door, they are the perfect gift to treat your loved one. Dobbies’ quality range of bouquets to suit all budgets include beautiful cut flowers from The Real Flower Company and David Austin Roses.
Did you know these interesting facts from a Royal wedding …
It has been a long-standing tradition for royal brides to carry a sprig of myrtle in their wedding bouquet. This dates back to Queen Victoria’s nuptials, when she was gifted a royal myrtle plant by Prince Albert’s grandmother. Myrtle symbolizes hope, love and marriage.
White lily-of-the-valley is a popular traditional choice for royal bouquets. Chosen by the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Diana and the Duchess of York to name a few, lily-of-the-valley means trustworthy.
The Queen decorated her 9ft tall wedding cake with fresh flowers when she married Prince Philip in 1947. Now a Pinterest-worthy favourite among many modern brides, it would seem that the Queen was one of the first to adorn her wedding cake with beautiful real blooms.
Styling ideas from leading author and stylist Selina Lake, on how to make your wedding like the Royal Wedding
To achieve any of these looks, you need to first condition the flowers by removing the lower leaves on the stem, plus any sharp thorns. Snip the ends diagonally and plunge into a bucket of cool water until you are ready to create your display.
Pick a low vessel with a wide opening and make sure it’s watertight, then cut a piece of oasis (from £1.99, Dobbies) to fit inside the vessel and soak well in water. If needed, hold in position using florist tape. Starting with the foliage, begin to fill the oasis with a base layer of greenery. Follow with your chosen flower stems, remembering to keep turning the vessel and filling out all the sides for a balanced display. Save the most delicate flowers till last to avoid bruising the petals. The arrangement can be relaxed and informal, so keep adding flowers until you’re happy with how it looks
A good and plastic free way to recycle glass bottles is to use them as vases to display stems and gather a collection on a shelf or mantlepiece. Here I’ve added spools of silk ribbons and embroidered trim along with a couple of pretty vintage botanical prints. This is a good way to make one bunch of flowers go further.
Silks and Muslin
Display a statement vase of flowers on a table dressed with layered muslin fabric loosely draped and decorated with silk ribbons in delicate tones of blush pink and peach. This idea works well when decorating a venue for a party or wedding.
Hand Tied Bouquet
Start with a base flower - I used a beautiful apricot foxglove - then add another stem of a different flower at a slight angle, turn the bouquet slightly and repeat. Keep adding flowers and foliage at the same angle, slightly twist away the bouquet each time. When you’re happy with the arrangement tie the stems together securely, then snip the ends so they are all the same length. The bouquet should then stand up on a flat surface. Add ribbons for extra prettiness.
Garden Summer Wreath
To make your own floral summer wreath, start with an oasis wreath ring (£6.99, Dobbies) soaked with water and fill the base with foliage. Here I used white wax flowers, eucalyptus and astrantia, then cut the stems short, and added a mix of roses and peonies. Use green florist wire or pretty ribbon to make a hook for hanging your wreath. Mist regularly with water to prolong the blooms.
Pretty Style Board
Botanical prints and fresh flowers complement each other beautifully to create a romantic floral display.
Scented Flower Crown
I use rustic string wire which you can find at Dobbies (from £3.99) to make these beautiful flower crowns. First, measure around the head using the wire and cut to size, leaving a little extra length to wind and secure the ends together. Then use green florist wire to attach the flower and leaf stems to the rustic wire by bending the green wire around the rustic wire circle, and catching the stems as I go.