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With many wedding plans on pause due to the pandemic, couples everywhere have found themselves with many months to spare before their big day. Sarah Raven suggests using this time wisely and adding a personal touch to the wedding day with homegrown flowers.
The gardening expert also reveals why she believes learning how to grow sweet peas is such a brilliant idea if you want to incorporate homegrown flowers into a special bouquet.
'Growing and arranging your own flowers for your wedding day can be so rewarding but it will require plotting and planning in advance,' Sarah says. 'That’s why, for those who have had to delay their wedding, I think growing your own flowers is a perfect way to use the extra time you have and make the whole experience even more memorable.'
Whenever we're arranging flowers, whether they're supermarket-bought blooms to brighten up the kitchen or a more elaborate centerpiece for our outdoor dining ideas, we tend to focus on aesthetics. However, Sarah stresses the importance of scent.
For this, she recommends including sweet peas in wedding flowers, as they are known for their intense fragrance. 'You’ll never regret growing sweet peas and they’ll make a fantastic addition to any flower arrangement,' she comments.
These romantic blooms create a rich display of color and scent in any garden while bringing a cottage garden feel. Said to represent kind-heartedness, they're a really lovely choice for a wedding bouquet.
The good news is that they are relatively easy to grow, as long as the slugs and snails don't get to them. Gardening expert Monty Don's tips for growing sweet peas is packed with useful advice on how to get the most from your blooms.
Dainty, uplifting sweet peas will complement larger flowers within a bouquet, such as cosmos, Oxeye daisies, lupins and foxgloves. As for which other flowers to include, it totally depends on what kind of look you'd like, as well as your sowing and cutting schedule. Don't forget, there's plenty of suggestions for the best cutting garden flowers in our guide.
You may also be able to source some last-minute foliage from local hedgerows - take a look at our story on the wildflower-picking laws before heading out.
'I always choose a range of showy, dominant flowers as central pivots for flower displays or dramatic bridal bouquets,' says Sarah. 'I call these my "Brides". Dahlias, sunflowers, zinnias, echinaceas, roses and lilies all do a marvelous job of this.'
Remember, you can also save any dropped petals from your homegrown sweet peas and use them as confetti to add even more scent and color to your backyard wedding ideas.
Millie Hurst has worked in digital journalism for five years, having previously worked as a Senior SEO Editor at News UK both in London and New York. She joined the Future team in early 2021, working across several brands, including Gardeningetc. Now, she is Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home, taking care of evergreen articles aimed at inspiring people to make the most of their homes and outdoor spaces.
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