Sarah Raven says this is the one flower you should grow for your wedding bouquet

These delicate blooms add gorgeous color and fragrance, plus a wild, cottage garden feel to your wedding day flowers

sweet peas
(Image credit: Alamy)

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.

sweet peas

(Image credit: Getty)

'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.

Buckets of Sweet Peas Collection

(Image credit: Jonathan Buckley/Sarah Raven)

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.  

cosmos from Sarah Raven

Cosmos are also a pretty option for adding to wedding day bouquets, available from Sarah Raven

(Image credit: Jonathan Buckley/Sarah Raven)

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.

bouquet of flowers from Sarah Raven

Flowers from Sarah Raven

(Image credit: Jonathan Buckley/Sarah Raven)

'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
Millie Hurst

Millie joined Gardeningetc in January 2021 as a news writer. When she isn't writing about gardening, she's tending to her small front garden. Her geraniums, dahlias and nasturtiums are looking lovely right now. She recently bought a bench for the garden and is loving alfresco lunch breaks and taking time to notice seedlings growing. She loves picking up some new plants at the local garden centre and is never without some fresh flowers at home.