Gardening with Gael
13 Mar, 2023
We were at a wedding recently where I was stunned by the flower arrangements. Not just the bridal bouquets as pictured, but by the magnificent garland adorning the area where the couple got married and the enormous balls of flowers which hung over the tables where we ate. Mid-summer, the predominant flower forming the basis for the arrangements were white hydrangeas, white roses and an assortment of flowers. The greenery was just kowhai leaves which created an ideal soft background.
Interspersed were the softest shades of apricot, lemon and mauve. The soft blend of colours created a feeling of harmony which I was very keen to replicate somewhere in the garden at home. I took lots of photos.
There are white hydrangeas in the back shaded part of the newly formed food court. The trees are in and there are still some gaps in between waiting for the right bee loving plants.
One of the first flowers I noticed at the wedding was the interesting rather flat top clusters of tightly packed flowers that belong to the yarrow family. Julie has them on her stall at the market and I have overlooked these plants many times. Easy to grow and requiring little maintenance, these flowers are great for attracting pollinators. As a cut flower they ‘fill’ the gaps and provide an interesting contrast. In the photo they are a dull pink. Since I planted them I have deadheaded them, and their fern-like leaves are clumping up as I hoped they would. Achillea millefolium or ‘common yarrow’ is a perennial with colours ranging from shades of yellow to pink to red. Pest resistant and drought resistant I can’t think how I have disregarded them in the past.
Covering the shades of blue and mauve were flowers from the scabiosa family. I was lucky enough to source the variety on Rowie’s stall at the School Market. Scabiosa japonica Ritz blue. Another easy-care drought-resistant plant, scabiosas can be annual or perennial. Commonly called pincushion flowers because of the shape of their flowers, these are also great for pollination.
The dainty white flowers of gypsophila usually present in a bouquet were replaced by bunches of feverfew. Another very easy-to-grow perennial, the bright lime green leaves of this plant and the clusters of white small daisy-like flowers is also known as wild chamomile because of the similarity of their flowers.
White and soft salmon-coloured dahlias featured as well. Reading about dahlias – which are enjoying a surge in popularity – I discovered that there are now about twenty different flower types ranging from the large dinner plate size to the small pompom. It is worth Googling them to see the range. Everyone has their own personal favourite but I cannot resist the size and style featured in the bouquet. They are just right for mixing with the roses and lisianthus. The bouquets featured cactus type flowers which come in a variety of sizes. I have been carefully watching the Bulbs Direct website. They are unavailable until about July.
Who knows what weather winter will bring. In the past I have always left my dahlia bulbs in the ground only lifting them every three years to divide and refresh. This year after all that rain I am worried they may rot and I am tempted to dig them up and replant in spring. That means labelling and storing in boxes. I think I need a garden shed.
Flowers at a recent wedding have provided me with inspiration for my own garden.