Friday, May 15, 2009

Can I grow my own flowers to save money for my wedding?

You can grow your own flowers or pick them from the garden of a relative or friend who grows beautiful flowers (with their permission of course!). Many precautions should be taken if you choose this option. Garden flowers are not the same quality as florist grade flowers. The stems are not as strong and the flowers not as hardy. Garden flowers could more easily be grown and displayed for centerpieces, especially if you want to float them in water. If you are planning to grow flowers and flowering shrubs in your yard or garden as a backdrop to your ceremony, you should have excellent results as long as you have a green thumb and are an experienced gardener. As for flowers for bouquets and centerpieces, if you are going for the garden look, you could pull it off by following these precautions:
You will want to plan to pick your flowers the day before the wedding or at most 2 days before the special event. The time of day is a major factor as to when you will want to pick the flowers. The morning hours, between 9-10 am is ideal, just after the dew has dried but before the sun is too strong. You don’t want to pick them after a rain since they will be too wet and won’t be at their best. You don’t want to pick them close to noon or in the hot afternoon sun. They will be dehydrated and not last their longest. Make sure the flowers and foliage that you pick are at their best; that they are free of insect holes and look healthy, vibrant and beautiful. Researching your type of flower for lasting quality and specific care would be recommended. It’s a great idea to carry a container of lukewarm water to the garden so that you can place the stems in the water immediately as you cut them. It would be wise to test the type of flower you plan to use well in advance of the special day to avoid any surprises such as the stems or buds dropping within a few hours of cutting. If you are planning on cutting many flowers, bring more buckets or vases of water to place them in so that your fine picks will not get damaged by
overcrowding. Flowers should be picked in the advanced bud or almost mature stage. If you pick them when they are at their peak, they will be past their prime by the time you showcase them at your event. To benefit future growth of the plant from which you are cutting from, cut your stem just above the nodes (where the leaf joins the main stem). This will allow the plant to keep producing well. Handle flowers quickly and try to only hold them by their stem so as not to damage them.

To summarize, if you grow flowers for your centerpieces and follow the above precautions, you should have gorgeous, fragrant blooms to show off at your wedding and will have the pride of your green thumb and thriftiness to show off.

If you grow flowers that will surround your wedding ceremony and that will still be planted and not cut, you will have a beautiful natural backdrop for your wedding.

If you wish to use fresh grown, cut flowers for your bouquets and centerpieces, you should do your research as to which flowers will hold up well when cut (ex. roses, straw flowers, statice, lilies, etc...) Plan to make trial corsages, bouquets as testers before the big day so as to avoid disappointment.

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