Looking for the best way to choose your wedding flowers? Buying your wedding flowers in season not only matches your styled interiors to your natural exteriors, but you can save some wedding cash too! Buying out of season means florists have to ship those winter palms from faraway tropical paradises, running up your bill.
I've always admired you Brits for your incredible, fragrant, luscious gardens, and our expert, Sarah Loughrey-Jennings from Hiding in the City Flowers, is here to inspire us with beautiful blooms for each season in the UK.
Brides sometimes get really nervous about knowing exactly what flowers they want in their bouquets and table decorations. This is where picking a florist right for you comes in. At Hiding in the City Flowers, we have the conversation asking clients ‘Do they have examples of bouquets they like?’ ‘Is there a special flower they would like to include?’ and ‘What is your colour scheme?’ We then explain that the aim of all the consultations and mood boards is to understand their aesthetic but for them to trust us (the experts) to suggest types of flowers that would work for them.
Buying ‘Seasonal’ flowers sometimes gets associated with the familiar accessibility of Fruit and Vegetables all year round. True, there are some varieties that you can indeed get all year round, for example, some varieties of Roses and Lisianthus. However, most of our favourites are truly seasonal and wholesalers will only be able to supply their florists according to these seasons. As a rule of thumb, you simply can’t get fresh flowering Lavender in December, and before someone jumps in to correct me, I add in a caveat, that I make that statement based on its quality being high enough that you’d be happy to sell and it lives more than 4 hours after you buy it!
You often see lists of seasonal flowers and when they are available, so when I was asked to compile “A Seasonal Flower Guide” I wanted to include all my special favourites that get me excited each season. I’ve grouped my list into months, but as these are natural products, sometimes we see certain varieties a little earlier than expected. Giving your florist the flexibility to buy what they think works for your day will get you the best of the bunches!
January to March
British Tulips – this is when we see this elegant flower spring into action with amazing varieties from many artisan growers in the UK. There’s something about their long sleek neck that looks great dripping out of arrangements. Don’t just think of the traditional varieties, they come with frilly edges, parrot heads and in some amazing tones and colours. I’ve even seen spectacular heads that look like someone has carefully painted their petals with tiny, little brush strokes.
Icelandic Poppies – they come into play with their delicate paper-like petals in bright yellows, peaches, and whites. Their stems are long and they twist and bend into shapes making them perfect for making a statement massed together in simple vases or for mixing into more complex arrangements.
Catkins – at this time of year it can seem really bleak on the foliage front, but this is when we at Hiding in the City Flowers turn to natures ‘pods’, which are little Catkins hanging gloriously off weathered branches that are ready to add drama to our beautiful arrangements.
Fritillaria – towards the end of March you suddenly see the ascent of the marching Fritillaria. These guys have serious personality and their unusual downturned heads are really enchanting. You can get them in an array of varieties ranging from tall shocking oranges to teeny tiny little purples. I like to display them as single stems in recycled bottles for relaxed, bohemian weddings.
April to June
Foxgloves – this is when towering Foxgloves come and go. So short a season, but it’s worth it! People ask me what my favourite flowers are and I normally don’t answer but I think Foxgloves they are the most romantic of all of the garden flowers, bringing so much to any arrangement.
Poppies – April and May also see the continuance of the poppy, but this time in a beautiful red variety with a vibrant purple centre. Their stalks and leaves are a wonderful soft teal green, which contrasts with the punchy petals so well.
Peonies – calling all brides! Peony season is here! The most popular bridal flower starts and ends in this season so you have to get in there quick. You may be able to find them in July, but you really shouldn’t bet your last Rolo on them being perfect. My top tip – if you do want peonies and it’s out of season, a beautiful textured garden Rose can have the same romantic feel.
Grasses and leaves – okay, I know they don’t sound as sexy as cascading Lilies and delicate Poppies, but trust me, they are the perfect for creating show-stopping bouquets. I love this season when we see British foliages arriving at New Covent Garden Market. Think beautiful Artichoke leaves, Meadow grasses, Angelica stems, Hosta leaves and Bullrushes.
July to September
Roses – the epitome of romance, the humble British garden rose starts to come into its own during this season. This is when they have an alluring sweet scent that will bring a whole other level of beauty to your wedding day.
Dahlias – you will find dahlias in a whole rainbow of colours during this period, so it’s easy to find a shade to match your theme.
Herbs – throughout this season, we will see an abundance of herb varieties like Yellow Dill, Flowering Basil and Oregano. I love to use them for their zesty colours and aromatic scents.
Japenese Anenomes – these simple flowers are great for weddings as they come in crisp white and delicate pink.
October to December
Ranunculi – throughout these months and far into April the Ranunculus starts to come into bloom, and it’s great because it looks amazing in every hue it comes in. My personal favourites have to be the almost black varieties which look magical when lit up with candlelight in small secluded receptions venues.
Hydrangeas – as soon as the first frost arrives, we say goodbye to the Dahlias and hello to more autumnal hues of the British hydrangea and their mottled red heads.
Anemones – the time in which all of their varieties come to life with velvety hues ranging from cherry reds to dark purples. These can be a really good choice if you’re looking for a stunning focal flower that’s not a Rose.
About Hiding in the City Flowers
Hiding in the City Flowers was launched in London in 2013 by Sarah Loughrey-Jennings. They create floral designs for weddings, events and other occasions. Their signature wedding style is relaxed and unstructured florals that are perfect for ultra-cool brides.
For more floral inspiration, visit our Flowers section in the archives.