Spring is less than 7 weeks away!
The past couple of days have given us a glimpse of next season, but colder temperatures are again on the way. Though we have certainly had several frigid brushes with winter, our weather-related troubles this year have not matched those of other states. In comparison with the Dakotas and Michigan, winter weather has not had such a dramatic effect on our local area. Whatever wintry conditions we have to tolerate during the next month or so, there is still the warming thought that spring is getting closer every day.
Spring’s arrival makes gardener’s spirits soar at the sight of bursting buds, emerging leaves and unfurling fronds. Families spend more time outside. The wedding “off-season” ends, and bridal shows begin.
Those who follow bridal trends indicate that more brides are opting for casual and rustic weddings. Nuptials are being held in lovely rural settings, custom designed outdoor facilities, and even in beautiful backyards. Country brides are wearing flower crowns and flower colored bridal gowns. Wildflower bouquets include forget-me-nots, lily of the valley and bluebells. English garden favorites, like daisies, peonies and old fashioned roses, are other popular choices.
If you are holding a party on your own premises, then while snow and ice still linger in the flower beds, you can be planning your outdoor festivities now. Remember to include greenery in your floral arrangements. Holly, euonymus, yew and other evergreen shrubs and plants contrast well with big colorful blooms, and so do ornamental grasses and ferns. Flower colors and shapes are highlighted even more when surrounded by swathes of calming greenery. Using leaves, twigs, branches and fronds cut from all manner of existing garden plants reduces the number of showy flowers needed in each receptacle, which can be more cost effective. Use flowers and greenery on the tables, in standing urns on patios and in hanging pots beside pathways. Single blooms can be tied with pretty bows to hang decoratively from party tablecloths, tent entrances and archways.
Think of using herb leaves and stems in your decorations, like curly leaved parsley, rosemary, lavender, mint, thyme, and oregano. Chamomile and chive flowers are great complementary choices when paired, or as part of a larger floral creation.
Many herbs are extremely easy to grow from seed, and can be used in recipes for your get-together. The benefits from eating fresh herbs are widely accepted, and they brighten the taste of a multitude of appetizers, entrees and even desserts.
Herb flowers can also bring depth and lightness to a posy. Their delicacy can even create an ethereal dimension to your display. A simple trio of flowers in a tiny vase is enhanced by including the varying shades of gray through green herb cuttings.
Long vines of ivy, morning glory, clematis, trumpet vine, climbing euonymus, and mandevilla vine can be woven around lampposts, table legs, tent poles, arches, entrances and exits, mailboxes and other garden structures.
More rustic garden flower choices, as well as bouquet and arrangement ideas are at this website:
Nothing heralds spring more boldly than iridescent yellow daffodils. They make a strong colorful statement. Their primary color looks stunning when paired with complimentary purple hued miniature irises.
Peonies offer masses of heavy blooms that can resemble enormous old fashioned double roses, without the thorns. Depending upon the variety, they can flower during spring or summer.
Around Philadelphia lilacs bloom in April and May. These “bouquets on a stem” are also beautifully perfumed. A multitude of tiny flowers, known as panicles, make up each flower cluster. Heart shaped leathery leaves are borne on each twig. Lilacs can bloom in shades ranging from bluish lavender to purple, burgundy, pink and off white. They look stunning on their own or with yellow daylilies.
In mid to late summer , mophead and lacecap hydrangeas produce heavy heads of blue, pink and lavender, while gorgeous creamy white oakleaf hydrangea flowers offer masses of cone-shaped blossoms.
Who can resist a sunflower? Not only can they produce heads the size of large dinner plates, but they also come in a surprising variety of shades and petal formations. The dried seeds are an excellent source of fiber and essential fatty acids. They can also be sprouted to use in salads.
Perennial gypsophilia is a staple in flower shops. Blooming in late summer, it can bring delicacy to bouquets for August/September celebrations. Despite its fragile appearance, gypsophilia is surprisingly robust and lasts for around a week when cut. Its tiny white flowers and long, branching stems of darker green provide distance and drama when part of a floral display, bouquet, corsage or boutonnière.
Shasta and montauk daisies, cosmos, zinnias, phlox and foxgloves are all easy to grow in the mid-Atlantic states. Start from seed, or grow up from small nursery plants and let these lovely flower bed additions adorn your landscape, while giving your guests some living art to enjoy.
Late summer blooming chrysanthemums (or mums, as they are so commonly called) are a great choice in arrangements. They are available in an astounding variety of colors, as well as a range of sizes and shapes. Their blooms usually hold up well to a little handling, and last for several days before their brilliant color begins to fade.
Brides for 2013, did you realize that this year’s trend in flowers is predicted to include old English favorites? By happy coincidence, this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show (March 2-10, 2013 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center) is themed “Brilliant!” focusing on gardens around Great Britain. Plan a trip to this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show, to capture ideas for your wedding tables, flower girl, and bridal bouquet. It’s a great place to visit for inspiration on how to decorate a summer picnic party table as well.
Without a doubt, there can be considerable work involved in preparing for an outdoor event, especially if it is in your own backyard. One wonderful automatic benefit to your labors, however, is that your property gets a facelift. While your guests can enjoy the eye calming garden scenes during the festivities, you will be able to feel the satisfaction of having increased your quality of life by improving your daily view.
Other websites that may give some great ideas and tips for those who are preparing for a bridal reception or other special celebration are listed below:
The Pennsylvania Bridal Expo at Pennsylvania Convention Center is on April 28, 2013. Entry is free to brides who register online.
Information about bridal gowns and trends straight from the top designer runways is available at this website:
Philadelphia vintage pre-owned bridal gowns are mentioned here:
Don’t let winter’s chill get you down. Raise your spirits by planning ahead for your garden’s most colorful year yet.
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