Nothing says summer quite like a lively bouquet of flowers picked fresh from the farm. Strolling through the stalls and sniffing on blooms brought in just that morning and tied with string is as much of a pleasure as the flowers themselves. Supporting local farmers and bringing a bit of the farm to your table is a great tradition May through October, but now you can put together these bountiful bouquets year round by following the advice below.
Go For Variety
Farms must diversify out of necessity. In order to be sure there is plenty to pick all summer long, most farms grow more than 5 to 6 different flowers for cutting. Your florist will be able to get a mix of these year round, so rather than picking out one or two of the prettiest stems, go for variety. Mix a tall, yellow zinnia with another color or else a different flower, like dahlia or sunflower in a similar yellow. To offset these, chose a contrasting blue flower like delphinium or bachelor button. Don’t forget to add in a variety of textures as well. A feathery grass stem or fern-like leaves from larkspur will add a look like you just came in from the garden.
Flowers that Bloom Together
In a world of increasingly industrialize agriculture, it’s not common for folks to necessarily know what’s in season. While a nice bowl of mixed fruit might contain apples, peaches, oranges and bananas, those fruit grow in very different seasons. Peaches and plums are summer fruit; apples and pears are fall fruit. By choosing flowers that bloom at similar time, you end up creating a look that is both colorfully pleasing and naturally possible. The upside of more globalized agriculture is that you can get these flowers from all over the world and from greenhouses that make a December day into summer. A good florist can tell you which blooms coincide, but here’s a brief seasonal primer:
Spring– Lilac, peony, ranunculus, anemone, freesia, sweet pea
Summer– Rose, zinnia, snapdragon, delphinium, flowering stock, gladiola
Fall– Sunflower, amaranthus, chrysanthemum, dahlia
Winter– Camellias, hypericum berries, pine cones and branches
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Choose Blooms that Could be Local
As the locavour movement continues to gain momentum, more and more farmers are finding the funds to build hoop houses and high tunnel greenhouses that can house flowers earlier in the spring and later in the winter. While they may not have enough volume to make a mixed bouquet for market (even if the farmer’s market was open), they may have enough blooms available to mix in with others bought at your flower shop. If not, they are still a great source of information, so give them a call to find out what blooms will be grown there this year and take that list to the flower shop to pick put pretty stems that suitable for your climate- even if there is still snow on the ground 🙂