As spring gives way to early summer, we come to the best and busiest time of year for florists.
The hedgerows are green and lush, the lime trees have put on the darker leaves of summer and the elders are in bloom. The spring rain has worked its magic in the gardens and everything is growing apace, as the borders fill out with exciting new surprises every day.
The scent of roses is in the air, blue spikes of lavender fill out, while petunias and diascias bob their pretty heads in pots and hanging baskets. Bees enjoy their choice of geraniums.
The colour palette broadens too. All shades of pink come into play and the gorgeous summer blues and purples arrive. For the florist, the choice of flowers available is the widest of almost any time of year and scent begins to play a bigger part. Tulips and apple blossom have given way to roses in almost every colour. Delphiniums, foxgloves, lupins and larkspur lend height and drama; cow parsley, nigella and astrantia add texture and softness. Sweet peas put in a brief but delightful appearance and add delicious scent. Climbers of all types begin to appear; large faced clematis, pink and yellow honey suckle and delicate jasmine.
The wise summer bride takes inspiration from the hedgerows and gardens and uses them in her bouquet and venues. Choose a colour scheme that runs throughout your day and then opt for the flowers that are in season. They will look the most happy and sumptuous and will last the longest.
There are of course trends and new favourites every year. This year we seem to have seen a return to a nostalgic, naturalistic style. Nestling amongst plenty of greenery, cottage garden flowers are the flowers of choice, most notable of all, the humble but elegant foxglove in shades of deep pink, through apricot to purest white, is to be seen in many a pedestal arrangement and on many a church ledge this season.