Florence’s Florals: The Seasonal Series [Spring]

It’s the first Thursday of the month, which means it’s time to welcome Becky Hay from Blossom, with her visual feast of flowers. I’ve always wanted to do a piece on the best seasonal flowers, for a wedding, or just your dining table. Becky is the perfect person for the job and I hope you next visit your florist armed with new knowledge and inspiration….

March is here at last. It’s the month when spring firmly kicks winter’s backside. In the shop it brings with it Mothering Sunday (18th March) the excitement of the Easter window (more of that next month) and the start, in earnest, of wedding season. To me, the start of any new season is the most exciting time, and a big part of that comes down to the new arrivals of flowers that I see in the shop as well as in my own garden.

It dawned on me recently that like most people, I take the knowledge gained from my job for granted. When you do something for long enough, it becomes common sense doesn’t it? So this month I thought I’d start a little ‘Seasonal Series’ in order to share some of that knowledge with you.

There are many flowers that are available all year round thanks to the Dutch growers (Roses, Lilies, Gerbera, Carnations….the list is endless). And if you’re prepared to pay for it, you can get hold of almost any flower at any time of year. But what I’m talking about here are truly seasonal flowers, the ones that would grow in your garden if you had green fingers and time to nurture them. Even the flowers that are grown all year round have a proper season when they’re at their strongest, most beautiful, and have the best scent.

So, whether you’re planning a wedding, hosting a party, or just want to know what to spend your hard earned cash on for ultimate seasonal joy, here’s my guide to spring and early summer cut flowers. The flowers marked with an * are the ones that you should find readily available from your local florist. The others are certainly available but you’re likely to have to order them a week or so in advance. I’ve referred to each flower with the name most commonly used in the shop. This varies from the Latin to the common names so apologies to the purist horticulturalists out there.

Spring (March & April)
Anemones*, Black Iris, Blossom, Daffodils*, Forsythia*, Fritillaria, Forget me Not, Foxglove, Freesia*, Genista* (Broom), Grape hyacinths, Hellebore, Hyacinth*, Iris*, Lilac*, Lily of the Valley, Magnolia, Mimosa*, Narcissi*, Pussy Willow*, Ranunculus*, Snowflakes, Scillas, Tulips*, Viburnum opulus* (Guelder rose), Violets.

Early Summer (May & June)
Astilbe*, Allium*, Alchemilla mollis*, Aquilegia, Achillea, Brodea, Delphinium*, Hydrangea*, Larkspur*, Lily of the Valley, Lisianthus*, Nigella (Love in the Mist), Peonies*, Ranunculus*, Snapdragon*, Solomons Seal* (Polygonatum), Scabious, Stock*, Viburnum opulus* (Guelder rose).

The most important thing to me about all of these flowers is the fact that they’re not around all year long. If they were, would our love affair be so strong? I don’t believe for a second it would.

Please do leave a comment to let me know your favourites, tell me I’ve missed something, or ask a question about a party or event you’d like to arrange flowers for.

Becky

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50 thoughts on “Florence’s Florals: The Seasonal Series [Spring]

  1. tulips and hydrangeas. Can’t beat ’em in my mind! I love it when tulip season arrives!

    The house I’m buying is on Tulip Close… it was a sign right from the start! 🙂

  2. This is brilliant AND useful! Tulips are my favourite flower by a mile but we’re getting hitched in May so won’t be in season (is it just me or do they get earlier each year?). In light of that I’m going for hydrangea which I am pleased to see fits perfectly timing wise – yay! – white for bridesmaids and multicoloured for me.

  3. I’m obsessed with peonies… I plan to one day have a garden full of them and because I had a mass of white ones for my wedding bouquet they take me right back in an instant. the smell is incredible. I stalk florists for them year in year out.

    However, if I had gotten married a little earlier, I would have gone for tulips, ranunculus, anemones (that I always want to say/spell anenomes!) and I once saw some amazing magnolia centre pieces that I think I showed to Becky about three weeks before the wedding and almost changed everything for. You were so patient Becky!

    As an aside, you don’t need to be getting married to have these – the majority of the second lot of flowers grow in my garden! 🙂
    xo

    • Love Peonies too Rebecca – think i have mentioned this before but I’m having coral ones in my wedding bouquet, along with pink ones and miss piggy roses which are a beautiful orangey pink! Anenomes are also one of mu faves and i really wanted them for my wedding but they just arent in season in July! You have inspired me to purchase them this weekend and I really want to get some Lilac now – its amazing! x

  4. I’d already saved the hellebore image for flower of the week for my blog!
    Tulip close how lovely. When thinking about having a garden I said I wanted a rose bush, hydrangea, foxgloves & honeysuckle. We have all of them bar the foxglove. Love the practical & beautiful nature of this post.
    Ps I used your tip for twigs to stand hyacinths upright & it was great – thank you! Also may send mum the scented bouquet from last month’s post for Mother’s Day.
    Big floral spring time love to you all.

  5. Oh, I love going to Columbia Road flower market and this time of year, my faves are tulips and hydrangeas, but love a bit of mimosa too! Love the yellow colour.

    Had peonies for my wedding bouquet and have loved them ever since but think they look lovely in a tight bouquet but not as good in my vases at home .

    x

  6. My favourite flowers are peonies, I didn’t have them for my wedding bouquet though, as the florist advised that they would not last through the day, if the weather was hot (and it was hot).

    I love camellia’s too, and hydrangeas and roses. Not forgetting magnolias, sweet peas, and hellebores. Oh, and I love the smell of honeysuckle.

    xx

  7. Im determined to have some peonies this year, seeing as how I was denied last year for my wedding! They are so fluffy and soft looking!

    xoxo

    • I was also denied Mahj… should have picked my date a little better 😉

      Mr P knows I adore Peonies so hopefully my house will be filled with them soon!

      xoxo

      • I could have had them but the random British weather made them bloom late or something. Or maybe it was early? Either way, whatever it was made them flippin’ expensive!

        I like your plans. Will start dropping hints e.g. Telling him everyday from now on, that I want some!

        xoxo

        • Last year was a nightmare – everything was early. I think this year will be the same so make sure you send him out early – mid May onwards should be perfect. Generally, we get about a month of really lovely peonies. Too early and they’re like bullets that don’t open, too late and they don’t fluff up well xx

  8. I love seasonal English flowers so much, i have spent the last couple of years planting out a cutting garden to fill my house with flowers from April to October. It is hard work but heart stoppingly fabulous and I now sell the extra as bouquets in my local area. No air miles, no chemicals and so much loveliness!

    Couldn’t pick a favourite, each season I swear blind this is my favourite and a month later it is something else. At the moment I have Christmas box, hellebores, snowdrops and a few narcissi just beginning to pop up, such an exciting time. If anyone wants to make a cutting garden my tip is not to forget some gorgeous foliage plants to set off the flowers.

  9. I adore peonies too! Apparently this year the screwy weather means they won’t be around when I need them (or if they are it will be at prices that I cannot afford). Instead I am opting for David Austin roses, which are also beautiful. Plus the particular roses forming the majority of my bouquet are called Kate, which is exciting (it’s normal to be excited that your bouquet roses share your name, right?)

    This is SUCH a useful post. I’m referring to it repeatedly in an email to my florist. 😀

    K x

  10. Even I love peonies and I HATE pink! But they look like Degas ballerinas’ tutus so you just can’t help loving them. I love really outrageously streaky parrot tulips too. You never see enough of them in the shops.

    Please keep going on this one – I scrolled down to see November (a tricky month) and was disappointed to see it didn’t go beyond June.

    • Don’t worry Amanda, there will be more to come in future months. I got married in November – there are plenty of beautiful things to choose from – fear not xx

  11. I got married in August just so I could have hydrangeas in my wedding flowers. I have them growing in every colour in my garden, a particluar variety called Annabelle are the hugest flowers I have ever seen. I also adore hanging amaranthus. other favourites are gladioli, iris, rannunculus, craspedia, delphinium. in fact I love most flowers, they cheer me right up 🙂

      • Becky, do you have any tips on how to keep the annabelle upright? the flower heads are so huge that they always flop because of the weight. when they get soaked from the rain the whole plant collapses. I’ve tried to hold it up with canes and tie it altogether. i also cut it right back every year but come July/August it has exploded again!! xx

        • Sadly no. I cut mine back every year but I’m not very ruthless! Every year my scaffolding system gets larger and larger. I do have regular hydrangeas in front of mine though so they probably act as extra support. I’m not always sad when it’s rained as it encourages me to cut a few heads and enjoy them inside xx

  12. Wow ladies, you’ve done me proud with comments today. Thank you so much. This series will most certainly be making another appearance in the not too distant future xx

  13. Wow girls, I’m so glad you found this useful! And pretty to look at right?

    I’m bursting for some spring florals in my home now… my potted bulbs are just starting to finish, only one pot of narcissi coming into bud now and look glorious on the table, then they’ll all be done and I can buy some again 🙂

    I’ve got more coming up soon on flowers for the garden so keep your eyes peeled too! xo

  14. Thanks for this post. We’re getting married at the end of next March, and one of the reasons is because I love the colour and sense of a fresh start that spring brings. However, despite loving the prettiness, I know next to nothing about actual flowers, so this is massively helpful! My favourite – ranunculus! xxx

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