The Q&A Archives: August Wedding

Question: Our family will have a late August wedding this year. The bride wants to carry a single (or small bouquet) of garden flowers. Colors: violet, blue, dark pink, white, or similar. Any ideas of what we should grow that will definitely be in good form very late in the season would help. (She doesn't want roses.)

Answer: I don't mind telling you this question makes me a little nervous. What if I recommend some varieties and they don't perform up to par and the bride comes looking for me? Just kidding, although please know this is a little risky. You never knowwhat kind of growing season Mother Nature will throw at you, if pests will invade your garden, or any other number of botanical mishaps. Not to mention the fact that it sometimes takes awhile for plants (esp. perennials) to get established before they bloom well and dependably. If you need them by August, I definitely would not start from seed, purchase plants instead. In any case, make sure the bride has a backup in case of "technical difficulties". Having said that here are a few selectionsin the bride's color selections that are good cut flowers and should be in bloom in August: Liatris (Blazing Star), Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower), Veronica (Speedwell), Echinacea (Coneflower - several colors available, pinks, and whites), Echinops Ritro (Globe Thistle), Verbascum (Southern Charm), Boltonia asteroides (False Chamomile - good filler), Phlox paniculata (many different colors available, flowers are on panicles, not the ground cover type), Salvia (many, many colors in the range she specifies), Oriental Lilies (two August bloomers include 'Casa Blanca' and 'Antonia', you may not have time to get these established, though I planted Stargazer Lilies in May in zone 6 and they bloomed in late July). Another good filler for a cut bouquet is Artemesia 'Silver King', it has beautiful, tall, silvery, lace-like foliage. If you are looking for annuals, consider Heliotrope, Snapdragon, French Vanilla Marigold, Nicotiana, Statice, Asters, Cleome, Centaurea, Cosmos (Gazebo or Sensation mix), Ice Plant, Nigella (also called "Love-in-a-Mist" appropriate), and of course, Forget-me-Not. Send pictures!

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