Here is a summary of my favourite British flowers in season in July and how to best make them shine when deciding where to use them in your arrangements:
Dahlias are absolutely stunning flowers, but a little temperamental. They sometimes lose all their petals without apparent reason, and are not positioned with the head at 90 degrees on top of the stem like almost all other flowers. They tend to be slanted on the side of it instead, making them a little more complicated to work with.
Dahlias come in a great range of colours, from hot pinks to reds, whites and beautiful deep burgundy, to dreamy peaches and creams. They are perfect for any flower brief as they are very elegant and at the same time they have an edge given by their very symmetrical and intricate shape. Did you know each of the petals you see if actual a single flower in itself?
They can vary largely in size, from the same one of a small rose to huge heads called “dinner plate” size, as the one of the notorious café’ o lait variety. They are suited to any arrangement for a wedding, from bouquets to large urns with foliage, impressive arches, table florals. Dahlias from the Café o Lait variety are perfect for statement single stem bouquets for the bride or the bridesmaids.
I love the big, round beautiful hydrangea heads we are all used to, which are the queens of wedding flowers and extrude pure sophistication. However, I’m speaking of a different type here and specifically of Hydrangea paniculata, a specie native of China and Japan. Hydrangeas paniculata’s flowers are cone/pyramid shaped and the individual florets are much smaller, giving it a delicate look, looser and fluffier than their more known cousin’s. This specie blooms in a creamy colour, which fades to hues of green, pink and red with age. One of the most common varieties has a French name, Vanille-Fraise or “vanilla-strawberry”, and without fail makes me think of ice cream and summer. These flowers are perfect for large installations, arches, staircases, urns. Vary peculiar once dry, hydrangea paniculata gains a brownish tone which can be the base of very interesting arrangements together with other dry and fresh flowers in neutral earthy tones.
If you are looking for pretty flowers with an intense scent, freesias are for you! They work perfectly for bouquets and corsages, and to give beautiful detail to table arrangements. If you wish to use them in larger installations as entrance arches for example, a good tip is to concentrate them around the average height of your guests, so that they can be hit by their perfume once they pass next to them.
When using strongly scented flowers, be sure to use them sparingly on tables, as they can be so fragrant to overpower your nose, influence your taste buds and ultimately change the flavour of your wedding breakfast.
Another scented flower, absolutely stunning in aisle runners and staircases decorations, Stock gives beautiful height to them. Stocks can also be used in bouquets, by removing the bottom buds and using only the tips for a more rounded look, or as it is to achieve an organic and natural shape. It’s gorgeous combined with other flowers to give texture and visual interest, and equally impactful on its own in monochrome or a mix of colours. It’s also one of the flowers I go to if I want to create a suspended flower decorations, with single stems hanging from the ceiling. It comes in a large variety of shades, with peaches, lilac and deep purples being my absolute favourites. I suggest against using stock only if you are considering a wedding in a very hot location or in a period of the year that is likely to have high temperatures, as it’s a sensitive flower which does not last well in the heat.
Phlox is a flower that has become increasingly popular in the last years for wedding work. It’s amazing to create space and lightness in bouquets, and coverage in table arrangements and staircases, but less versatile for large installations as it would get easily lost. It comes in a variety of shades, from delicate lavender to pink, orange and cerise, and it’s often double coloured, making it a perfect transitional flowers between other tones of your palette. It also comes in unusual colours, as for example the one of the variety named after a dessert, crème brulee, which has soft caramel hues flushed with pink and purple accents. It’s a cottage flower, which can be used with amazing results in elegant and romantic floral briefs.
A favourite of brides, gypsophila has been used in bridal work for many years in traditional and rustic style arrangements. It’s not one of my favourite flowers due to the rustic tone it can give to the florals, and the strong and at times unpleasant smell. There are lovely alternatives to baby breath, as for example waxflowers, if you are looking at small, dainty, delicate flowers to complement larger blooms. I have however decided to add it to this list as in recent times it has been used by florists in a completely new direction, bringing it into modern times and with very cool results that have seen it used as well for shop windows and fashion events. Gypsophila can be a great filler for long runners, from which other flowers like roses, orchids, carnations, grow out in every direction. It can be incredible when sprayed or died into bold or pastel-y colours, and used in large quantities to create ethereal and almost fluid shapes. It’s perfect for floral clouds suspended above tables and dreamy ceremony settings, and by itself to cover the structure of whimsical arches.
I hope you enjoyed reading about some of my favourite flowers available in July, and have learned a bit more on how to use them at their very best.
If you wish to ready about British seasonal flowers in June, click here
If you wish to read about British seasonal flowers in May, click here.