They say gardening is good for the soul. And that I can vouch for. Over the last 10 months spent transforming the garden of our new house, I have earned the nickname Charlie Dimmock. It is well warranted too. I’ve dug up trees taller than me, been attacked by bushes I have hacked away at and de-weeded til I’ve cried. I’ve pruned and planted in the sun, wind, rain and hail. And it seems like my new specialist subject for when I apply for Mastermind is ‘Name That Flower’. I’ve dragged my boyfriend and dad around every garden centre within a 25 mile radius, ripped up decking, painted everything in sight in Bonsai Green and sometimes spent our food money on plants. But that’s a whole other blog piece I probably must write about soon! In the meantime, I’m talking about using gardening to create your own Spring wedding favours.
Gardening and spring wedding favours…
What does gardening have to do with weddings? If you dig a little deeper (pardon the pun), I have discovered that you can use skills learnt outdoors to provide your guests with Spring wedding favours that they will treasure forever.
After a difficult year emotionally dealing with losing my precious mum, gardening has given me the head space I have needed. There’s something about being outside in the fresh air, transforming spaces and seeing things grow before your eyes that has helped me cope. The trees have taken the brunt of my anger and the rain has disguised most of my tears. Caring for my flowers and watching seeds grow into plants has given me signs of hope. Furthermore, there’s something magical about bringing nature to life and if you can do that, surely you can do anything.
So that brings me to this blog piece which has been inspired by my recent garden therapy. As I have been planting bulbs and growing seeds ready for their arrival next Spring, I thought what a wonderful idea it would be to use them as Spring wedding favours. It’s cost effective and something exciting you can do now in anticipation of your wedding! It would also make a meaningful gift and will remind your guests of your wedding for years to come.
I’ve put together a list of the 5 steps to follow to help you create the perfect wedding favour.
Step 1 – Decide on what flowers you want to grow.
This will be totally individual to you and the style of your wedding day but the important things to consider are:
- When is your wedding month? This will determine which bulbs or seeds to choose if you want them to flower for your wedding day.
- Choose your colour – do you want fresh colours such as white, yellow and green for a Spring wedding? Or soft pinks and lilacs for a vintage vibe?
- Pick your style – certain flowers lend themselves to certain styles. Rustic, country, woodland – there’s a plant for every type of wedding.
- Size matters – make sure you know how big your chosen flower will grow to at the time of your wedding. You don’t want to be unknowingly potting a 6 foot foxglove that no-one can fit in their taxi home at the end of the night. Consider dwarf varieties of plants which won’t come with that risk and keep everything under control!
- Annual vs perennial – I had no idea what these meant until my best friend’s 11 year old child told me.. Do you want them to last one year or many years – it depends on the flower chosen.
Step 2 – Bulbs or seeds?
They are both cheap and cheerful. Bulbs are the easy option and you can literally just plant, water regularly and wait. Seeds are for the nurturers and are an investment of your time but so much more rewarding!
You don’t have to spend a lot on either and can pick up bulbs at this time of year from places like Home Bargains, supermarkets, B&M – even eBay! For more unusual bulbs and seeds and a greater selection for your Spring wedding favours, visit your local garden centre. Remember to check the packets so you know when to plant your bulbs or ‘sow’ your seeds. If there’s something particular you want to give to your guests, you may have to wait until February-March before you can get going on them!
Sarah Raven.com is a great resource for finding out what you can plant and when and I’ve listed below my favourites, some of which I am currently growing (successfully) myself!
- Types of bulbs – tulips, daffodils (tete a tete are adorable small varieties), dwarf iris or crocus, hyacynths, bluebells and snowdrops.
- Spring flowers to grow from seed from Oct-Dec: – sweet peas and antirrhinum (snapdragons) are beautiful annuals. Try lupins, foxglove or delphiniums as lasting perennials – as long as they won’t be fully grown by the time you give them as they can be quite tall!
I also love the idea of growing English Lavender but you can’t sow these seeds until between Feb-July and they will flower the following year. These are for organised brides only who may be planning 2 years ahead!!
Step 3 – Get your gear
You won’t need that much equipment to create your Spring wedding favours . I have found a mixture of garden centres and supermarkets the best places to buy them from.
1) obviously, packets of your chosen bulbs, depending on how many spring wedding favours you want to create.
2) plant pots. As these are going to be what you give them to your guests in, you want to make sure they are size appropriate for the receipient and the chosen flower. Dont worry if they aren’t pretty – that’s where we step in! You could decorate the pots with twine and lace and add a tag such as these from our Botanical range
1) packets of your chosen seeds
2) a fancy thing called a propogator. Which actually you can buy from Home Bargains for £1.99. This is what your seeds will grow in for the first 1-3 weeks. Make sure it’s got a lid as that’s crucial. (I shall explain this further down..)
3) 7cm or 9cm plastic pots – these are for transferring your little seedlings into
4) pots of choice for giving to your guests
5) 2 types of soil – one especially for seeds and one for potting on. I used John Innes Seed Compost and No2 Potting On compost.
Step 4 – Ready, steady, SOW! (or plant..!)
So you’re ready to get going. It’s probably best to do this outside as I get soil EVERYWHERE. It’s a
bit like my studio when I’m creating…the messier the better.
- BULBS – follow the instructions on the packet which will tell you how deep to plant them. Make sure you plant them with the pointy end facing up and always plant in odd numbers such as 3 or 5 for ultimate effect. This piece of advice comes from my gardening guru Yvonne whose garden always looks amazing and so I trust her implicitly! Cover them with soil and water well. And keep watering them – they will need it to get established!
- SEEDS – follow instructions on the packet which will tell you any specifics to your chosen seeds.
– fill your propagator with the seed soil and water lightly so it’s damp.
– Place your seeds in a row on top of the soil and gently push them in with your finger so they are semi-submerged. You don’t want to exclude all the light as they need it to grow!
– Cover the propagator with the lid and if it has ventilation holes, make sure these are closed.
– Place them on a windowsill of a sunny room. You should start to see signs of ‘germination’ or growth in 7-21 days. In addition, turn the propagator 180 degrees daily to encourage an even amount of exposure to the light.
My seed babies…
– Once you can see them and they have shown significant growth, open the air vents or take off the lid.
– Once the seedlings are big enough to handle, poke the soil around them to lift them out. Be careful not to damage the roots.
– Place them into the larger, 7-9cm individual pots, filled with the potting compost and water.
At this point, I put mine outside for a couple of hours a day in a sheltered position because they will need to get accustomed to the outside temperatures. I then put them back into my shed (rather than back indoors where the central heating can confuse them…) to live there over the autumn and winter.
– Finally, in early spring, plant them up in your container of choice ready to give your guests!
Step 5 – Decorate!
Add subtle embellishments to your Spring wedding favour pots to give them a beautiful finish. Try lace, twine or ribbon to compliment your colour theme. Our Love Quote Wedding Flags are perfect for displaying in flowers and pots, in addition to our Botanical range of tags and flags!
In conclusion, here is a step by step guide to creating beautiful spring wedding favours that your guests will love and cherish for years to come! Botanical weddings continue to be on trend in 2018, with subtle shades of lilac, green and pink featuring in stationery and table décor. Finally it will also help you through the dark winter months as you count down to your wedding next year. And you never know – maybe you will enjoy it.. 🙂 xxx