Growing wedding flowers from seed

AngevineJanuary 27, 2014

I'm getting married next summer, August 16th. I've always wanted to grow at least some of the flowers for my wedding myself, both for sentimental and financial reasons. However, I'm currently working in France and won't be back in the U.S. until the end of May.
I wouldn't call myself a good or an experienced gardener, but I've always been a compulsive dabbler in plants and dirt. I'm interested in easy to grow plants that can be direct sown or sown outdoors in pots in late May for an August bloom.
Some I'm considering are zinnias, orlaya lace flower, cornflowers, snapdragons, love lies bleeding amaranth, dill, nigella and feverfew or chamomile.
Any advice or suggestions? Of the plants I listed, any that wouldn't perform well under the circumstances I described? I'm planning to buy some dahlia tubers, too, but I don't know if the end of May is too late to plant them, especially since I read that they're a bit heat sensitive.
I'd love to hear any other plant suggestions, and everything you can tell me about the needs of the ones I listed and their potential as cut flowers in August.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Hi Angevine - it is a nice idea and every year about this time someone posts with the same goal. Unfortunately it isn't nearly as easy as it sounds.

Of the flowers you listed zinnias and chamomile are fairly fast growing. Cornflowers might bloom in time but really need longer. Dill wouldn't be blooming yet but would have lots of pretty greens. Snaps might have some blooms IF you could get someone to start them for you a month earlier.

The problem is that most of them have a direct seeding time frame of April in zone 6 for summer blooming and most annuals are started indoors 6-8 weeks before that for summer blooming.

Vinca, marigolds, phlox. sunflowers, coleus, nasturtiums, and moss rose are amoung the fastest bloomers. You might want to explore them as possibilities.

Hope this helps and health and happiness.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 12:18PM
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Thanks for your response, Dave!
I'll have to keep thinking, then...
I just hated to spend our limited budget on a few roses shipped in from Ecuador when I could be purchasing from businesses I really admire, like the Seed Saver's Exchange, and have the pleasure of growing the flowers myself.
I should check to see if there are any flower farms in the Saint Louis area...
Once again, thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 1:01PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

You know you could focus on growing all the greens for the flower arrangement and then just use purchased flowers for the needed color accents. No bouquet or flower arrangement is complete without lots of greens.

Just a thought.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 11:39PM
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We grew sunflowers for a sept 4th wedding, and they had been blooming for several weeks by then. We direct sowed June 1st, in PEI. Choose some early kinds, check the seed packets for the earliest ones. Some kinds list weeks from sowing to blooming, so check that too and see if you have enough weeks. Do you have access to wild flowers like rudbeckias too or some of the daisies? ASk people in your area what is usually blooming at the right time and be prepared to buy some flowers if bloom is delayed by weather.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 7:48AM
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Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond!
I do have access to lots of rudbeckia and queen anne's lace, and I noticed a few roadside patches of purple coneflowers last August when I was in the area. I think I'll just plant a small garden for fun when I get home and try not to worry too much about what blooms when. Dave's suggestion about just growing greens as filler is really interesting to me since I already have seed for dill and sweet annie, as well as a large established patch of mint.
I appreciate your help! (And after lurking on Garden Web all through my university years, it was fun and exhilarating to make a maiden post. I think this is such a lovely community!)

This post was edited by Angevine on Thu, Feb 6, 14 at 17:31

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 2:53PM
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Don't use mint. It wilts really fast. Many local farmers markets sell flowers, so you could support local business that way. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 9:42PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Our technicians wife is scurrying around, already lining up flowers on a budget for their son's Aug 9 wedding. That bride would like to use a lot of hydrangeas for very full arrangements and they've found a grower through a local farmers market. He's even agreed to let them cut for themselves, the day before the wedding. (OK, that's sounding a little to me like a mother in law going almost sleepless the night before, but I'm staying out of it ;))

She's feeling pretty confident in the availability of enough fresh flowers through farmers market sources for a lovely wedding and reception. There is a wholesale cut flowers market in Seattle too that has hours open to the public one day a week for 4 hours no buyers card required, it wouldn't surprise me to find that in most major cities, why don't you try googling your own, see what you might come up with.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 1:38AM
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Congrats on the wedding. :) Had the same idea of growing my own centerpieces for my wedding. After a trial period, where my specially ordered "prince of orange" sweet pea seeds did not grow orange but pink, which isn't what I wanted. My other flowers took a pounding from hail or didn't germinate. I think I'll probably order flowers for the event or invest in a greenhouse... let us know how it works out for you.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 6:31PM
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