summer wedding flowers

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Annie Lennox married for the third time in an intimate ceremony on 15th September.  Annie met her husband Dr Mitch Besser in 2009, when she worked with his charity Mothers2Mothers.  The charity helps single mothers and children with Aids.

They celebrated their wedding with a boat party on the Thames.  Annie’s two daughters Lola and Tali were bridesmaids at the ceremony.  150 friends and family attended the celebration including Actor Colin Firth and comedienne Ruby Wax.

The legendary Scottish singer performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert and the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in London this summer.

Annie shared two pictures of her wedding flowers with fans on Facebook and Twitter.  The bride wore a floor length ivory lace gown and 1920s style headpiece.  The couple chose flowers in a vintage pastel palette including roses, dahlias, hydrangea, rosemary, sage and ivy.

The beautiful bouquet Annie posted a picture of contains garden roses, hydrangea, and dahlias in antique pink, lilac and ivory tones. The soft green sage complements the flowers and also adds a wonderful fragrance to bouquets.

Annie had previously said would not marry again, which proves that love really does conquer all.

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Common name:  Delphinium, Larkspur

Botanical Names: Delphinium

Origin: China

Colours: blues, purples and whites mainly, rarely salmon pink or yellow

The name is pronounced del-FINNY-um.  It comes from the Latin for dolphin ‘delhpis’, referring to the flower’s resemblance to the bottle-like nose of dolphins.  Delphinium is part of the buttercup family which contains around 300 species, including anemones, clematis and hellebore.  It is rarely referred to as larkspur as there is another closely related plant with similar flowers called larkspur, which has smaller heads and is available in pinks and purples.


They are mainly a summer flower, but some varieties are available all year round.  They are grown in garden for their lovely tall flower spikes.  In the past the flowers were used by Indians to make dyes and paint. The plant is toxic so care should be taken when handling them, wash hands and any tools that have come into contact with them.


Delphinium are excellent cut flowers, they look glorious on their own or mixed with other summer flowers like peonies and garden roses.  They last up to a week in a vase or arrangement.  They are such large striking flowers, they are commonly used in large wedding displays such as pedestal arrangements in church.


Flower Council of Holland



Black is the elusive colour for flowers, we don’t really have any true black flowers.  There are many varieties of flower called black, like black beauty rose and black forest calla lily, but they are really a very deep purple or red.   Dark colours recede, so when you look at them from a distance they appear to move away and look darker. Care should be taken when using a few dark flowers with lighter colours, as a single purple flower can often look like a hole in a design if used with paler flowers. Dark purple flowers have an intriguing, inky black quality and deep red flowers are luxurious and velvety.

Flowers use their colour to attract insects to pollinate them that is why darker flowers are rarer in nature.  The flowers in my list are all available as cut flowers, but they are not the kind of flowers you will find if you just pop into your florist.  A florist may have the odd black flower in stock but generally they are ordered in.

Counting down from number 10:

black-cornflower10 – cornflower

These pretty summer flowers are traditionally blue, but the black variety is very striking. ‘black ball’ is a very deep red with hints of chocolate.

black-gladioli9 – Gladioli

Most black flowers are either dark red or purple, gladioli come in both colours. They have fabulous long stems up to a metre long, perfect for big vases or pedestal arrangements.

black-sweet-pea8 – Sweet peas

These delicate flowers are available in a very dark red or purple.  They have short stems as cut flowers, but they are perfect for wedding work. Sweet Peas have a fabulous scent and are available from March to November.

moon-vista-carnation7 – Carnation

Carnations are great value for money and available all year round.  They are the cheapest black flower in my top ten list.  They are ideal to fill out arrangements or work well used on their own in compact designs.  Moon vista is a lovely deep purple with a velvety sheen.

black-dahlia6 – Dahlia

Black dahlias are a gorgeous shade of deep red. Their symmetrical petals are exquisite in this velvety shade.  They are available from June to October.

The top five black flowers will follow tomorrow.


Dahlia at top of article – by Trista Lerit photography

Carnation –

Sweet pea –

Gladioli –

Cornflower –

Dahlia –

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Last weekend DJ Adrian Fillary and Jade Jagger tied the knot at a luxury hotel in the Cotswolds, surrounded by celebrity friends and family.  Jade designed her own wedding dress, an elegant white gown with a scoop neck and narrow straps, finished with diamond clasps.  She carried a gorgeous bouquet of gardenias with glossy gardenia leaves.  Jade also wore a couple of gardenia flowers in her hair.  The groom wore a cream suit with a navy tie. The ceremony took place at the Aynhoe Hotel near Banbury, which the couple booked for the weekend.

Jade’s mother, Bianca Jagger wore a black Dolce & Gabbanna suit with a white hat and gloves.  Mick Jagger wore a flamboyant lilac and purple striped suit.  Kate Moss also attended the day, her daughter Lila Grace was a flower girl.  Jade’s daughters Assisi and Amba were bridesmaids.  Mick Jagger performed at the evening reception which was continued in a marquee in the hotel grounds.


Jade’s bridal bouquet must have smelt delicious as gardenias have an exquisite fragrance. Gardenia plants have beautiful creamy-white flowers that look like garden roses when they are fully open.  The flowers are very delicate and must be handled with care to avoid bruising the petals.  Gardenia blooms are taken from plants and wired for bridal work.  Several plants are usually required to make one bridal bouquet as each plant often has just two or three flowers open at a time.

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Common name: Sweet pea

Botanical Names: Lathyrus odoratus

Origin: Eastern Mediterranean region from Sicily to Crete

Colours: White, pink, red, blue, cream

Sweet peas are a climbing plant with delicate flowers, they grow up to 2 metres in height.  They have a heavenly scent and get their name from the Latin for fragrant ‘odoratus’.  In the language of flowers their name represents ‘delicate pleasures’.

They have been cultivated since the 17th century and there are now hundreds of varieties.  They are perhaps most well-known for the delicious ice cream sundae shades of pinks and cream.  Although there are also stronger colours such as red and deep purple.  There are also a number of dwarf bush varieties are that are suitable for pots and hanging baskets.


Sweet peas are easy to grow in your garden; the main thing they require is some form of support to climb up and a sunny position.  They can be trained up a wigwam, cane or trellis.  A beautiful wall or screen of sweet peas can be achieved by arranging canes in a line and attaching wire or net between them to create a surface for the plants to grow up.

Cutting the flowers encourage further flowers to grow, they will last 2 or three days in a vase.  If you prefer to leave the flowers on the plant, remove any faded heads before they set seed, as this encourages a longer flowering period.


Cut flowers are available from March to November, they tend to last longer when grown commercially as they are treated to prolong their life.  Commercially grown, cut sweet peas should last up to a week. If you are lucky enough to live near a grower, English sweet peas are beautiful.  The pretty ruffled blooms are perfect for wedding work and provide a quintessential English garden feel.  The delicate pastel colours also suit vintage wedding themes.  As sweet peas have quite short stems they tend to be sold as loose flowers rather than arrangements, even a small vase of them will produce a divine fragrance.

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