It seems that at this time of year, every day I step outside there are new flowers hitting their peak. I’ve been especially aware of flowers lately because I’ve been working non-stop to turn my blank, barren yard into a vibrant garden full of vegetables, plants and flowers. I have dreams of sitting out there in an adirondack chair, sipping coffee and watching the sunlight bathe the lavenders in light. It’s a lot of work, but is super rewarding as well. Weddings are always on my mind too, so I’ve been taking note of which California flowers might work well in your springtime wedding bouquets or table arrangements. From rustic to formal, California springtime gardens have lots of possibility.
Ranunculus is one of my absolute favorite flowers, so of course I planted a billion in my garden and am eagerly awaiting them. They come in all sorts of colors, from pale pinks to bright reds, yellows and white. They look their best when not entirely unfurled, so that you get that layered petal effect and round shape. They’re kind of like peonies, but usually much more affordable.
Irises are popping up everywhere right now and come in so many varieties. There are these classic purple and yellow ones, all white ones, and many more hybrids. You can also get dwarf sizes, which work well in a wedding table arrangement so your guests can see each other across the table while still enjoying these colorful beauties.
The Los Angeles Flower Market is a great resource for scoping out flower options. It’s a huge warehouse that contains displays of all the freshest blooms for reasonable prices. You could take notes of what you’d like a florist to include in your bouquet or if you’re a DIY type you could go there and put together an amazing bouquet yourself. I have no idea what those yellow puffs are (pictured below) but I photographed a wedding that paired them with eucalyptus leaves and it was perfect.
Poppies are symbolic of the Golden State and grow pretty much everywhere. These Icelandic poppies are my favorite variety, mostly because of their papery, elegant petals and long stems. I’m not sure how long they last when cut, but if you’re having a rustic wedding they’d look wonderful in decorative pots on the tables, then the guests could take them home at the end of the night to plant in their own gardens.
Cherry blossoms are really only in bloom in February and March, but when they are, they erupt in so much ethereal bloom. I saw them at the flower market sold as branches with tufts of flowers on them, which would be great as a dramatic wedding display.
Lavender has such a nice smell and its muted purple and green color is quintessentially rustic. Consider having it in pots as an aisle runner.
Anemones are new to me. I had never heard of them until this year when I ordered bulbs for the garden. They’re like poppies but have even more dramatic looking centers and a nice leaf pattern. I picked up some at the flower market and paired them with blue thistles for an unexpected bouquet.
Tulips are coming into their own in springtime too. They have an elegant structured look to them and, when you put a collection of matching ones together in a bouquet, they work well to play up a clean, modern wedding.
Orchids are another extremely elegant flower that come in all sorts of varieties to match your wedding color scheme. I just took a behind-the-scenes tour of the orchid house at Huntington Gardens and saw more orchids than I’ve ever seen in one place. Some of them have very interesting origin stories (tales of new species being discovered in far-flung places) and would look lovely mixed into your wedding flower arrangement.
And I’ve saved the simplest one for last. Sweet Peas! If you are having a rustic or garden wedding, one way to make it extra special could be to plant some sweet peas in your yard in the autumn; they’ll trellis up just about anything. Here mine are growing in the garden along a chainlink fence. By spring, you’ll have these beautiful sweet pea blooms, which range from deep jewel colors to soft and white. They’re highly fragrant and work well mixed into a wildflower wedding bouquet or in mason jars on your guest tables.
With all the choices out there, the hardest decision will be how to narrow it down to only a few!