Feature Flower for October - Sunflower
Fall is a wonderful time of year with it's beautiful colors. Orange, red and yellow are fun and vibrant and work together so well in floral design. This made it very difficult for me to select a flower to feature this month. Well as you can probably already tell I chose the sunflower. Why? Well sunflowers are available in all three of the great fall colors!
Common Name: Sunflower
Botanical Name: Helianthus annuus
There 38 species of perennial sunflower native to North America. The sunflower got its name from its bright, cheery blooms, whose shape and image is often used to depict the sun. The sunflower has a rough, hairy stem, broad, coarsely toothed, rough leaves and circular heads of flowers. What is usually called the "flower" on a mature sunflower is actually a "flower head" (also known as a "composite flower") of numerous florets, (small flowers) crowded together. The flower head can range in size with larger flower heads in the summer. Miniature sized varieties are also available.
From the Americas, sunflower seeds were brought to Europe in the 16th century, where, along with sunflower oil, they became a widespread cooking ingredient. Sunflower leaves can be used as cattle feed, while the stems contain a fiber which may be used in paper production.
Sunflowers are available year round and are very affordable. They can add that sunny pop that your fall bouquet needs or make a stunning bouquet all on their own.
Where did your flowers come from?
When you purchase flowers have you ever stopped to think about where they come from and who grew them? In 1996, a program called Florverde® was started by the Colombian flower growers and Asocolflores, the Colombian flower growers’ trade association. Florverde® is a set of social and environmental standards put into practice that help ensure the quality of life of workers and their families, as well as environmental sustainability for generations to come. Above all, Florverde®, gives the consumer assurance that the products they buy, are produced complying with the highest environmental and social standards. Learn More!
Fall Alternatives to Flowers
Fall is a time of abundance throughout the Northern hemisphere, and having your wedding in fall is great time of year to celebrate. Although they are beautiful, many people are allergic to flowers and choose not to use them as part of their wedding day, among many other reasons. If you choose not to have flowers in your wedding, here are some great alternatives that will still complement your wedding.
Many brides dream of carrying a huge bouquet of flowers, but for those with allergies, this is just not possible. Instead of flowers, carrying a bouquet of ripe wheat or other grain may just by pass the sneezing. Wrap the grasses with colored ribbon to match your wedding colors and your guests will ooh and ah over your original choice of bouquet as you make your grand entrance down the aisle.
Feathers make wonderful bouquets and many can be dyed to match the colors you envision donning your wedding day. Large fluffy ostrich feathers work best for this since they actually mimic flowers when placed in a bouquet. Add fun elements like artificial butterflies, hearts, or simply add ribbons for a complete look.
Just because you choose not to use flowers for your wedding does not mean that your tables have to be bare. Gourds make excellent centerpieces. Have your florist order gourds in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors and mound them in the middle of all your tables. Be careful not to mound them too high; you still want your guests to see each other and chat as dinner is being served.
For decorations along the walls or in front of a raised main table at the dinner, you can use bundles of dried corn stalks. Tied together with coordinating ribbons or cording, they are certainly going to help convey the feeling of fall throughout your wedding venue. To have complementing centerpieces use dried corn, and comes in great fall colors like dark red, orange, and almost chocolate brown.
There are a lot of alternatives to flowers. Just ask your florist for some creative suggestions and then let your imagination soar.
Written By: Rev. Kelly Hunt
Autumn is a wonderful time to hold your weddings, especially from the perspective of your florist. There are many wonderful flowers that are in bloom and available locally. Using local flowers celebrates the bounty that we see all around us, which matches the season since autumn is traditionally the season of the harvest.
Sunflowers are gorgeous this time of year and come in more than just yellow. Depending on the variety, sunflower heads range in size from dinner plate size down to the diameter of your average coffee cup and can be used as centerpieces, bold colors to line the aisle for your ceremony, and even in your bouquets. Colors can range from the bright, cheery yellow we are so familiar with to dark claret. Some even have a beautiful chocolate center. Just imagine how striking your wedding will be with the bold colors of the sunflower popping up everywhere.
Zinnias are a flower that you probably know well, but have not seen at a wedding. Normally they are planted in butterfly gardens since the beautiful winged creatures find them irresistible. Zinnias are available in a rainbow of colors starting with white and ranging into yellow, orange, fuchsia, and even some multicolored blooms. In your bouquets, these flowers will give you an explosion of color similar to fireworks displayed on the night sky.
Roses are a very traditional wedding flower, and come in all sizes and colors. The ever bearing rose is almost always in season and a great addition to any bouquet or centerpiece. Hybrids tend to be a bit hardier than some heirloom varieties but all roses are fragile and require special care. If you are going to use roses, be sure to follow all care directions to have them at their best for your wedding day.
Dahlias are another beautiful and colorful choice to include on your special day. These flowers tend to be large and have layers of petals. These are another great choice for the bride who wants a big, bold splash of color on her wedding day. Since dahlias have larger and fuller blooms a few of these go a long way and make an excellent choice for a bride on a budget as well.
Chrysanthemums, or mums for ease, are beautiful flowers. The blooms are a midsized head and are a few inches in diameter. Mums are available in a palate of colors that is almost endless: reds, purples, yellows, pinks, oranges, and on and on. The beauty of these flowers will only pale in comparison to the bride holding them.
These flowers can be mixed and matched to make a unique statement for your wedding or they stand alone for maximum impact. Add some baby’s breath or other small flower to have them stand out. Your fall wedding will make an impact with bright, bold colors that complement the season.
Written By: Rev. Kelly Hunt
Faye K.-Owner/Designer at Blooming Envy since 2005.