Sweetly Southern

Sarah Z. writes “Becky, I am doing the flowers for a friend's wedding in August and I could use your help. Have you any ideas for interesting, inexpensive and pretty floral arrangements? Her theme is 'Southern Belle Afternoon Affair' and her colors are purple and pink. She has purchased short vases."

I just love questions like these since I get to relive my bridal florist days and talk to my floral friends. If the theme is “Southern Belle” we need to go soft and pretty with a “fresh from the garden” look, as in loosely arranged. I wish Sarah had mentioned how wide the mouth of the vase is since that makes such an impact. If the vase has a wide mouth, it will of course take more flowers which means more $$. One way to combat this is to use one large anchor flower (like hydrangeas) cut close to the edge of the mouth, then fill in with less pricey flowers like lisianthus. Use a soft drapey green like plumose fern or fresh ivy. If hydrangeas are too pricey, use lilies. They are fragrant and each stem has two flowers and a bud so they can fill in a good sized space if used with enough nice support greenery.

For a nice fresh mixed look, use white daisies, pink tulips, a few lavender roses (Blue Bird are incredibly fragrant), and add some lisianthus for the sort of less structured look that is so pretty. Tulips are available year round at a reasonable price and the colors are so nice. Use a single pink color for greater impact, then add the purple touch with limonium and greenery and then tie or glue a beautiful purple ribbon around the vase and let it drape. Other pretty garden flowers are ranuculus, asters (beautiful rich colors), iris, snapdragons, and delphinium. Another purple flower is liatris, which stands straight and tall. Sarah, you have such a great theme to work with. Have fun!!

*Becky Knows Everything: If you are using short vases like Sarah Z., be sure not to make the centerpieces too tall - guests need to see each other across the table. Another thing to keep in mind that Sarah didn’t mention - the size of the tables. A too tiny arrangement will be lost on a table set for 10. Use candles or ivy or other greenery to help out.

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