JM School : Our Top Five Spring Blooms
Spring brings with it the promise of light evenings, warmer days and bright scented blooms, and after a busy Winter season spent surrounded with boughs of pine, spruce and mistletoe the Joseph Massie team are longing after the lightness, freshness and new blooms that come with the new season.
With the new season comes new enquiries, new brides, and new projects, and with this in mind, we thought we'd share our top five scented spring blooms to inspire your clients and brides with this season. Spring flowers in general are transient little bloomers, often seemingly taking forever to open, and then all of a sudden POPPING into being with a riot of colour and scent, taking a vase by storm.
Spring blooms as a general rule aren't the longest of lasters when compared to other seasonal blooms, but to compensate for their slightly shorter vase life, they often pack a vivid colour, a heady scent and bucketloads of character.
Tulips are a versatile cut flower, with endless varieties and colours available. Tulips are a fun flower to use in springtime arrangements and often add a colourful element and very embolic of springtime. Tulips are one of the few flowers that continue to grow and move after being cut (being photokenetic in nature) , so make sure you account for this in any bridal work or arrangements.
When we use these beauties in bridal or bridesmaids bouquets, we're always keen to tie off our bouquets the day prior, but not ribbon or finish them, allowing us to tweak the tulips (and often pull them down half an inch or so!) on the morning of the wedding. For taller arrangements or bouquets, look for the 'French' tulips which are often 50-60cm in length, far taller than the standard varieties often available.
Among the species tulips, Tulipa turkestanica (creamy white), Tulipa tarda (yellow with white), Tulipa urumiensis (yellow) and Tulipa whittallii (bronze orange) have a refined, spicy scent.
Anemones are available in a wide spectrum of bright tones and more muted pastels, (as well as being a total favourite for brides!) the anemone is a delicate bloom that needs careful care, as the petals are papery and easily bruised. Popular colours include blue, pink, white, and blush, and more recently - grey, peach and taupe - all expertly dyed of course.
Relatively simple blooms to care for, cutting the stem on a 45-degree angle and placing in a vase of lukewarm water with flower food will keep them at their best.
The one tiny drawback to these stunningly beautiful blooms - they can be more than a little difficult to coax to opening at times. We feel you - they can be more than a little tricky in colder months. We suggest placing the stems in warmer water, and expose to as much daylight as possible to hurry them along. Top tip - look for the 'Mistral' series of cultivars - in our opinion they're amongst the most reliable of openers.
Hyacinths are an incredibly potent scented bloom, giving them huge appeal to brides and clients who are perfume fanatics. In our studio, we love using them whole on the stem in Spring posies and bridal bouquets, but we also adore pipping the individual florets for inclusion in delicate corsages, sweet buttonholes and Spring headdresses - divine!
When processing the hyacinth as a cut flower it is best if possible to leave the bulb attached to the bottom the stem, so a small 45-degree angle is desired, with the smallest trim possible. Hyacinth can be prone to developing a 'slime' in the vase water after a day or two in the same vase - be sure to change the water regularly to promote a long healthy vase life.
Available in a wide range of colours: blue, pink, white, yellow and purple, our personal favourite is the shockingly purple 'Woodstock' - highly scented and a joy to use when combined in Spring posies with Viburnum Opulus and Fritillaria Persica.
Lilac - both by name and lilac by nature, the colour ranges from whites, creams, lilac and deep, rich purple. It's fluffy form lends itself to whimsical, romantic work, arranged dramatically in an urn or bridal bouquet, accompanied by other tonal blooms. When conditioned properly, Lilac is perfect for a hotel lobby or other weekly commercial work with a surprising vase life of 10-12 days if looked after well.
Be sure you remove most of the foliage to help prolong vase life, and be doubly sure to cut the stem on an angle, using a knife if possible for a large surface area. Note - most bunches of Lilac come with their own sachet of floral food, specifically designed to prolong the vase life of this beautiful bloom - you'd be silly not to use it - as long as it's added into the appropriate amount of water of course.
Our personal favourite is 'Maiden's Blush' - a fascinatingly antique cultivar, famous for it's nude like florets.
Magnolia is such a gem of the English garden. What can be purchased as a stumpy, little bush can mature beautifully into the most sensational of blooming trees. Found stealing the show in March-April in the UK, this tree is a firm favourite with gardeners and floral designers alike, as it's poetic, lantern like blooms light up every Spring.
We love to use Magnolia in our vase arrangements, especially for larger wedding or event displays when we can really go to town and let these giant branches own whatever space they're occupying. Lasting far better in water as opposed to floral foam, we're sure to treat this blossom well, carefully trimming the stem on a 45 degree angle (we use our loppers instead of knives for the chunkier stems) and we're sure to top up the water as needed also.
Note - like all Spring blossoming branches, Magnolia can take a little while to open, which can be frustrating when you have an event or wedding deadline fast approaching. A little tip is to ever so gently peel back the husks that protect the delicate blooms as they start to open - in exactly the same way you might do a stem of Poppy - to encourage the bloom to take centre stage just a little bit sooner than it might've intended too.
What are your own favourite Spring blooms? Share them with us in the comments below, or tag us in them on Instagram using @josephmassie.