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A darling friend of mine is getting married in mid August and as part of her bride / perfect day demands is that for decorations she wants fresh flowers - in particular big bold "countryside wild like" purple ones (with a Scottish theme).
Her aunt will be hard at work in her garden to keep up with requests but as with all things not least that very important day sometimes its not a bad thing to have a back up so I want to offer her up some of my garden / greenhouse space / time to grow a few different varieties should the weather be unkind to her aunt. Ideally things I can grow them in pots so its just a case of throwing them in the back of the car with some ribbons to decorate (not to mention move them easily from green house to cool room as required for that near perfect on the day bloom).
But there is little point me offering her mud if I can't come up with some suggestions of seeds I can get a hold of easily to grow. She isn't a gardener herself, plants are either "pretty" or "might be a weed" and so doesn't have a specific list of plants she wants to attend the wedding.
So I fall to you, my learned friends to see what you can suggest!
Thanks ever so much in advance!!
I wonder whether she'd think purple penstemons were 'wild-like' ?
I get some seed catalogues sent to you and let the bride have a look through them.
I've got some scotch thistle seedlings that should be in full flower next August. Silver spiky leaves, purple flowers. Should flower in a 14 inch pot.
You might not be able to throw it in the back of the car though.Might need a transit.
Clarington, where is she getting married?
Thanks for the suggestion Dove, I think think I'd best follow Annies idea and get a catalogue for her to choose from!
How about Sea Holly (Eryngium bourgatii)?
Very "thistle like" for Scottish theme, purple flowering in August.
Clari, I was looking through the Sarah Raven catalogue last night and thinking of this query - it's full of possibilities and as it's illustrated your friend could point out just what she likes
Thanks Dove, I'll order one this afternoon. My Chiltern Seeds catalogue turned up this week but alas doesn't have any photographs which is rather a shame!
Keyser Soze wrote (see)
How about Sea Holly (Eryngium bourgatii)? Very "thistle like" for Scottish theme, purple flowering in August.
Keyser they look fantastic! I'll send her a photograph and see what she says
Cardoon are huge and have the 'thistle' look.
The Sea Holly idea has proven to be a huge success. However I don't think I've time to germinate and grow them in a year (I don't think they flower in the first year?) Does anyone know of a good garden centre I could either order them online from or one in the South Yorkshire area that I could contact to see if they sell them?
Sea Holly grows from perennial roots - so they flower in the first year. You should be able to order them online now for a few pounds for 2-3.
Just a suggestion but if it's big and bold there is Amaranthus
and a Malva in T&M (easy to grow
Thanks Blair and Matty. I've ordered a few catalogues to help her choose I'm now on the hunt for a reliable online supplier.
Cirsium atropurpureum are kinda purple and thistley (in a good way!) but would have to do them as cut flowers and I don't seem to think they last long!
Echinacea are good purple and daisy like.
If your friend wanted to plant seed you could try the Annual Cornflower (Centaurea Cyanus)?
I have seen some purple varieties but most are on the bluey side. Thistle type flower though.
There is a lovely cornflower called "The Bride" which is also an annual but unfortunately it's white!
How about some Mallow? It is very big and blousy and it will be in full flower in August. Very easy to grow from seed as well.
There is a lovely photo here:
There are some deep purple 'Mystic Merlin' for sale here at Fothergill's:
As you can see from the Fothergill's link, this particular Mallow is deep purple.
I have some that I seeded, growing in my unheated greenhouse at the moment, ready for planting out in Spring. They grow tall but there is no reason why you shouldn't cut them off up the stem.