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My daughter has asked me to provide some bright flowers in 3 inch pots for her wedding. 

It's at the end of June, so June/July flowering.

She wants 150 or so (doesn't ask much does she?) so I know I'll have to plant/sow about 400 pots to get 150 that look OK. I guess it's anything that will flower in such a small pot?

Oh yes, and we have to take them about 250 miles ...

Any help please?


You are going to need compact summer bedding--one idea impatiens

Thanks, I hadn't got that on my list!

Dont know what your daughter's colour scheme is but how about lobelia in shades of pinks, purples and whites?  They would bulk up quite quickly but would need some careful watering if in such small pots

Wouldn't let me post, hope it isn't twice.  I did grow Lobelias for our daughter's wedding. We had to transport them a similar distance. We had pots of two different shades of deep blue with white centres. I used trailing and non trailing. We transported them squished into cardboard boxes, carefully lifting the trailing parts as we packed. I lucked into some cheap white pots with internal saucers that were great but my original intention was to use regular pots covered with coloured foil. They looked very pretty. I got the idea after seeing leftover lobelia potted into larger pots at the garden centre the previous summer. My daughter wanted blues but the mixed colour pots were gorgeous. I did notice that the pots with plants all from a multi-coloured seed mix did not look as bright as the pots where small clumps of colour were mixed together. The tiny concentrated clumps of white or light blue really set off the other colours and made the whole pot brighter. My favourite was a pot of deep rose pink mixed with a very dark blue.  Good Luck.

PS I did consider the small gerberas but it was easier to be sure the lobelia would be blooming.


Great! thanks, i really like the lobelia idea. She wants a mixtureof bright colours, but lobelia are definately on my list now.



Thanks, I hadn't got that on my list!

I think geums would be a little large for the pots?

be careful with bussie lizzie as they have been a bit of a disaster the last two years due to a nasty fungus.

How exciting! You dont mention a particular colour scheme or if the plants are to be grouped or spread around. Also, are you growing them outdoors or in a greenhouse? Depending on where you can grow them I would consider marigolds, gerberas, dahlias, calendula, pansies, violas, geraniums, fuchsias, and for a bit of greenery here and there, hostas. I would also look at some wedding sites for ideas of what the professionals are doing to borrow a few ideas too

Thanks, I hadn't got that on my list!

Thanks Polly,

The flowers are intended as one pot per table setting. The idea is that people could take them away as a 'wedding favour'.  As far as I can see the colour scheme is 'bright'. The celebration is being held in a barn which is quite dark,  I think lots of little points of colour on the white tablecloths will look OK (?)

I have a small greenhouse, and very large polytunnel. I thonk I'll probably have to grow them outdoors. In the poly I think they'll get drawn and lanky, although I could germinate in there.

The pots are very small. only 3 inch. I think that dahlias, geraniums and fuscias might be too big. Do you think eschalonia would be OK? and how about californian poppy, -will that travel do you think? How about dwarf phlox? how dwarf do they get? I'm not sure about marigolds, I don't like the smell, and if it's actually on the table beside you it might be overpowering.

I like the idea of gerberas, but can I get small varieties, and will I have time to sow them, or should I but plugs?

Thanks everyone, 


The important thing I think is COLOUR.


What a beautiful idea, lots of work for mum though! I dont think you can get small varieties of gerberas, but they do come in fab colours and theyre not too big, so you might get away with them. I am really lucky to have Little Brook fuchsias literally just up the road from me and Carol sells her small but sturdy plants in 3" pots (sq not round though) and some I bought the other day already have flowers on so they will definitely flower by June. Do you have such a nursery near by for plants? I thought eschalonia was a shrub?Californian poppies can grow quite big, up to 4 foot apparently. Although I would think most things will stay fairly "dwarf" in a small pot, a bit like bonsai trees? Dwarf Phlox sounds lovely too and would have scent. And of course there is heliotrope which comes in blues and purples, the common one has the most delicious scent - like cherry pie, which is their nickname. I think if I were you, I would be cheeky and ring some professional growers for tips, plus to see if I could get a deal on plug plants. Jersey plants direct do lots of plugs as do T&M and Suttons, and loads of others but jersey plants are the only ones with gerbera plugs. All this AND looking fab as mother of the bride! Sounds like you relish a challenge

Thank Polly,

Oops, I did mean Eschsolzia, calfornian poppy, I think I've found some dwarf ones. I'm hoping that things will be 'bonsaied' 

Heliotrope sounds good I really like the scent. I wondered about fuscias, but perhaps they'd just look scraggy in a small pot? I thought about dwarf antirhimums, you can get those in a variety of colours, and there's campanula carpatica, which should form nice mounds of flowers.

One problem is that it's not really time for summer flowers, I'm hoping I can bring stuff on, but a bad spring... 

I knew it was a good idea to ask on this board!

Thank everyone, 




The planning and co-ordination would be beyond me. I'd be round the GCs a few days before, buying what was at point of flower



Some of the small flowered basket plants would look good - I am assuming each guest would have a pot on their table ? Here are a few plants that could be suitable

Sanvitalia - small yellow daisies

Variegated Felicia - small blue daisies but pretty foliage too

Bacopa - small white or blue flowers

Begonia semperfloruns - red,white pink and readily available as plugs to grow on

Verbena - many colours readily available as plugs

Ageratum - blue dwarf varieties available as plugs 

small flowered Petunias - all sorts of colours available as plugs

There are some small flowered Fuchsias - La Campanella for instance that would be o.k

You could try for a garden of colours and textures on each table - it would look gorgeous

Polly's idea to visit jersey plants etc. is a good one

I hope it goes well for you  I am a bit of a bedding plant maniac so if I can help at all please shout  

Pam LL x

You can get mixed Lobelia from the garden catalogues out now - approx 150 plants for about £10 x that by 2 and I think they'd be brilliant, so total outlay would be about £20 for the plants and you already have pots.  Keeps it simple.


use wildflowers nectar rich as per RHS pollinators plant list

Wildflowers sound good, but a bit difficult to organise? Have you any ideas about which, small mounds with lots of bright flowers?