In April, I took a trip to a couple flower markets in Carlsbad with Kimberly, flower guru and owner of The Dainty Lion & my wedding coordinator Samantha of Samantha Louise Moments, to brainstorm some blooms for my bridal bouquets! Going to the market with someone who knows the ropes opened my eyes to a world beyond roses and Baby’s Breath and really got my wheels turning on how I wanted my own wedding florals to look.
In season were ranunculus, which were blooming in full force. Kimberly said that this a great time of year to grab them up, as their main blooming season here in California is March through May. I had no idea ranunculus came in such a wide variety of colors! From bight warm colors, to a range of soft pastels and deep moody reds, there is room for these blooms in any bouquet.
It goes without saying that peonies were the cause of our dropping jaws. We saw tons of soft pink colors throughout the market, big bloom flowers are some of her favorite to work with. When creating a floral arrangement, she says “I like to focus on blooms that make an impact. Peonies and garden roses although pricey will give you more bang for your buck because of their showstopping petals and large size. Of course smaller blooms such as ranunculus can also demand attention because of their high petal count.”
I never thought I was a rose person until one of our last stops, when I saw a variety of David Austin roses, which completely stole my heart. They are full like peonies, and not commercial like the standard “dozen red roses”. Both romantic and whimsical, these stems were some of the most stunning I’ve laid eyes on, and might have to remove the “no rose” request from my bouquet criteria!
The lesson of the day was that of the protea! I’ve been seeing these popping up all over blogs and in weddings, so I couldn’t wait to learn more about these unique blooms! They are a favorite of Kimberly’s, and she said this is a very exciting time to visit the markets, because protea are out in full force. She recommends them for a great low maintenance arrangement. “Protea are great for those of us who want low maintenance flowers. With a wide variety of protea available you can create a complex and lasting bouquet to enjoy” Both eye catching and curious, protea are great for a bride looking to turn heads with her floral arrangements.
Kimberly also shared with me her best tips for your at home floral arrangement: “Start by removing any leaves or greenery that will be below the water line, cut off at least one inch from the bottom of the stem with very sharp sheers and change the water often” She also reminds me, “Don’t place flowers close to fruit which produces ethylene gas and shortens their lifespan – especially ranunculus”
I highly recommend stopping into the flower markets in Carlsbad for inspiration whether or not you’re in the market for wedding florals, or visit The Dainty Lion to “ooh and ahh” from the comfort of your sofa!