A garden bursting with colour and scent is a wonderful setting for a wedding, and flowers are a vital element of a wedding garden as they add colour, elegance and fragrance. Check out our guide to creating a garden for a wedding in your backyard!
Depending on the style of the wedding there are a number of different flower options to choose from - wildflowers work well with a more informal style wedding, whereas well trimmed tight buxus hedges are a fantastic framework for a formal garden wedding. In addition to flowers, a lush lawn is beautiful to get married on and the colour looks fantastic in photos.
Allow at least 12 months to prepare your garden for a wedding especially or even longer if designing a new garden.
Preparing the garden beds
For established garden beds dig in plenty of organic matter like sheep pellets and Tui Compost before planting. This conditions the soil and provides a rich base for plants to grow. Add a layer of Tui Flower Mix before planting flowers.
Containers and hanging baskets
Hanging baskets can add a dash of colour and height to a garden setting and containers brimming with beautiful flowers and foliage can add the finishing touch your garden needs. Use a high quality potting mix like Tui Pot Power.
Pots and containers of flowering annuals, roses and topiaries make natural aisles and walkways.
There are lots of varieties and colour combinations to choose from. Simplify the process by selecting quick-growing and long-flowering plants which produce masses of flowers.
Choose three to five key varieties that match the wedding colour scheme and plant in large groups. Remember to plant extra flowers - you can't have too many flowers for a garden wedding!
Flower varieties by colour
- White flowers: Flower Carpet rose, alyssum, cosmos, petunias, lobelia, marguerite daisies, dahlias, brachyscome, sutera, felicia, white hydrangeas, white calla lilies, sweet lily of the valley, lisianthus, lush peonies.
- Black foliage: Black mondo grass, flaxes, ajuga, Aeonium ‘Schwarzkopf’, Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’, Cordyline ‘Caruba Black’.
- Fuchsia (pink and magenta) flowers: Bougainvillea, Superbells Petunia, Happitunia ‘Fuchsia Belle’, Echinacea, penstemon, cosmos, dianthus, fuchsias, zinnias.
- Yellow flowers: Flower Carpet Rose Yellow, dahlias, Garvinea ‘Santana’, daylilies, daffodils, hibiscus, petunias, zinnias, coreopsis.
- Blue flowers: Blue hydrangea, anchusa, petunias, lobelia, plumbago, brachyscome, felicia.
- Red flowers: anthuriums, gerberas, freesias, tulips, alstroemeria.
- Purple flowers: deep lavender roses, purple calla lilies lavender, sweet peas, astillbe, and agapnathus.
- Orange flowers: maryllis mix, gold calla lilies, Leonidas roses and ranunculus.
Sprinkle wildflower seeds in areas that look bare. These are quick and reliable to grow.
If growing from seed, packets usually state the time it takes from sowing to flowering. However, late frosts or cold weather will set back flowering so add on a few weeks to allow for all eventualities. To break up the work and ensure constant flowering plant in succession, sow the same flower every two weeks for 3-4 months to ensure most are in bloom at the time you want. Plant all seeds into Tui Seed Raising Mix.
If planting seedlings which is a quicker option, plant at least one month before the wedding date.
Feed your flowers and they will reward you. Select a fertiliser specially blended for your flowers like the Tui Food range, or use an all purpose variety, such as Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser. To encourage prolonged flowering, remove spent flower heads.
- Apply Tui Fruit & Flower a month prior to the date to enhance the colour and quality of flowers.
- Tui Hydrangea Blue will deepen the colour of hydrangeas – apply the season prior to the wedding. This is a great tip for a blue wedding colour scheme.
For the wedding bouquets choose varieties that are specifically bred for their long stems – dwarf cultivars may look cute but their short stems won’t give you much to grip. Select plants that are labelled as ‘tall’ not ‘bedding’.
Popular options for wedding bouquets include:
Roses, hydrangeas, sunflowers, lillies, gerbera, peonies, ranunculus and freesias.
If you’re short on flowers, top up with foliage. Magnolia or camellias are evergreen and have attractive, long lasting foliage; flax lasts well and adds a ‘Kiwi’ touch to a bouquet. Succulents are another great option - they have strong form, add texture and require little or no moisture.
Preparations for other areas of the garden:
- Apply Seasol plant tonic to the entire garden two weeks prior to the wedding to boost growth and maintain plant health.
- Mulch all garden beds with Tui Mulch & Feed two weeks prior to the wedding for plants to get a final boost of nutriensts. It also provides a tidy ground cover.
- Apply Scotts Lawn Builder to the lawn 10 weeks prior to the wedding for a beautiful lush green lawn.