Hello dear flower friends,
Autumn is approaching and it’s the time I get so excited about planning my cut flower patch for next year. The seed catalogues drop through the door, I light a fire and curl up to read them cover to cover with a cup of tea. When I first started growing flowers for cutting I was like a kid in a sweet shop and ordered everything in every colour, it’s taken me a good few years to perfect what I choose and I sometimes still get seduced by a new annual about the garden but, I like to think i’ve got a lot better at picking my perfect blooms. I want to share with you some handy tips that should help make your choices easier and the first post I wanted to start with is ‘The Perfect Petal Palette’ I’ll also do another post on the kind of floral structures you may wish to consider.
So what is your perfect palette? You may naturally be drawn to certain colours and can chuck anything together and it will sit fabulously but I have learned that it is quite an art form when it comes to flowers that you are growing to eventually cut and arrange for yourself, you will probably sway towards hot colours or pastel shades and this should be considered when choosing your flowers for a cutting patch. You may decide to go hot colour clash which works well with zingy green foliage or, you may prefer the cool palette of blue delphiniums and cafe au lait dahlias, either one will look beautiful and if you stick to a few basic guides you should always be in love with what you create.
Restricting your colour palette.
Working with a restricted colour palette in the garden can work beautifully, I have one boarder in my garden that is white, blue & purple, ah just three I hear you cry, well that three is just the colour choice, the tones in that choice are endless believe me and everything sits in perfect harmony! Shades of creamy white dahlias with a hint of coffee thats also picked out in the lilac/blue hues of nepeta and hydrangeas through to the silvery foliage of sage, these are all on the same colour spectrum. Now I’m going to throw a curve ball into the mix! Whilst your three colours in varying hues will always look lovely, I like to inject a mild colour pop, this can really wake things up and make an arrangement go from ah thats nice to oooooooh thats lovely! So what is the colour pop? Firstly, it only makes up about 3% of your arrangement so don’t panic and it will still compliment the rest of your flowers and not overpower them, so you want to pick a colour that is opposite on the colour wheel, I love blue and orange as an example. Say you have a cool bouquet made up of hues of blues, silvers and pale lilac, well adding a touch of orange in a complimentary hue will bring your arrangement to life, the key is getting the word orange out of your head and selecting the perfect hue of say dusky salmon/coral that is soft (I love salvias for this trick) now just imagine a tiny hint of that shade with the rest of your flowers, it will really look special, the same way that a tiny bit of deep aubergine looks beautiful with a mass of cream/blush cafe au lait dahlias.
Practice finding your perfect palette with paint samples. Look at your three chosen colours then add all the hues you love, then pick your contrasting colour and find a shade of it that compliments your magic three.
If you’re not sure which colour palette is for you then start some pinterest boards and look to see what images you are drawn to then break down the colours from the images, it doesn’t have to be of flowers just anything you are naturally drawn to.
Don’t forget your greens!
Foliage is key to making your arrangements work and the shade of foliage can bring to life a bouquet, silver foliage goes very well with a cool palette and fresh verdant green goes well with a hot palette, black and copper go equally well with both, when selecting your colour swatches consider foliage shades too.
I hope you’ve found this helpful and I’d love to know how you get on, the best way to stay in touch with me and show me your progress is on Instagram or you can leave a comment below.
Have fun x