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weeder’s digest: peonies part three

by Grace Bonney

PEONIES PART THREE; behind the scenes wedding weekend

After having recovered from a month of sickness in our house, we jumped into another June wedding weekend in our new (unfinished) space. I have two amazing floral assistants, one of whom always brings homemade baked goods. [This week was lemon poppyseed cupcakes.]

Everyone should really have the chance to arrange flowers in a construction zone. At our new space we have a bid dumpster, which if you have a flowershop is incredibly exciting. I posed on top of it. With the brides bouquet.

The bigger of the two weddings on Saturday was up at Wave Hill, a bucolic scene lush with blooming viburnum, roses, summer hydrangea…when you work there you get strict rules about not cutting stems from the premises. Apparently there are no rules about florists using the golf carts, as my assistant found out. When she announced that she had permission to use it I had a quiet internal meltdown. “but I want TO DRIVE THE GOLF CART! ”


The bride had excellent taste, and matched some of the glassware on the tables to the eggplant colors in the centerpieces. A little visual tie-in like this goes a long way. We made all the centerpieces a bit different.

I like a whole lot of texture with a big mix of flowers. Especially this time of year. This way it’s like a big garden distilled into a 6×6″ clear glass cylinder in the middle of your table! Guests talk about what flowers they recognize, what they have grown themselves. You got some pitcher plants in there, some smoke bush…obviously peonies…ladies mantle, blueberry, hydrangea, button mums, lisianthus, purple basil, coxcomb, pulsitilla, princess roses, black beauty roses, scabiosa pods, nigella and more…next week I’m going to come at you with some tips for doing your own wedding flowers…till then!


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