“Somebody is going to die if Lilly Beth doesn’t catch that bouquet.”

The Official Southern Ladies’ Guide to Hosting the Perfect Wedding by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hayes.


 This may be a little too saccharine for some tastes, but when I got married I had such lovely flowers that I wanted to replicate my bouquet in a flowerbed.



I had cream roses and peonies, purple veronica, eryngiums and herbs. It was an April wedding.  Of course florists can get their hands on flowers at any time of year.

Getting them to flower simultaneously in the garden is a different matter so rather than sticking slavishly to the theme it was more of an inspiration. The bed is comma-shaped and is five metres long and three metres at the widest point. Filling it with just five plants would be repetitive and once they’d all flowered would be a forest of leafy twigs.

There are roses: Claire Austin, Margaret Merril and Silver Wedding. There are two peonies, Duchesse de Nemours and Claire de Lune. I’ve also got the veronicas and herbs but decided to replicate the purple spires with salvias and campanulas. I have a clump of eryngiums but also got some blue and white echinops. Last year was the first year and to fill the gaps I grew Verbena bonariensis, white cosmos and cream tobacco plants from seed.

The other problem was prolonging the season so I put in some white pulmonaria, daffodils and tulips for the spring along with some lovely dark purple aquilegias which had self-seeded elsewhere. For late summer I plumped for white Japanese anemones and toad lilies. It’s not quite right yet (which is why I’m only sharing photos of the star performers for now!) and I’m busy making notes on what needs moving around.

Follow my quest for marital harmony on the blog!