Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Purple Rain

I love the colour purple. Its strong, deep hues, a combination of reds and blues, are both rich and cool at the same time. One of the most requested colours for bridal flowers lately, I thought I'd give a quick run through some of the options available if you're thinking of using purple in your wedding.

Incredibly versatile, it can be soft and pretty with pinks, creams and lilacs but can also work with creams and vibrant sunny yellows, and I love it with orange (its opposite on the colour wheel) and lime green. Mix it with reds and you have a very seductive combination.

These above and the lilac flowers below are Eustoma, more commonly known as Lisianthus. Sometimes mistaken for a rose and also known as a chinese rose, its not related but you can see where the confusion arises. Like the rose it does have soft blousey petals but its perfect spiralling buds are all its own.

If you like natural country garden style flowers these below are Veronica. They work really well with Lisianthus, thistle and spray roses for a cottagey feel. They look sweet popping out of mixed spring bunches too and are relatively inexpensive and widely available pretty much all year round.

When you're choosing flowers, whether for a vase at home, a gift or a wedding it helps to think about the effect that different types of flowers have on your arrangement. Your florist will advise with this but its usually a good idea to have a combination of linear and rounded shapes.

Clematis below has a beautiful lightness to it. Its stems curve and climb and can lend a lovely rhythmical  movement to your arrangement so that it flows and looks natural.

Hydrangea in contrast are quite a weighty flower with large heads of lots of little flowers. As a general rule, its a good idea to keep your heavier focal flowers towards the base of arrangements and lighter smaller blooms towards the top. In vases, space and foliage help to balance out different shapes.  

This Hydrangea is a lovely variety with the most amazing variation of colours on one head. And no, this is not a trick of the light, these flowers actually have green, pink, lilac and blue tones on each tiny head. Amazing aren't they?

If you prefer cleaner lines there are still plenty of options out there if you're looking for purple flowers. Vanda orchids come in a few different shades of purple from the more commonplace vibrant pinky purple, to dusky browny purples that would work well in vintage themes, and this new variety which is a great strong "Cadbury's" purple. 

Tulips are perfect for classic, clean bouquets and do come in purple, although they look more pink here they are definitely more on the mauvey/magenta side of purple. As always I'd recommend sticking to using using them when they're in season as not only are they cheaper they're also much stronger and longer lasting.

So there it is purple - the colours of kings and queens and er, Prince - the tiny put him in your pocket prince of pop. Hence Purple Rain. And it has been raining quite a lot here, just not purple. That'd be worrying.

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