Winter has certainly arrived in Melbourne over the past few weeks bringing rain, cold and generally glum weather back into our lives for a (hopefully!) short while. Winter doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to flower availability and choice, but some of our favourites bloom during the colder months. Whether you’re planning a winter wedding, have a special someone to spoil, or simply want to inject a spot of loveliness into a corner of your home, be inspired by these gorgeous locally grown flowers.
Also known as Winter Rose, hellebores come in a variety of colours including white, lime green, and a range of pink and plum shades. You may have spotted them planted en masse in gardens across Victoria. They look absolutely gorgeous in garden posies and winter wedding bouquets.
Tip – Cut hellebores benefit from a scalding treatment which our florists always perform in store. When you get your beautiful blooms home, cut the ends of the stems off, plunge the ends into about 2cm of boiling water for approximately ten seconds and then straight into cold water. This can be repeated if you see your hellebores drooping throughout the week.
Tulips are one of my personal favourites and look best styled en masse in your favourite vase. They come in nearly every colour of the rainbow, and are available in classic single petals varieties, beautiful double petal varieties (which look much like a peony), and also the stunning Parrot variety.
Tip – Tulip continue to grow in height and bend towards the light after they have been cut. Be sure to arrange your tulips in a vase that is tall enough to support the lengthening stems. Drooping does not mean they are dying, they are simply turning their heads and positioning their stems towards the light, much like we do on a winters day!
Blushing Bride belongs to the Protea family and gains its name from its traditional use in South African bridal bouquets. It features papery petals which give it a light and feathery appearance, and is available in white and soft pinks. Blushing bride is another favourite of mine to use in winter wedding bouquets.
Tip – If you’re after a flower that has a long shelf life, blushing bride is the bloom for you. Style it in a small vase alone, or grouped with other blooms native to South Africa and Australia for the ultimate long-lasting flower arrangement.
Unlike most other orchid varieties which thrive in a warm humid environment, cymbidium orchids like a cooler climate. Available in both large showy varieties and sweet miniature versions, cymbidium orchids come in a plethora of colours including white, ivory and lime green, shades of pink and rich burgundy, and earthy rusts, browns and golds. We like to use whole stems in modern upright bouquets, or cut off each flower head and place through posies.
Tip – Although one of the pricier cut flowers available in winter, cymbidium orchids are well worth the investment as they keep for at least 2-3 weeks. Like any cut flower, remember to cut the ends of the stem and change the water on a regular basis to encourage longevity. Keep an eye out for potted cymbidium orchids blooming throughout the cooler months for an dramatic and even longer lasting display in your home or office.
Known for their rather heady fragrance, hyacinths are best displayed in an open environment or in small amounts so that their scent does not over power. Available in a variety of colours such as white, pink, purple, mauve and blue, hyacinth flowers will fade in colour and their fragrance increase as they mature.
Tip – Hyacinths are one of the only flowers which respond best to not being cut before going into a vase of water, so leave their root system attached to the end of the stem. Like tulips, hyacinths continue to grow in length after they are picked, so be sure to transfer into a taller vase as they grow to avoid the heavy heads snapping the delicate fleshy stems.
Sweet peas look as beautifully delicate as they smell. The gorgeous green tendrils being as much of a feature as the gentle petals which come in shades of white, pastel pinks and mauves, and dark purples, reds and plums. Sweet peas are traditionally planted in Australia on St Patricks Day, blooming in winter.
Tip – The fragility of sweet peas means that they don’t have the longest shelf life. Buy them fresh on market days, and combine with other gorgeous garden blooms such as jonquils, hyacinths and hellebores for a stunningly sweet smelling posy.
All of the above mentioned blooms are available in our store throughout the cooler months. Choosing blooms that are in season locally mean that they will be of the best quality and most reasonably priced, and not to mention support our local flower farms.