Sunflowers & Solanum

I was lucky enough to be part of my brother-in-law’s wedding in Gascony, France, last week, and even luckier to be able to play with the local flora to create some wedding reception arrangements, and bouquet and button-holes for the bride, groom and groomsmen.

Sal, the owner of the Chateau where the wedding was held, and I had a ball conceiving and constructing the arrangements in the 1850s barn reception venue. We used sunflowers, bracken, broom, conifer and oak branches, elder berries, ivy, bull rushes and lavender – all from the property’s gardens – propped up in wrought iron wall brackets and candelabra.

I made the bouquet (in a bit of a rush – half an hour before the ceremony was due to begin!) from various roses from Sal’s garden, alongside more elderberries, solanum and cow’s parsley, all held together with a strip of the bride’s wedding dress lace.

Finally, we filled the ceremonial arch with solanum vine and roses – a tricky job as the roses had to be in oasis due to the heat. Cue wiring discreet balls of oasis amongst the vine and securing the blooms in place. Et voila! HF.


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