Remember Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s extravagant flower display at their wedding? It must be fabulous to have a royal head gardener at your beck and call. A girl can dream, right? But I wake up and realize I don’t have royal money. For my second marriage, I may be better served to do the arrangements myself. After reading “Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers” by Georgie Newbery, I say, challenge accepted!

If you also want to take on this challenge — even for a spring wedding — this is the blueprint to achieve your goal. You are only aiming for five to seven types of flowers. As long as you have space for three 3-foot-by-12-foot beds,  you can grow enough for a guest list around 100. If you plan to get married in summer, fall or winter, plant and prepare now.

Newbery details when to cut and condition flowers, and suggests dates to start your arrangement prior to the big event. The book also lists tools you will need, such as wiring, florist’s scissors, raffia, ribbon and floral tape, as well as supplies like vases, jugs, jars and bulbs that are not to be overlooked.

You can also think beyond flowers to herbs, shrubs, branches or the gnarly little fruit of the sweet gum tree. This book has resources on where to purchase seeds and wholesale flowers and a list of plant choices from amaryllis to zinnia.

Perhaps your floristry interests lie only in growing the flower crown, bouquet and petal confetti. Let a pro handle the garland, centerpieces, buttonholes and posies. Manage your expectations; this should be a fun project.

Finally, take a look at what is already around. You’d be surprised how much is growing around your property that could be used in arrangements. Or, just bake a pie for the neighbor that always wins Yard of the Month. Then sweet-talk them into letting you harvest clippings for the big day. Weddings are a group effort, you know.

Abra Lee is a horticulturist extraordinaire and unapologetically passionate about all things gardening. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @conquerthesoil.

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