Source: Flower Farmer at Slow Blooms
More couples are choosing a memorable experience by picking their own wedding flowers. It’s especially popular with couples who are environmentally conscious, or who want an abundance of flowers but haven’t got the budget for professional floristry on a bigger scale.
Slow Blooms in Matakana offer pick-your-own flowers for those wanting personal, sustainable flowers, grown in their natural season. Rebecka Bjelfvenstam Keeling, founder and flower farmer, is seeing this trend taking off firsthand.
“We are definitely noticing a rise in inquiries this season from people who are either wanting to buy mixed flowers by the bucket to arrange themselves, or come out and pick their own,” Rebecka says. “I believe it’s due to a combination of the cost-of-living crisis and increased environmental awareness.”
Julie Treanor, Leadership Coach and Flower Grower at The Pickery in Wellington says that local flower farms and cutting gardens are well-placed to serve people who want flowers that reflect the season in their celebrations.
“For many DIY arrangers, buying from a local flower grower is the only option for buying large quantities of flowers as they might not be able to access other trade wholesale suppliers,” Julie says.
At Slow Blooms, visitors are invited to come for a stroll through the rows of blooms, borrow snips and buckets from the garden shed, and cut their own flowers and foliage – which is paid for by weight. The name Slow Blooms is a play on the Slow Foods and Slow Flowers movement, which champions produce grown locally, in their natural season, using sustainable practices – as opposed to flowers grown artificially in greenhouses with the use of harsh herbicides and pesticides, and often flown in from faraway countries, spending days or even weeks in transit before they reach their destination.
“Some brides choose to have their wedding bouquet arranged by a professional florist, but adding personality and cutting cost by picking and arranging their own flowers for the tables, arches, and other decorations,” Rebecka says. “If the bride is pressed for time, their bridesmaids or family members come through to pick the flowers in the days before the wedding.”
“It is not only about the product itself – but also the experience,” Rebecka says. “Picking your own flowers is a lovely activity for the couple to do together in the lead-up to the wedding if they enjoy getting hands-on with their flowers.”
Others use Slow Blooms’ you-pick garden for hens-parties activities. “We have had groups through picking and making matching flower wreaths, having a great time together! And others made a personal posy each for the bride to dry and save as a memory,” Rebecka says. “We either help arrange a workshop-style activity, or they just come through and do their own thing.”
Slow Blooms on 17 Sharp Road in Matakana is open for drop-in every day, but larger groups are recommended to book in advance on Facebook.com/slowblooms or talk to the Rebecka at the Matakana Village Farmers Market on Saturdays.
Benefits of locally grown flowers:
- Fresh – from the field to you in hours, not days or weeks.
- Seasonal – keep in synch with nature, every season has something special.
- Sustainable – grown locally and naturally with fewer travel miles.
- Safe to sniff – no nasty chemicals, just pure natural scent.
- Support local – invest your money in the New Zealand economy.
Tips when picking your own wedding flowers
- Pick in the morning – the heat of the day can wilt sensitive flowers
- Bring your own buckets – clean and with cold water
- Pick one or two days before – flowers like being hydrated in water before being arranged
- Be flexible – field grown blooms changes with the season
- If foraging in the wild – avoid pest plants like pampas grass .