A number of people have inquired about using sweet peas for wedding bouquets and knowing that this flower can be a little unpredictable we asked John Waddington of Nurseryfresh for his expert advice on the subject.
Nurseryfresh supply flowers to many prestigious events and the NAFAS festivals so are well versed in ensuring that blooms arrive in peak condition
Nursery Fresh are able to provide sweet peas for weddings and these are either sent ‘wet’ through the courier system for larger quantities (100 stems) or ‘dry’ through the mail order system for smaller quantities (40 stems) and do travel very well. To ensure that they do arrive in best condition, they only send them out in units of 40 stems (dry) or 100 stems (wet).
Which sweet peas to choose?
“Like everything else these days modern sweet peas are bred more for the length, colour, appearance and longevity rather than fragrance. These are usually grower bred with no specific variety names but they still do have a scent”.
“Heritage varieties usually have a much stronger perfume but are generally not visually appealing for wedding arrangements because the flowers are fewer per stem and smaller. These also tend to have a very short vase life and do not travel well”.
“Commercial growers of sweet peas have stocks of seed that have been bred and reselected over many years, a process that continues virtually every year on the nursery”.
“Because sweet peas grow over a very long season and are trained like tomatoes, there are only a very few producers of these in the UK which is reflected in the price – they can be quite expensive”.
“The sweet pea season is also very heavily affected by the weather, so warm sunny periods, similar to the situation we had earlier this spring, result in early flushes and a shortening of the season, whilst cold spells, like at present result in the crop almost stopping, so the season can be longer than expected – sometimes by several weeks either way”.
“If a bride has been promised sweet peas for her ‘later’ wedding and the weather has been bright and warm, or for an ‘early’ wedding, cold, then there is a possibility that she will be disappointed”.
“The season in the UK is between February and June, so if brides REALLY want sweet peas they should plan their wedding accordingly!, and in this case the flowers should determine the date rather than the availability of the chosen venue!!!!…somewhere in between February and June is best!”
Nurseryfresh only use English sweet peas as other countries of origin are often disappointing in quality (a bit like imported strawberries)
Sweet peas are thirsty little devils, both in the ground ad as cut flowers, so we advise that bouquets are kept in water up to the very last minute to keep them fresh.
Nurseryfresh also have a dedicated Bridal Flowers Direct website which features many articles of interest.