The Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle wowed the world with a front entrance bedecked in white flowers and leafy green foliage, as Meghan and her bridesmaids grasped the most beautiful flower bouquets in pure white.
With such a high profile event, watched by 18 million Britons, there are bound to be some ‘take homes’ from the day. And with the flowers making up such a prominent part of the ceremony, I predict that gardeners up and down the country will be exploring the joy of a moonlit border this season.
Meghan and her bridesmaids walked into the church holding the most perfectly formed hand-tied bouquets. I squinted at the television and kept using playback to identify the blooms, and believe it was a blend of Sweet Peas, white Forget-me-nots, Lily of the Valley, Astilbe, Jasmine, Astrantia, and some white Tweedia. The bouquet also included the royal tradition of sprigs of Myrtle.
The entrance to the chapel
Decorators had dressed the entrance to St George’s Chapel in a medley of fresh green foliage, such as Hornbeam and silver Birch, and accented with white Roses, Peonies, Delphiniums, Hesperis (Sweet Rocket) and many more botanical purities.
I’m sure we’ll see many floral arches pop up in weddings in future, thanks to this trend re-ignited by the happy couple.
Follow the royal wedding trend in your own planting schemes
White is such an important accent tone, and the royal wedding certainly proved that it can hold its own as a colour in the garden too. Pair it with luscious green foliage and you can achieve a beautiful enchanted look.
So, the wedding may be over, but the style can live on in our own gardens.
Right now, we are going to look at 7 superb white and green elements, many inspired by the royal celebrations, that you can incorporate into your flower schemes this season:
Lily of the Valley
Often found basking the dappled shade beneath trees, this english favourite looks delicate, but is actually quite a tough cookie when it comes to garden survival. Lily of the Valley is a useful choice for dry shade, and the carpeting plants provide plenty for spring bouquets. The plant also dazzles with it’s rustic autumn foliage and bright red berries later in the year!
Night Blooming Jasmine
Meghan’s bouquet included some fragrant white jasmine, which has inspired me to include the connossieur’s plant choice, Cestrum nocturnum. Plants have a bushy habit and fabulous moonlit blooms, pumping out their fragrance after hours! Whilst not fully hardy outdoors, Cestrum lends itself well to growing in a decorative patio container, and will flower during the height of summer. Buy Cestrum nocturnum now.
Astilbe (False Goatsbeard)
One of the main features of white-flowered plants is that they ‘glow’ when planted into shady corners, and this Astilbe is the perfect example of that. Handfuls of the frothy, feathered bloom spires were used in the royal celebrations and look set to propel this often-forgotten perennial back into the spotlight!
Oh, the beautiful pincushion blooms of Astrantia are a sight to behold. Their papery appearance is actually made up from bracts (coloured leaves), with the true flowers being the central pincushion. A favourite of florists, yet under-used in the garden. Astrantia perform really well in those difficult constantly wet soil spots too!
Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)
When creating your royal wedding garden, the right foliage is essential. Just like the floral archway at the chapel, I’d recommend designing your garden around the fresh looking Hornbeam tree. A small to medium sized tree, it will create an ethereal backdrop to your moonlight flower scheme. Did you know that the wood is also used for parquet flooring and to make chess pieces?
Peony ‘Duchesse de Nemours’
Meghan’s favourite, the glorious, enchanting Peony! Indulgent and pretty much unrivalled for scent and form, the flower is the traditional floral symbol of China, and denotes wealth and honour. Included because they are Meghan’s favourite, but they also assure good fortune and a happy marriage. This is a bulletproof plant for your outdoor border too. It lasts for centuries, and ‘Duchesse de Nemours’ is the pick of the crystal white varieties.
Meghan and Harry didn’t choose to use Hydrangea in their bouquet, but I think they missed a trick! Hydrangeas are bang on trend right now, and especially since ‘Runaway Bride’ just clinched Plant of the Year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’ is a sensible choice for a Hydrangea. This is because the plants are less thirsty, super hardy and untroubled by the usual garden pests. A handsome bush for a border or container.
So how will you be honouring the whites and greens colour trend in your garden or patio this summer?