Fashion trends are one thing, but how much do you know about the latest in florals? Mark Grehan is here to help boost your botanical IQ. Mark Grehan is a floral designer and owner of The Garden, Cow's Lane and Powerscourt Townhouse.
What are the latest trends in florals?
The biggest flowers this summer are an old-fashioned breed: garden roses, dahlias and peonies are popular as ever, and I've noticed a huge interest in smaller, more country-style blooms too, like sweet William, blue cornflower, and foxgloves. In terms of colours, it's all about salmon and peach oranges, blues, and pale pinks.
What would you recommend for a wedding bouquet?
There's a shift into simplicity, letting blooms speak for themselves with less foliage and fuss. Experiment by trying something a little different; use one bloom in the bouquet, like a protea flower, and mix in tropical houseplant foliage. Ferns, heuchera and more scented roses like David Austin's are all really popular. For table settings, focus on crushed glass and bright coloured vessels.
What flowers should you gift a host?
I'd recommend something scented, like stock, David Austin roses or sweet pea. I also love the idea of gifting a little succulent or houseplant in a beautiful pot - it might encourage them to start a collection!
Any tips for keeping flowers fresh?
Wash your vases well and change the water every three days. Add a tiny amount of bleach to keep bacteria away and make sure the foliage of the lower stems is removed and away from the water - it prevents them rotting.
Your favourite bloom right now?
Digitalis foxgloves. I have used them a lot over this summer, along with carnations and lilies.
What's your favourite way to display flowers in the home?
I love a large vase on a hall table filled with something tall, like hollyhocks or emerus, at this time of year. One or two foliage leaves, like artichoke or monstera leaf, sit beautifully on their own on a table setting. For the living area, I love to use some dahlia, astrantia and carnation blooms from the shop mixed with a few herbs from my allotment, like mint, rosemary and oregano. The unusual scents add another layer and texture and a homely feel to the arrangement.
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