Meryl Streep may have released the imminently quotable, endlessly chic burn, “florals, for spring – groundbreaking” in The Greatest Career Film of All Time The Devil Wears Prada, but the fact of the matter is that it is spring, and there are many flowers around. And, frankly, it would be rude not to. Certain parts of the interiors industry may be obsessed with green foliage, but even the steeliest minimalism queen can’t fail to be persuaded by the gorgeous blooms that are filling up the catwalks and Instagram in equal measure.
The good news with flowers is that they are available even if you don’t have ready access to a meadow. Enjoy them from afar on Instagram and Pinterest, find them on the high street on a top you’ll adore all summer, or head to your local florist or flower market to cram your Snapchat fit to burst with gorgeous floral selfies.
Here are the five flowers you need to keep up with the fash crowd this season.
Oh, gorgeous, lovely peonies. I genuinely used the fact that peonies had come into bloom as a reason for being late the other week. These big, blousy wonders do, literally, grow on trees but manage to evoke an air of sophisticated frouff rather than fustiness if you arrange them in a simple vase – think: an oversized jam-jar or white enamel jug – just by themselves.
They’re such showstoppers, they don’t need any other flowers to get in their way. Did I mention that they come in millennial pink, too?
Otherwise known as Baby’s Breath or Bristol Fairy, gypsophilia is a kind of carnation that used to be (wrongly) relegated to padding out a bouquet of other, flashier flowers. But it’s thankfully being recognised as a beauty in its own right thanks to the delicacy of its tiny white petals – especially at weddings, because brides-to-be realised it was a) cheap and b) looks charming and rustic in a jam-jar vase.
Don’t let that put you off, though. Gypsophila stems may be spindly, but they are tough as old boots and that makes it the perfect flower to make into a garland for your hair, without resorting to the fake flower ones Claire’s Accessories tends to be full of at this time of year. This will involve picking up some floristry wire and tape along with your £2 flowers (I promise you you’ll get a giant bunch for that much in the supermarket), but there are plenty of YouTube tutorials to show you how…
Poppy prints were all over the catwalk at the spring/summer 2017 shows, from Chloe’s psychedelic dresses to Mulberry and Sonia Rykiel’s big-print wrap-arounds. The good news is that they’re incredibly easy to grow, if you’re feeling greenfingered. Pick up some seeds in the supermarket and sow them now for blooms by the summer, or look out for plants in the garden centre.
Or (less effort) head outside when it gets warmer with some mates for a swoon-worthy photoshoot in a wildflower meadow. Poppies come into bloom from May and some will last all summer, which is plenty of time to make hay on Instagram while the sun shines. And if you don’t want to count on the British summer? Well, ASOS has a gorgeous poppy-print top for less than £40.
You heard it here first: begonias are about to make a comeback. I’ve actually always had a soft spot for these brightly coloured, somewhat extravagant blooms. They look like the kind of flower that got stuck in time, and that time would be the 1950s in the flowerbed of an immaculate house in the LA suburbs. Who doesn’t need some of that?
The good news is that there are plenty of different varieties of begonia, and both the bedding plant and houseplant version – some of which have polka dot, yes POLKA DOTA, leaves – are easy to find at this time of year at garden centres and supermarkets. You shouldn’t have to pay more than a fiver for one that you can keep either on your windowsill or in a box outside it. After that, take an envy-inducing photo, sit back and enjoy the vintage flower revolution.
A HUGE thank you to everyone who visited our new shop and sent sweet and encouraging notes about it. Really, it means the world! In celebration of our new venture, we're giving away tons of goodies in the blog this week. Today's raffle is for a Cafe au Lait dahlia tuber collection. If you want to join the party and throw your name in the hat to win, follow the link in my profile. #farmerflorist
Dahlias have also made a massive comeback after being relegated to the bottom of the garden bargain bin. They are big, showy and sometimes spiky, and come in a tremendous variety of colours, shapes and sizes.
Growing them is a faff – there are things called tubers involved, which have to be planted in spring and lifted and dried out in winter. But as the wedding and fashion brigade have made demand for dahlias skyrocket, you should easily be able to find them at a local florist. The cafe au lait variety is possibly the most popular at the moment, for its softly peaked petals and gorgeous pale creamy pink colour. And like peonies, these are flowers that need no other accompaniment to look blooming amazing in a vase.
Dahlias also bloom in gardens from the beginning of summer all the way through to November, so you can enjoy other people’s handiwork if you keep your peepers peeled. Or follow @floret_flower for some of the dreamiest dahlia action on the internet.
Alice Vincent is the author of How to Grow Stuff: Easy, no-stress gardening for beginners, and has an Instagram account entirely dedicated to lust-inducing plants: Instagram.com/noughticulture