Wednesday, June 24, 2015

GIY - Grow it Yourself

Let's get one thing clear right away. I'm well aware of how crazy this sounds. This part of our wedding planning is our most insane attempt at DIY, but has also been a lot of fun and a great challenge.

We're growing our own flowers!

I have always dreamed of big luscious gardens on my property, with flowers in bloom from Spring until Fall, and wedding planning was my opportunity to get things rolling on that.

When we purchased our home at the end of 2013, I knew that an engagement was around the corner, and last summer I dabbled in gardening flowers for the first time. I mainly planted dahlias and ranunculus, and a whole slew of wild flowers. The gardens were a success last summer, and when we got engaged, I knew I wanted to attempt to grow a majority of our flowers for the wedding.

Our Spring wildflowers / Personal photo

I know, I know. I'm crazy.

With an army of support, I did a whole heck of a lot of research over the winter, and at the end of winter I put in a ginormous order for spring bulbs. GM Coach also has a gardening business on the side, and started a great deal of our flowers from seed in the winter (he's seriously the best!).

Now, I know that planning and relying on my own gardens is in need of some major back-up plans, and don't worry, we have them.

Gardener friends
A good friend of Mr. Narwhal and I owns a gardening business with her mother, and three summers ago they grew the flowers for a friend's wedding. It was wildly successful, and she has been mentoring me, and also graciously offered for us to pick from their garden beds for our wedding. We also have another friend that owns a farm, and has offered for us to pick if needed, as well as some other friends offering the same.

Mr. Narwhal is the picked flower type / Personal photo

Wild locations
Around the time of our wedding last summer, I did some major wild flower scouting. I have several locations in our area, with great picking spots, that we will visit the week of the wedding to fill the vases for our tables.

An example of a bouquet I recently picked on a walk / Personal photo

Vendors where necessary
I knew that I didn't have the skills to pull off my flower crown on my own, and this would be too much of a source of stress leading up to the wedding. I have a florist making my flower crown. I also ordered some loose flowers to tie my crown and bridal bouquet together.

Image from Green Wedding Shoes // Image by Carl Zoch

If all else fails, go green
If all else fails and we need more fill, there is a plethora of greenery around our property. Mr. Narwhal has a soft spot for ferns, and greenery will do just fine to pull together our floral arrangements.

Image from: South Bound Bride / Image by: Dear Heart Photos

So, yes... this is an insanely daunting task and has been a bit of a stressor leading up to planting/growing, because of the 'unknown' elements. We are definitely leaving a lot up to Mother Nature, but honestly, I'm not that worried about it. Picking flowers and gardening are zen like activities for me, and I'm looking forward to pulling it all together the week of the wedding. I also am not overly concerned and particular about how it all looks. The bouquet I picked last weekend (above) is a perfect example of what an evening adventure with Nelson and Mr. Narwhal can produce. You don't have to be a florist to put together a wildflower bouquet, and I'm fairly confident in what we'll pull together.

Next time, I'll get into the nitty gritty of what we're growing, and how it's been going thus far!

What is your craziest DIY task?

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