Thursday, July 2, 2009

Green Weddings - Locally Grown Flowers by Month

I've been working on a list of locally grown flowers by month. Locally grown for our purposes means grown in the northeast - New England, New York, New Jersey. Sourcing flowers grown closer to the place where they are used has become increasingly important to some of my clients as they try to reduce their carbon footprint, especially on large events such as weddings.

You'll note this is a rather short list especially when compared to the hundreds and hundreds of flowers that are available weekly. We live in a part of the country which doesn't have much in the way of flower farms. New England was known for its carnation growers back in the 1950's, but the energy crisis of the 1970's made it too expensive to heat greenhouses and it hasn't gotten any cheaper.

On my list you'll see a few flowers that are available most of the year round - stephanotis, gardenia, and lilies. I have to say, we do get some of the most beautiful lilies which are grown in Hadley Mass., and stephanotis and gardenias are the quintessential, classic wedding flowers.

For the widest selection of locally grown flowers, you should look to the summer months into early fall. Hey, I don't even get a home grown tomato off my deck until August, so you know those are the prime months! Since most of the summer flowers are field grown, as opposed to hot house grown, they can vary from week to week depending on the weather, so it's best not to have your heart set on a particular blossom. The month listings are just a guide - a flower might come into or go out of season a week or two earlier or later than expected.

You'll also note, that the summer/autumn flowers tend to be more on the wildflower side, perfectly suited for casual and daytime events. Other things to keep in mind - locally grown flowers can sometimes be more expensive than imports, the savings on shipping can be far outweighed by the cost of local labor. Also, there are a few locally grown flowers which I don't think are nearly as good in quality as the imports, such as gerbera. You may have to pick and choose which things matter most to you.

This list isn't comprehensive as some flowers which are super seasonal don't even get listed by my vendors - they're here today and gone tomorrow! I'm sure I'll be making updates!

Locally Grown Flowers by Month

January
· Anemone
· Callas, white
· Lily
· Gardenia
· Gerbera
· Stephanotis

February
· Anemone
· Callas, white
· Forsythia
· Lily
· Gardenia
· Gerbera
· Pussy willow
· Quince
· Stephanotis
· Tulips

March
· Anemone
· Callas, white
· Cherry branches
· Forsythia
· Gardenia
· Gerbera
· Lily
· Pussy willow
· Stephanotis
· Tulips

April
· Anemone
· Callas, white
· Cherry branches
· Dogwood
· Forsythia
· French tulip
· Gardenia
· Gerbera
· Lilac
· Lily
· Peach branches
· Pear branches
· Pussy willow
· Stephanotis
· Tulip

May
· Callas, white
· Cherry branches
· Crab apple
· Dogwood branches
· French tulips
· Gardenia
· Gerbera
· Helleborus
· Hosta
· Iris
· Lilac
· Lily
· Lily of the Valley
· Queen Anne’s lace
· Peony
· Snapdragon, short
· Spirea
· Stephanotis
· Sweet William
· Tulips
· Viburnum
· Wheat

June
· Cornflower
· Dahlias
· Gardenia
· Gerbera
· Hosta
· Ladies’ mantle
· Lilac
· Lily
· Lily of the valley
· Peony
· Queen anne’s lace
· Snapdragon, short
· Spirea
· Stephanotis
· Tritoma

July
· Allium
· Alstroemeria
· Amaranthus
· Artemesia
· Asclepias
· Celosia – coxcomb & wheat
· Clematis
· Cornflower
· Cosmos
· Crocosmia
· Dahlia
· Delphinium
· Dill
· Echinops
· Eryngium, raspberry
· Feverfew
· Gardenia
· Gerbera
· Hosta
· Lily
· Peony
· Queen Anne’s lace
· Salvia, blue
· Sedum
· Smokebush
· Snapdragon, short
· Stephanotis
· Sunflower
· Tansy
· Yarrow

August
· Allium
· Amaranthus
· Artemesia
· Asclepias
· Celosia – coxcomb & wheat
· Dahlia
· Didiscus
· Dill
· Gardenia
· Gerbera
· Gladiola
· Hellenium
· Hydrangea
· Leucodendron, Jester
· Lily
· Lisianthus
· Phlox
· Queen Anne’s lace
· Rudbeckia
· Sedum
· Snapdragon, short
· Stephanotis
· Sunflower
· Yarrow
· Zinnia

September
· Amaranthus
· Asclepias
· Celosia – coxcomb & wheat
· Dahlia
· Gardenia
· Gerbera
· Goldenrod
· Helenium
· Hydrangea
· Lily
· Lisianthus
· Pee Gee hydrangea
· Sedum
· Stellata pods
· Stephanotis
· Sunflower
· Thistle
· Weigelia foliage
· Zebra grass
· Zinnia

October
· Amaranthus
· Celosia – coxcomb & wheat
· Dahlia
· Gardenia
· Gerbera
· Goldenrod
· Helenium
· Hydrangea
· Ilex
· Lily
· Sedum
· Stephanotis
· Sunflower
· Zebra grass
· Zinnia

November
· Gardenia
· Gerbera
· Ilex
· Lily
· Stephanotis

December
· Anemone
· Callas, white
· Gardenia
· Gerbera
· Lily
· Stephanotis


5 comments:

Angela Kusek-Schubert said...

You've been hard at work!
What a great list...I'm jealous of your plethora of gardenias.
Have a great 4th!

Sprout said...

Yes, this took forever! Culling through the past year's flower lists from my vendors...and then making the mistake of typing it in Word...over and over...

Hopefully it will prove useful to someone!

We do get lovely gards grown in Hadley MA. Too bad they're not trendy at the moment.

Happy 4th to you as well!

The Green Bride Guide said...

What an awesome list! I would love to include this information on The Green Bride Guide. Would you be willing to share (with credit of course)? I think your research would be invaluable to the thousands of couples visiting our site every month and would result in many more local, seasonal bouquets. Kate@thegreenbrideguide.com

Bree said...

Oh Sprout, you are awesome.
I have been trying to make a list of locally grown flowers for the San Francisco Flower market to post but it's a lot of work!
I appreciate you taking the time to write this :)

Sprout said...

Kate - Sounds good to me, but I'll be in touch after I return from vacation.

And Bree - out in SF you must have tons of local stuff all year round! A lot more work to make your list than mine. ;-)

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