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Seasonal Flowers: Winter in NC!

Sourcing your wedding flowers seasonally will give you incredibly beautiful blooms and reduce the carbon footprint of growing and distributing these flowers. But what flowers are in season during your wedding month? We are excited to present this seasonal flowers blog series, written by Guild member Natalie Huntley. Natalie is the owner and florist behind Rabbit Foot Florals, and we asked her to share which blooms we can expect to see growing during each season in North Carolina.

The information in this post pertains mostly to the Triangle and central regions of North Carolina, but though regions like the mountains and the coast will have slightly different dates, the varieties of flowers that one can find from local growers are mostly the same.

Up until recently, winter has been my least favorite time of year. This past winter with COVID restrictions in place and a limited number of activities to do, I entertained myself with hikes around different local trails. With the recent trend of dried floral arrangements making a comeback, I couldn’t help but appreciate all of the dormant native grasses around the trails. Even though the trees are bare, and the ground is mostly covered in dried leaves, there’s still life to be found among the evergreens, moss, and lichen.

The first day of winter is December 21st, however, the local flower season usually ends around mid-late October. The first day of winter is also the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight. Even if the temperatures are mild, flowers still struggle to bloom without sufficient daylight. With little to no local flowers available for most of winter, there are still some options to consider in order to achieve sustainable floral artistry for your winter wedding.

One sustainable tip for using local product is to use evergreens. Various shades of green and an array of textures are available with the different types of cedar, pine, magnolia, and fir that grow locally in and around the Triangle area of North Carolina. Along with the different types of cedar and pine come pinecones. There are miniature pinecones that form on cedar trees, perfect for boutonnieres as well as long pinecones from white pines that are perfect from evergreen garlands.

Photos by Silver Feather Studios

Dried flowers growing in popularity and make a great alternative to shipped in fresh flowers during the wintertime. A growing number of local flower farmers are drying seasonal flowers. If done properly, the flowers can hold their color quite well. Along with blooms, grasses can also be purchased dried. Pampas grass is wonderful for making a statement for larger installation floral designs. A bonus about using dried material is that it’s easier to save parts of the wedding designs as a keepsake. While dried flowers can be used at any time of the year, winter stands out as the best time to do so since the dried product will complement a winter landscape with its more subdued colors.

A drawback of using dried florals, grasses, and leaves is that the product tends to be more expensive. This is due to the fact that the product is grown, picked, and dried- a process that takes longer and requires more care due to its fragile nature. A tip for using dried flowers, grasses, and leaves is to avoid using or purchasing anything that is chemically bleached. This process requires an extensive use of chemicals to ensure that the product doesn’t yellow or smell.

By the end of February and into early March in and around the Triangle (NC), spring flowers start to trickle in based on the weather. Some of the earliest blooms include Hellebores (or Lenten Roses), tulips, daffodils, anemones, hyacinth, ranunculus, forsythia, and blooming branches. These blooms mark the coming flower explosion of spring brought about by the days finally getting longer.

As of 2021, Natalie Huntley is working with Blossom & Bone She continues her mission to combine a natural, garden-inspired style with flowers grown locally in North Carolina. With sustainability in the forefront of her designs, Natalie is passionate about using seasonally available flowers. Predominately a small wedding and event florist, designing for 20-30 weddings and events yearly, Natalie also creates floral designs for styled photoshoots, and has attended floral workshops both locally and across the US.

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