Gonna be a Bright Sun-Shiny Wedding Day

Sunflowers give your bouquet a sunny fresh hand picked look. This Beautiful garden style bouquet contain sweet montecasino flowers and accents of dusty miller and  wheat. The perfect bouquet for summer or fall weddings or for when you need a little sunshine on your wedding day.

Photo Credit: Sophie Xu Photography

 

Photo Credit: Sophie Xu Photography

If you want boutonnieres that look like a sunflower but without the large scale consider using a viking mum instead. The hearty viking mum looks like a smaller version of a sunflower and will match the sunflowers in your bridal bouquet.

 

Photo Credit: Sophie Xu Photography

These rustic yellow and lush green arrangements pop against the navy blue staircase and barrels for a charming rustic scene at the Double Nickel Brewing Company.

FALL in Love

Fall weddings are extremely popular and are giving spring weddings a run for their money. The changing colors of the trees in the fall offer bright colors that will inspire your wedding décor. You will have beautiful floral color options from rich, deep reds to burgundy’s, and bright yellows to vibrant oranges.  Some of the most timeless flowers grow in the fall.  Here are 5 of our top favorite.

  1. Sunflowers

Sunflowers may be available all year round (at a higher cost in the off season) but they grow locally here in late summer and fall at a more budget friendly price.

  1. Dahlias

These lavish blooms are one of our bride’s favorites.  Their blooms range from a small delicate flower to a dinner plate size bloom.  They come in a multitude of colors, to match any bridesmaid dress, or color scheme.

Ashley Gerrity Photography

 

  1. Mums

Mums are a great wall to really bring fall into your wedding.  Having mums planted in a pot and used as ceremony décor is a great idea. They can then be moved and used to decorate your reception space too!  It’s cost effective, and really adds a lot of fall color.

Daisy mums make the perfect compliment to sunflowers.

 

  1. Celosia

Celosia comes in two types of blooms, feathered or coxcomb. The coxcomb bloom resembles coral. Celosia comes in many fall colors.  Very popular are its dark burgundy shades, for bouquets and centerpieces.

Ashley Gerrity Photography

 

  1. Bi-colored rose

These roses are grown all year round but are more likely used in the fall season. Popular fall roses are high and magic, or circus rose.  Its bright yellow and orange petals make them a true show stopper. They would look amazing in all aspects of your wedding.

Jennifer Carr Photography

Sunflowers

When you think sunshine and flowers most likely your first thought is sunflowers.  They’re large, bright headed blooms make the sunflower one of the most recognized flower around the world.  Sunflowers originated in the Americas and Europe, and were then cultivated as a valuable food source for centuries.

Artists throughout history loved the sunflower’s unique splendor—those of the Impressionist Era were especially fixated on the flower.  You will often see photographs of wild sunflowers with their tall stalks stretched out trying to reach the sun.  The receiving of a sunflower means the feeling of adoration, admiration, and platonic love towards a person, such as a family member or friend.  It will give the feeling of positivity and strength. It would be a sure way to brighten up their day.  Aside from being beautiful and important symbolically, the sunflower is downright useful. Almost all varieties produce edible and good-tasting seeds with plenty of health benefits.

The sunflower was common in American Indian tribes in North America. It is said that the plant was cultivated by the American Indians in present day Arizona and New Mexico around 3000BC. Some experts say the sunflower was domesticated even before corn! Used in many different ways when it came to food, the sunflower was a significant food source to the American Indians. The seeds where ground up and used in flour for cakes, mush and bread. Some mixed them with vegetables and some ate them as a snack but cracking the shell and just eating the seed (like we do today).

Sunflowers were used for more than food purposes too, such as purple dyes, body painting and decorations. Parts of the plant were also used for medical purposes from snakebites to body ointments. Sunflower oil (from the seed) was used in the hair and on skin and the dried stalk of the flower was used as building material. The whole plant including the seeds was very often used in American Indian ceremonies. Who knew so much use could come from a flower?

Sunflowers are heavily used in wedding decor and personal flowers such as bridal bouquets and centerpieces.

Sunflower bridal arrangements by Leigh Florist

Stockton Seaview Wedding

This Stockton Seaview wedding was full of personalized touches and late summer flair!

We designed the centerpieces with locally grown flowers included sage hydrangea, sunflowers, dahlias, zinnias with lush eucalyptus.

 

Our favorite fall flowers

Fall weddings can be very romantic with the warm color leaves sprinkling down from the trees in shades of burgundy, orange, yellow and rich red.  This makes the perfect backdrop for such an event.  There are very beautiful flowers that grow in the Fall.

Here are 5 of our favorite seasonal Fall blooms:

  1. Sunflowers

Sunflowers grow locally here in late Summer and Fall making them a budget friendly option.  Their bright sunny blooms bring a lovely accent to the deep rich red and orange Fall tones.

  1. Dahlias

These unique blooms are a favorite of many brides.  Their blooms range from small and delicate to a large dinner plate size bloom.  They come in a wide range of colors to compliment any wedding color.

  1. Mums

Mums are a great way to bring Fall into your wedding.  Using mum plants as altar arrangements adds a beautiful Fall touch to any wedding.  These blooms are available as both plants and fresh cut blooms.  They are available in a variety of bold and beautiful colors such as purple, burgundy, orange, copper and yellow.

  1. Celosia

Celosia comes in a light and airy “feathered” variety or “coxcomb” variety which resembles coral in the ocean.  Popular celosia colors are its dark burgundy, red, orange and fuchsia.

  1. Bi-colored rose

These roses are grown all year round, but really got the spot light during the fall. Popular fall roses are high and magic, or circus rose.  Its bright yellow and orange petals make them a true show stopper. They look amazing in all aspects of the wedding from centerpieces, bouquets, cake flowers and other décor.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers are one of the most recognized flower around the world.  They have been cultivated as a valuable food source for centuries. Artists throughout history loved the sunflower’s unique splendor— Sunflower  centers are a prime example of Fibonacci’s sequence – the seeds create a spiral pattern.  Unknowingly it does this sequence to maximize space for it to grow more seeds..  Sunflowers symbolize admiration, positivity, and strength. Sunflowers come in many different varieties, here are just a few of these cheerful blooms:

John Glover/Alamy

John Glover/Alamy

The Teddy Bear Sunflower can easily top 6 feet, while the big puffy blooms grow up to 8 inches wide.

Burpee Seeds

Burpee Seeds

Multicolored Strawberry Blonde – You’ll do a double take when you see that the petals are rose-pink at the base, while the ends seem to have been dipped in yellow paint.

Joe Herbert

Joe Herbert

Moulin Rouge -Do you like dark, bold sunflowers? This one delivers. You can find other red variations, but Moulin Rouge is the most reliable of the bunch. It grows to about 4 feet tall.

 

Muth Flower Farm

Farms are old news. Literally. They’ve been around for thousands of years. My grandparents had one, Old McDonald had one, and New Jersey—the “Garden State” and rockin’ home state of Leigh Florist—has 10,000+ farms according to the NJ Dept. of Agriculture. But farms, especially in the crisp, harvest season that is Autumn, are nothing to be overlooked. Now is the time of year to get together with friends and family and go apple and pumpkin picking. The orange-red views are stellar for walks  and hayrides. And who doesn’t love a hot cup of apple cider? Farms offer this and more to their communities.

A farm we are particularly fond of is called Muth Family Farm and they have something really cool called “Community Supported Agriculture”. This “CSA” program involves people from the community purchasing shares of the crops from the farm’s 16-week harvesting period. This program allows owner Bob Muth to focus less on marketing his crops and more on producing the best quality and most bountiful harvest. Also, the money Mr. Muth needs for the care and maintenance of the farm is already provided to him at the beginning of the season. The CSA program gives members the option of purchasing a mini, medium, or large basket and every week, at a preselected pick-up time, they can come and fill that basket with as much produce as possible. The growers at Muth Family Farms try to produce a wide variety of crops from Arugula to Spaghetti Squash to satisfy all of their members.

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Muth Farm_Sunflowers_Dahlias_Lisianthus_Gladiolus_Thistles_Zinnias_New Jersey Flowers

But this isn’t the only cool thing about Muth Farms. Bob Muth’s work in sustainable agriculture,  soil development, and organic farming have gained him recognition in the agricultural world. His farm even received the 2007 Mid-Atlantic Master Farmer award. Muth Farms was the first organic farm in NJ to receive such accolade.

And the coolness doesn’t stop there. A local bee keeper uses Muth Family Farms as the site for his bee pollination and they are now selling the honey at the farm. And they’re located right in Williamstown, NJ only 26 minutes away from us, 53 minutes from the shore, and 32 minutes away from Philly!

Muth Farms grows a wide variety of blooms.  They provide sunflowers, dahlias, lisianthus, gladiolus, thistles and zinnias – to name a few.

Muth Farm_Locally grown flowers_

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Muth Flower Farm_New Jersey Weddings_New Jersey Wedding Flowers_Philadelphia Wedding Flowers_Locally Grown Flowers_Green Weddings

Muth Flower Farm_New Jersey Weddings_New Jersey Wedding Flowers_Philadelphia Wedding Flowers_Locally Grown Flowers_Green Weddings

Agriculture aside, Muth Family Farm also has some spectacular views. Denise snapped some excellent photos of the beautiful barn they have last time she was there. We are big fans of the old, rustic barn look so this is just another reason why we love Muth farms.

So let’s recap: Muth Family farms is one of the leading farms in NJ with its revolutionary views of agriculture, it’s organic, it’s high quality, it supports other local businesses (i.e. the bee keeper,) it’s well located, and it’s just so darn pretty. If you have some time, go ahead and check it out. I think you’ll be pretty fond of it too.

 

Contact us to find out more about locally grown flowers for your wedding!  For New Jersey, locally grown flowers are available from May to November.

Find out more about Muth Farms – click here!

 

-Lacey Bouchard

 

Leigh Florist

400 Amherst Road

Audubon, NJ 08106

(856)547-1090

sales@leighflorist.com

http://www.leighflorist.com

Harvesting and Drying Sunflowers

There’s more to harvesting and drying sunflowers than many professional growers realize. How soon you decide to harvest them will depend largely on energy costs, temperatures, and whether you prefer them to dry naturally. Ideally, your sunflowers won’t be exposed to insects and diseases, and the temperature will be warm enough to allow them to dry on the stem. However, those circumstances are rare. In reality, most crops will be vulnerable to some level of pests and diseases. And depending upon where you live, the temperature can cause your sunflowers to freeze.

In this article, I’ll explain some of the benefits of harvesting your sunflowers early. I’ll also describe how they’re dried and why the moisture in the air can affect your crops.

Benefits Of Harvesting Early

With energy expenses escalating, you might think that allowing your sunflowers to dry naturally is a good idea. But, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider harvesting them early. First, if the temperature is close to freezing during the evenings, your sunflower crops are not actually drying. The moisture is being sealed inside. But, even if you’re not growing your sunflowers in freezing temperatures, there are still many advantages to an early harvest.

For example, the weather can often be harsh for sunflowers. Rain and strong winds can pummel your crops and prevent them from drying properly. Also, keep in mind that the longer you allow your crops to stay outside, the more vulnerable they’ll be to insects, birds, and other pests. What’s more, they’re more susceptible to mildew, mold, and diseases.

Sunflowers also have to cope with weeds, which can become a problem if they’re not managed. You can use chemicals to control them, but their effectiveness is often limited, depending upon the weather and soil. If you own a high-power dryer that can output high temperatures, consider an early harvest to dry them yourself.

Temperature And Moisture

There are many places where the air has increased capacity to hold moisture during the harvest season (for example, South and North Dakota). When this is the case, your crops will dry more quickly. Sunflowers, because of their ability to take advantage of past crops’ residual fertility, can be especially resilient in this type of weather. And the higher the temperature, the more capacity for moisture the air has. In that case, you might be able to allow your sunflowers to dry on the stem a little longer. Of course, you’ll still need to be vigilant about protecting them from critters, insects, and weeds.

Harvesting Your Sunflowers

Years ago, growers harvested their sunflowers when the backs of the heads began to turn brown. However, many crops today come from hybrids and should actually be harvested when the heads are still yellow.

When your crops have a seed moisture of about 35%, you should consider harvesting them. You can actually wait until the moisture level is approximately 12%, but you’ll run the risk of a fire in your combine. This is another benefit of an early harvest. The damper the seeds, the less likely a combine fire will occur. Plus, damp seeds are less likely to break apart while threshing. When the seed moisture is around 10%, there’s far more breakage.

Even though letting your sunflowers dry naturally tends to cost less and be lower maintenance, it’s no longer always the best choice. Today, the combines and high-temperature dryers we use allow us to harvest early and thereby further protect our crops from insects, disease and bad weather.

Sunflowers And Your Garden

Have you ever wondered if what you know about Sunflowers And Your Garden is accurate? Consider the following paragraphs and compare what you know to the latest info on Sunflowers And Your Garden.

Sunflowers are certainly stars of the gardening world. It is hard to miss the beauty of sunflowers standing tall, either on their own or edging a bed of more traditional flowers. Few who have seen these stunning beauties can deny their stunning beauty and attractiveness.

The family of sunflowers, known scientifically as genus Helianthus, includes both annual and perennial varieties of sunflowers. As their name implies, sunflowers generally prefer full sunlight, so it is important for gardeners to choose the sunniest part of their garden when planting these stunning plants.

It is also important to take the adult size of these plants into account when planting them, and to space them accordingly. Most varieties of sunflowers are quite large, so it is important to space them widely so they will not crowd each other out and compete for nutrients.

Since sunflowers are so large and sturdy, many gardeners like to use them to border vegetable gardens, and a vegetable garden bordered by sunflowers is certainly a beautiful sight.

It’s really a good idea to probe a little deeper into the subject of Sunflowers And Your Garden. What you learn may give you the confidence you need to venture into new areas.

The blooming period of sunflowers typically extends from late summer to early fall, and the growing requirements for these plants are generally easy to meet. Most varieties of sunflowers require only a well drained, modestly fertile soil in order to thrive. It is generally a good idea to amend the soil with either aged manure or a good quality commercial fertilizer. It is best to sow the sunflower seeds directly where they are intended to grow, since they set seed quickly and start to sprout very fast.

While sunflowers may be easy to grow, their seeds are popular with many unwanted garden visitors, particularly rabbits, squirrels and insects. Due to this popularly with common garden pests, it is best to sow three times as many seeds as are needed. Planting extra seeds will allow the four legged visitors to your garden to eat their fill while still providing a beautiful garden full of sunflowers.

Sunflower seeds are best planted about a foot apart. Sowing the seeds this far apart will allow the adult plants to grow the largest heads. If you plant sunflowers closer together they will develop smaller blooms and may never reach their full potential. If you are growing sunflowers for those monstrous blossoms, it is important to give them plenty of space to grow.

When working with annual varieties of sunflowers, it is important to rotate the planting area. This will keep the soil its healthiest and allow the sunflowers to achieve their best blooms.

There are many places to buy quality sunflower seeds, including the internet, mail order houses and local garden centers. As with any flower seeds, it is important to follow the planting instructions carefully to achieve the best results from these spectacular plants.

This article’s coverage of the information is as complete as it can be today. But you should always leave open the possibility that future research could uncover new facts.

How to Grow Sunflowers: Back to Basics

It’s easy to imagine a garden that is full of tall, brightly-colored sunflowers. They’re easy to grow, simple to maintain and can add a dazzling splash of color to any landscape. However, though sunflowers are easy to grow and maintain, there are several potential pitfalls. Small critters can steal the seeds before they have a chance to sprout. High winds can decimate a sunflower garden if stakes aren’t used for structural support. Wild birds can swoop down to pillage the seeds before they can be stolen by other animals.

By taking a few preventative measures, you can help ensure that your sunflowers grow to be a vibrant, stunning component of your garden. Below, we’ll explain how to grow sunflowers and provide a few useful tips for cultivating a gorgeous end-of-summer garden.

Sow The Seeds Indoors

Most enthusiasts plant their sunflower seeds outdoors. But, doing so exposes your seeds to small animals. If left unprotected, these critters will often steal the seeds for food. You can prevent your seeds from disappearing by planting them indoors. This has the added benefit of preventing the frost outside from damaging the seeds. Plant them in peat pots using average to rich soil. Then, place the pots by the window to allow them direct access to sunlight.

You’ll notice when you plant your sunflower seeds indoors that they’ll grow quickly. You should transplant them from the peat pots into the soil outside by the time the seedlings reach 2 inches. If they grow much taller, they may not be able to stand properly when you transplant them.

Transplanting Your Seedlings

There are several factors to consider when transplanting your sunflowers to the soil outside. First, don’t be afraid to get rid of less-than-stellar seedlings. By throwing away the stragglers, you can boost the overall quality of your sunflower garden. Plus, you’ll prevent overcrowding (a common tendency amongst novice gardeners). Also, it’s important to place your seedlings in an area that receives constant sunlight. Your sunflowers can grow in low-quality soil. But, sunlight is critical.

To ensure a healthy-looking crop of sunflowers, prepare the soil prior to transplanting your seedlings. Dig a small hole a few inches wide and a few inches deep for each sunflower. Use a high-grade soil with a time-released fertilizer. This soil mixture will be more expensive than lower quality soil, but it can have a dramatic impact on the quality of your crop.

Weeding And Watering

Sunflower seedlings are extremely susceptible to drying out. They need to be watered daily from the moment they’re transplanted into your soil outside. Once they reach 1 foot in height, their stems should be sturdy. You can reduce how often you water them (every other day should be sufficient). Once your sunflowers grow to 2 feet, you can further reduce watering to every few days.

Also, keep in mind that weeds can quickly overwhelm your sunflower seedlings. Make the effort to keep the weeds at bay. Once your sunflowers are taller, the weeds won’t be able to strangle them. You should still eliminate the weeds simply because your garden will look nicer, but your sunflowers won’t be vulnerable.

Tender Loving Care

A patch of tall, vibrant sunflowers can look exhilarating. Many can grow over 12 feet. The bright yellow of the heads combined with their majestic height can add a unique blend of personality and nobility to your garden. Growing them is easy. They simply need a little attention each day. Once your sunflowers are fully grown, they won’t require as much attention and you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. With some tender loving care in the beginning, you’ll have a garden that attracts the envy of your neighbors.