It’s Cherry Blossom time again and we’re gearing up for a cherry blossom wedding at The Peabody Library this Saturday. Last year we did a beautiful wedding with these gorgeous blossoming branches and I just had to go back and look at the photographs again for a little inspiration.
Jennifer McMenamin was the photographer at this beautiful wedding last spring and the pictures of Sylvia and Tim’s wedding are among our favorites. The Floral Studio has been lucky to have collaborated with Jennifer on many weddings in the last two years and she has never disappointed. We think her work is stunning and has a way of getting at the heart of the moment.
Right now we have hundreds of Cherry Blossom branches soaking in buckets around the studio and on our deck. We’re coaxing these blossoms and the timing is always tricky, but we expect to produce another magical Cherry Blossom wedding on Saturday!
If you should decide to try and force branches at home, you might want to try Quince. It has a pretty pink-salmon color that’s a little unusual. It doesn’t actually bloom in clusters like most cherry varieties, and the stems are a little stiffer, but it does have a similar flower blossom and it will last a bit longer than Cherry.
Start forcing stems by cutting them from the trees or bushes, trimming some of the smaller stragglers towards the bottom of the branches (to force the energy into the buds further up the stem) and then setting them in warm to hot water for an hour. It will jump-start the process. Pick stems that have small buds just starting. They don’t need to be open, or even peeking color, but you’ll have more luck if the buds are starting to swell. Stay away from branches that have already bloomed unless you want a very short-lived arrangement. Once the energy has gone into the bloom, the branches are a little less hearty for cutting.
“Spirea” or “Bridal Wreath” forces nicely, too. It’s a shrub with vine-like branches that bloom a little later in the spring and produce clusters of small white flowers. Dogwood is a little tougher to get going, but it is stucturally gorgeous once it blooms on some of those gnarled branches. Most fruit trees can be forced and that includes apple blossom, orange blossom, and flowering pear tree. And many flowering vines are extremely cooperative and can be forced in the very dead of winter. Forsythia is a great choice for an explosion of sunny yellow in the dead of winter.
Nothing says spring in Baltimore like blooming trees (and lacrosse sticks). Can’t wait for Saturday!