Thursday, March 17, 2016

January Flowers

I often get asked what is available at different times of the year so I've decided to do a few blog posts about what's available when, month by month. I'll add lots of pictures of the flowers to each post, as well as pictures of what I've done with them.

So, what's available in January?    
Leucospermum (Pincushion) Fountain
This Pincushion called "Fountain" is a January flower here at Swallows Nest Farm.  When the flowers first open, they are lighter in colour - a peachy or apricot colour.  As the flowers age on the plant, they develop a deeper orange.  
Leucospermum Fountain
This picture shows the flower after it has aged on the bush - a deeper pinkish red in the centre with the "pins" a rich orange.  Depending on when the flowers are used, and what they're teamed up with, they can create a surprising range of colour schemes.
Clockwise from top left:  Leucospermum Fountain, Flowering Curry Plant, Leucadendron Pisa, Leucadendron Inca Gold, Leucadendron Safari Sunset, Centre: Leucadendron Maui Sunset
This range of colours and textures can all be found in January.

January Wedding Bouquet by Swallows Nest Farm
This bouquet was made using the flowers in the photo above.  The Pincushion Fountain is used in the earlier lighter stage of flowering.
Bouquet by Swallows Nest Farm - Photography by Rosie Hastie
The same Pincushion, Fountain, is used in this January bouquet.  In this one, its teamed with a small red King Protea, some different pink proteas, some pink Kangaroo Paw and an early Brunia Albiflora which are ready for early picking in January.
Brunia Albiflora
Flowering Gum (Corymbia Ficifolia) buds
Also in the same bouquet you can see (bottom left at front) some gorgeous flowering gum buds.  I love to use them for their texture, but they often have quite a lot of colour too.  This gum, reclassified as  Corymbia, usually flowers in summer but the timing can vary.  It has a range of colours from rich reds, through pinky reds, tomato red, oranges, corals, peaches and through to pale pinks and almost white.  Depending on the season the flowers will also be available.  
Corymbia Ficifolia
This year (2016)  the Corymbia Ficifolia flowered early and I was able to use this gorgeous red form in a Janauary wedding.  
January Vineyard Wedding by Swallows Nest Farm
The flowering gum went perfectly with the vibrant red pink and orange theme for this January Vineyard wedding.  You can just make out the flowering gum in the groom's boutonniere.  The bouquet uses another small Red King Protea, some different varieties of orange Pincushion, including Fountain.  It also uses the vibrant pink Kanagaroo Paw called Bush Pearl. 
Red flowering Corymbia Ficifolia, Corymbia Ficifolia buds,  Pink Bush Pearl Kangaroo Paw,  Wax flower, and Myrtle Beech foliage used in a January Floral Crown
 The same vibrant mix was used in the brides Floral Crown.

Leucospermum Pincushions - Mardi Gras Yellow,  Cordifolium Orange
In January, other Pincushion colours are available.  They start flowering in November and December but are still usually flowering in January.  The yellow is called Mardi Gras Ribbons - the "ribbons" referring to the little red ribbons that appear as the flower opens. 
Leucospermum Pincushion Scarlet Ribbons
Pincushion Scarlet Ribbons is a November and December flowering Leucospermum but there can still be a few available in January, depending on the season.  
Early January Wedding by Swallows Nest Farm
In the above bouquet from an early January wedding, you can see a Mardi Gras pincushion at the back of the bouquet.  There are also some Scarlet Ribbons, and the orange one at the front is called Cordifolium.  The red, yellow and orange in this bouquet was really summery and fresh.  
Leucadendron Jubilee Crown
You can also see tucked into the gaps in the bouquet some of these little ruby red Leucadendron cones called Jubilee Crown.  They are sometimes called Christmas Cones and are available in December, but usually linger into January.  They're great for texture and colour, and also for use in boutonnieres.
Boutonnnieres from a January wedding by Swallows Nest Farm
They looked great in these boutonniere for another January wedding with a soft pink, purple and green theme.  
Mid January Wedding by Swallows Nest Farm
You can also see Jubilee Crown in this bouquet from mid January.  The theme was pink, soft and mint. You can see White Ice Proteas, and some Pink Ice Proteas.  Pink Ice are available in varying quantities almost all year round at Swallows Nest Farm, buthey are in short supply for a couple of weeks in January.  I was lucky to be able to use some for this wedding.
Pink Ice Protea - in short supply in January but available all year round
You can also see I used some Brunia Albiflora in the same bouquet.  The silky mint looking foliage is a Leucadendron called Silver Tree which is gorgeous for use in wedding arrangements.

Leucadendron Silver Tree foliage - available towards the end of January
Agonis Flexuosa is a native Australian foliage that flowers over summer.  The little white frilly flowers are dotted along the arching stems in amongst the leaves and they look great in bouquets and wedding arrangements.  The name "flexuosa" hints at the weeping, arching effect of the branches and leaves of this plant.  
Agonis Flexuosa - gorgeous foliage with white accent flowers in January
January Wedding Swallows Nest Farm using Agonis flowers and foliage
In this bouquet form early January, you can see Agonis Flexuosa flowers at the bottom front of the bouquet, and the foliage is more noticeable at the top of the photo.

This bouquet shows Agonis flowers and foliage draping either side with the gum foliage.

Wax Flower available over summer
Another small native flower that is really useful for weddings is Wax flower.  The variety we grow at Swallows Nest Farm begins flowering white and fades to pink as the flowers age.  They smell delicious, and are useful for months from the time they bud in spring through to later summer when they change to pink.

It can be tricky to predict what will flower when, especially when you factor in the weather.  But on the whole, proteaceae and natives like those we grow at Swallows Nest Farm are very cyclic and will flower seasonally if given the right conditions.  We are also planting new things every season.  Variety is the spice of life, so they say, and we love variety so we're always adding new plants.  If you have any queries about flowers that you don't see mentioned here, just contact Grace via the blogger contact form on the right side-bar.