Monday, April 18, 2016

February Flowers

What's flowering in February?

February is a bridge between seasons, with availability of some late summer flowers as well as some early autumn blooms.  The first thing I notice as a grower is that the Protea Pink Ice begin to bloom again in larger numbers.  They look fresh and clean as their autumn flush begins towards the end of February.  

Protea Pink Ice available in good quantities in February
They are a great flower adding colour with their pink outer bracts and purple centres, but also providing highlights with their icy white tips which catch the light when used in bouquets.

Banksia Occidentalis
Banksia Occidentalis begins to flower in late summer.  It is at its best when the days are still long and full of sunshine to intensify the colour while the flowers are on the bush.  I grow 2 different colour types.  The one pictured above is a rich pinky red with a red central core and red pins.  Not pictured are a more orangey red which have a warm yellow central core with rich red pins, that gives the flower a warmer look overall.

Banksia Occidentalis
They're a great long-lasting flower providing intense colour and fabulous texture.

February Bouquet by Swallows Nest Farm
This February bouquet teamed Protea Pink Ice and Banksia Occidentalis in a texture rich Australian Native design.  I used a lovely light pink shade of Corymbia Ficifolia, a summer flowering gum that comes in many shades.  It is available in Summer over a period of a couple of months, depending on weather conditions.  I also used the Corymbia gum nuts, still green from the previous years flowering.  

Bouquets for a February Wedding by Swallows Nest Farm
You can also see late flowering Pincushions called Leucospermum Fountain.  In the mix is some red Kangaroo Paw, and new season Leucadendron Safari Sunset which are beginning to be available in small numbers in February. 

Clockwise from left:  Leucospermum (Pincushion) Fountain,  Risdon Peppermint Foliage,  Leucadendron Silvan Red, Banksia Occindentalis, Protea Pink Ice
This collection of flowers are all available and looking great in February.

Leucospermum (Pincushion) Fountain
The Pincushion, L. Fountain are a great late flowering variety that start to bloom around Christmas and keep going until February and even March.  When they first begin to flower they are a lighter apricot orange.  As the flowers age they deepen in colour to a pinky red in the centre with rich orange "pins".

February Wedding by Swallows Nest Farm
This February bride's bouquet uses Pink Ice Proteas,  Fountain Pincushions, Brunia Albiflora and rich pink Kangaroo Paw called Bush Pearl.  

Peachy February Bouquet by Swallows Nest Farm
This peachy bouquet from February uses the same main flowers - Protea Pink Ice and Fountain Pincushions, but in a different style.  I grouped the Pincushions together for that intense peachy colouring to be the main focus.

Peachy February Bouquet by Swallows Nest Farm
The foliage used is a gorgeous eucalyptus called E. Crenulata.  It has lovely blue green foliage with a purple tinge to the tips.  Its the details that make a great bouquet, and in these I used blackberries. Blackberries are a great colour in February before they start to ripen, and they are the epitome of "local" and "seasonal" in late summer in Tasmania.

Leucadendron Silver Tree
Also available in February is Leucadendron Argenteum, called Silver Tree.  It has the most shimmering, silvery texture to the leaves and it just perfect in bouquets.  

Brunia Albiflora
Brunia Albiflora is available in large quantities in February.  It has a lovely textural effect in bouquets with its glowing balls in neutral tones.  Great in silvery, leafy designs but equally brilliant in colourful bouquets where it adds textural depth.

Protea Varieties Clockwise from top left:  Protea Pink Cream,  Protea White Ice,  Protea Compacta Red
At Swallows Nest Farm, we grow a range of protea varieties, many of which flower in late summer and autumn.  The Protea Compacta are a rich pink, with warm red centres.  The Protea White Ice are a creamy protea with a blush centre.

Cascading Bouquet from a February Wedding
In this cascading bouquet from a February wedding, you can see both Protea Compacta Red and Protea White Ice used.  Brunia Albiflora also features, with some hot pink flowering gum, Banksia Marginata, and Protea Pink Ice.

Protea Pink Cream 
Protea Pink Cream are a soft pink protea with a central mass that is creamy and pointed. They are available in late autumn and winter in larger quantities but will sometimes begin flowering in February.

Clockwise from left:  Wattle, Corymbia Ficifolia in soft pink, Eucalyptus Crenulata
Beautiful Eucalyptus Crenulata foliage, soft pink flowering gum (Corymbia ficifolia) and flowering wattle - beautiful Australian pastels all available in February.

Corymbia Ficifolia - flowering gum in hot pink
 Corymbia Ficifolia is the botanical name for what is commonly called flowering gum or Red Flowering Gum.  It has been reclassified and is no longer part of the Eucalyptus family.  Despite its name, it flowers in a range of colours from white through a the shades of pink and orange and red.  It is a stunning colour and texture flower for use in February.

Floral Hair Comb from a February wedding
Corymbia Ficifolia features in this floral comb for a February bride.  I used some flowering tea tree, wax flower and a gorgeous soft shade of pink flowering gum.  Simple and stunning

Colourful February Bouquet
This colourful bouquet from a February wedding used 3 different shades of pink flowering gum as the main flower.  Also in this bouquet is a Protea Pink Cream, a Pincushion Fountain some yellow Leucadendron Pisa with its silvery white central cone,  and some olive green Pittosporum berries.  Branches of flowering wattle are also used.

February Leuacdendrons - L. Maui Sunset left, L. Pisa right
Leucadendrons available in February include Leucadendron Pisa, a leuco which flowers yellow in spring.  Its central cone then grows and swells, becoming a beautiful silvery white centre, often with a purple blush.  The outer bracts turn from yellow to a yellowy lime in February.  They look great in bouquets and boutonnieres too.  Maui Sunset is a more sage coloured leuco with a pink tinge to the tips.  

Banksia Baxteri
Beautiful Banksia Baxteri is available in February.  It is a summer flowering banksia with a creamy lemon colouring with silvery highlights.  It is commonly called the Birdsnest Banksia due to it's shape.  The leaves of Banksia Baxteri are wonderful too, with a striking zig zag shape.

February Bouquet in rich colours
This February bouquet used Banksia Baxteri as its main flower.  Richly colour Banksia Occidentalis also feature, and you can see Brunia Albiflora too.  I loved using a beautiful native Coral Fern here too.  The fronds soften the edge of the bouquet.

It can be tricky to predict what will flower when, especially when you factor in the weather. Because February marks the end of summer and beginning of autumn, it can be more difficult to predict but on the whole, the flowers pictured here are end of summer blooms.  If you have any queries about February flowers,  just contact Grace via the blogger contact form on the right side-bar.

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