A wedding is a great excuse to walk around the garden in the loaming, basket and scissors in hand, collecting fresh flowers for confetti. But why wait for such a big occasion? If you enjoy deadheading, there are plenty of ways to make use of those almost-spent petals.
Above: Photograph by Mimi Giboin for Gardenista.
The springtime weeks of fruit-tree blossom are followed by months of other petals of all kinds. Even so, it all happens too quickly. Couldn't we bottle it? No, but we can snip and tear.
Above: Making flower confetti is simple—and you don't need to confine yourself to roses, even if it's for a wedding. Choose any petals you like, but add useful plants that hold their shape, like tried-and-true Bupleurum (above; $3.65 per seed packet from Johnny's Selected Seeds). Just gather almost-spent flowers and strip off the petals, putting them in one pile and the discarded centers and stalks in another. Photograph by Georgie Newbery at Common Farm Flowers.
Above: Look for petals with scent and/or an unusual color. Annuals are perfect for confetti, as they're programmed for abundance. When each flower is broken apart you'll have more petals than you thought. Dark cornflower (left; $3.65 per packet from Johnny's Selected Seeds) adds depth; you can use larkspur later on. Eschscholzia 'Ivory Castle', a white-and-yellow California poppy (right, $2.50 per packet from Eden Brothers), adds the same silkiness you get from rose petals. Images from Common Farm Flowers.
Above: Flower blossom is very welcome when it drifts indoors or onto garden tables. When my friend Theodora throws a party, she makes a flower-strewn path that leads guests from the street to her front door. Photograph of Rosa 'Falstaff' with the shadows of Cephalaria gigantea and Thalictrum by Ros Badger.
Above: Rose petals, of course, are the classic choice. Says Miss Pickering, who runs a flower shop in Stamford, England: "Roses are colorfast, scented, beautiful, and have a wide range of colors. The petals still look pretty once they've been thrown and they photograph well."
Go for full-blown roses whose petals are about to drop to the ground. Shown here, a mixture from pale pink Rosa 'New Dawn' to brighter 'Gertrude Jekyll,' peachy 'Buff Beauty' and dark, velvety 'Tuscany Superb.' According to Georgie Newbery, of Common Farm Flowers in the UK, dark roses keep their color best. The scent of roses becomes stronger as they begin to dry, so Georgie prepares confetti the evening before a wedding. She insists that five roses are enough, if you add a supporting cast of annuals. Photograph by Kendra Wilson.
Above: Fresh flowers are easier to throw than dried, Georgie says, as the retained water gives them weight. They also provide more volume, so you need fewer.
In this confetti, scent is provided by dark sweet peas ($1.95 for seeds from Eden Brothers) and Sweet William ($2.95 from Eden Brothers). Color comes from orange Calendula ($1.95 from Eden Brothers), magenta Geranium 'Patricia', and pale yellow giant scabious (Cephalaria gigantea; last two varieties available in the UK only). Photograph by Kendra Wilson.
Above: Don't wait for a wedding to make confetti. Sprinkle a bright palette on a table, indoors or out, for any celebration. And at dusk, light the tea candles. Photograph by Kendra Wilson.
Does eating petals appeal? See DIY: Add Edible Flowers To Your Salad.