My Favourite Flowers of July – Cornflower – Centaurea cyanus

There is no other flower that gives you that intense blue like the cornflower.  Cornflowers do come in a range of colours, pink, lilac and even black, but blue is my definite favourite. The stems are silvery and the buds protrude wildly from the stem giving bouquets that unkempt look. The cornflower is native to Britain and traditionally grew on cultivated farmland such as cornfields. In the 1930’s it was widely distributed throughout the UK but with modern agricultural practices there was a sharp decline. By the 1990’s the cornflower was close to extinction but luckily the recent resurgence and drive to conserve wildlife has seen planting by gardeners, local councils and farmers. 

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The cornflower is part of the Daisy Family and grows to about 80cm. It is an annual plant so seeds must be sown yearly or the ground disturbed where it grew in previous years for the seeds to germinate. The solitary blue flower heads are made up of blue outer florets and reddish inner florets. Insects love them too, bees have been buzzing happily around them in the shop. The cornflower is very easy to grow, why not scatter some seed this September on a patch of unused ground near you.

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The cornflower has been the request for wedding flowers from many of my brides this summer and looks stunning in naturally tied brides’ bouquets. They also look fabulous in gift bouquets and are very reasonably priced and last well as a cut flower. 

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The local wholesaler that supplies Wild & Wondrous warned that they are now coming to the end. It will be sad to see the end of their season but we shall look forward to seeing them again next year.  

All photography by myself (Nicola Hanney), floristry by Wild & Wondrous (myself).

Nik

 

 

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