Written by Jacqui Owen
Bouvardia is named after Charlies Bouvard, the personal physician to Louis XIII and the head of the Jardin du Roi in Paris. This stunning origami flower symbolises ‘enthusiasm’ and is a word often used by others to describe me. So when I was paired up with Vreeken Bouvardia I thought how lucky am I! After visiting Jaap and Tineke Vreeken and absorbing all the information they provided. I was so excited to get using their beautiful flowers and sharing my experience of using it with you all!
I was delighted to be recently invited to design flowers for a bridal milk bath styled shoot at the stunning Dorfold Hall in Cheshire. This Jacobean house is steeped and was originally built for James I to visit in the 17th Century. So it was a natural decision to let Bouvardia become the leading lady as Bouvardia drew attention in the royal court as early as the 17th century in France.
I chose the varieties ‘Royal Sweet Roza’ and ‘Diamond Sparkles’ for a soft, dappled, and dreamy romantic lush floral styling. The ‘Sweet Roza’ was added to Vreeken’s collection in 2016. It offers a lovely soft pink and is a popular choice in the summer months. Whilst the classic intense white of the double-flowered ‘Diamond Sparkles’ is an all year round favourite with its timeless elegance quality.
After the advice, from the grower, I received 260 stems of strong stemmed Bouvardia (length 70cm, NPU 50 & ripeness 2-4).
I conditioned the flowers in the following way to maximise the quality and life of this flower.
1. I cut all stems on an angle with a knife, using Floralife Quick Dip to increase the ability for the flower stems to take up more water. This is particularly important during the winter to reduce leaf burn.
2. Place Chrysal Bouvardia flower food in cold water, you can use universal too. (the grower and I are trying to find out the difference but currently can’t find an answer, I will do a trial at some point and let you know the finds.) You have to reduce the flower food by 90% during the winter.
3. Place at room temperature, don’t store in a chiller. Keep them out of draughts and away from central heating or in direct sunlight!
4. Watch the water level as they are thirsty flowers because the leaves lose a lot of water through evaporation
Then I watched them bloom in a heat wave, praying they would survive. Luckily for me, they originate from sub-tropical zones mainly found in Mexico!
The day of installation arrived and I was excited to be using the Vreeken Bouvardia and nervous as I wanted to create something of beauty for the grower and the venue!
I created a wooden frame with an oasis base, the oasis was soaked in water and flower food to ensure longevity on the roll top bath. The sensual tones of soft white, ivory with a hint of pale pink and deep green was created using;
- Vreeken Bouvardia – Royal Sweet Roza & Diamond Sparkles
- My Peony – Double Bowl of Cream & Double Gardenia
- Meijer Roses – Avalanche White Label
- Van Aert Flowers – Astilbe Europa
- Kwekerij JCM Mulder – Asparagus Setaceus Long
We captured a sense of grandeur, lushness and magic with the floating greenery of the Asparagus fern providing a romantic lightness. It offered a beautiful backdrop to showcase the delicate flower clusters of the Bouvardia along with the other stunning blooms. All these floral delights reflect the quintessential English romance perfect for this house nestled in the Cheshire countryside.
We hope we have inspired you to be ‘enthusiastic’ about using Bouvardia, I loved using it. We would love it if you share how you use this beautiful flower in your shop or studio. You can find Vreeken’s Bouvardia on Florismart’s Live Shop and hopefully soon also on the Pre-order.
- Venue Dorfold Hall
- Photographer Jo Bradbury Wedding Photographer
- Makeup Artist Sarah Dunn Makeup, Beauty & HD Brows
- Hair Vicky M Hair
- Lingerie Bride Sew Beautiful
- Model Catherine