Top 5 British Foliage for bouquets and event floral design in summer

If you are a florist committed to using seasonal British flowers in your floral design, then foliage will be something that you think carefully about in early summer. Foliage is the back bone of design and gives movement, depth and texture to your floral designs. Many shrubs are producing new growth in the early summer months, making the range available limited. Here is our top 5 foliage choices that are available in the early summer months and which will be perfect for your bouquets and large scale wedding work.


1 - Apple Mint


Apple Mint is the closest to the winter foliages that we grow at this time of the year.  It has straight sturdy stems that spiral beautifully and leaves that fill spaces without being intrusive.  The leaves are a mid-green at this time of the year and still have an almost silvery, soft coating on their upper side.  The secret power of mint however is its fabulously fresh fragrance.  It is special on its own, but it complements beautifully the perfumes of flowers especially musky roses, and sweet flax to create an intoxicating bouquet.  Apple mint likes water, so I do not recommend leaving this out of water for long periods of time.


2 - Stachys Byzantia


Stachys, also known as Lambs Ears, is the Silver Fox of the early summer foliage.  It has the Silver Grey Foliage that we are named after, tactile soft stems and leaves and, if cut before it flowers, also provides a really gently spire for interest in you work.  This is a luxury foliage that lasts for a really long time and is stunning in just about everything that it touches.  When well conditioned Stachys will also work well out of water for prolonged periods.


3 - Ferns


Ferns are light, airy and textured.  They hold well out of water and are fantastic for general coverage.  Ferns offer an almost tropical and ethereal look when used en mass. This always makes me chuckle because we grow them in the shade in Yorkshire!  As well as larger designs, ferns are great for funeral work and flat floral designs.


4 - Beech


This is the darkest leafed foliage around in our cutting gardens at this time of the year.  Shorter stems can work well in a bouquet, but Beech comes into it’s own when you plan arches and large scale work.  It has flexible stems and a medium leaf size, making it fantastic for coverage.  It holds well out of water.  It can also be preserved out of water using glycerine, making it reusable!


Ok - so this one is technically a flower, but I use it as much for the foliage leaf as I do for the frothy flowers.  Most importantly it is the colour of the foliage and flower of Alchemilla that makes it absolutely perfect for the job.  Lime green has this unique ability to create a backdrop that is present in your work and yet non-invasive.  The leaves form an interesting skirt around the stems at multiple levels and the stems hold in water really well.  Even better, Alchemilla makes a wonderful foliage when dried, which means that it will hold out of water for a reasonable period of time if you want to use it for more structured work like arches. I love it.


The foliage in your work reflects the seasons as much as your flowers do. We grow all of these and more fillers and foliage here in Yorkshire.  To order your seasonal foliage and flowers email

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