Kelly's field of Wedding Zinnias

There’s a small “tradition” in this neighborhood.

Wedding zinnias.

We grow them for wedding amongst other things.

It started seven years ago

Elliott and Kristina were marrying that June.

We wanted to grow as many wedding flowers as possible.

Kristina’s mother Mary brought cut hosta leaves from her Wisconsin garden.

Mary's hosta leave in Kristina's bouquet

A dozen friends gave the florist “cutting rights” the week of the wedding.

My friend Kelly had a few empty beds in her orchard.

She offered to plant them to zinnias.

I ordered zinnia seeds.

In bulk. 

Waaaaay to  many seeds.

Since the wedding was mid June we started planting early – mid April.

Kelly tilled up the soil and we sprinkled seeds.


Soon we had a great crop of baby zinnias.

They would grow into a small field.

The perfect backdrop for Kristina and friends at her bridesmaid luncheon.

Kristina - Friends - Zinnias

For their intended use at the rehearsal dinner.

Rehearsal Dinner Arrangement

And back up flowers when the wedding was moved into the church after lots of rain.

Last minuet pew arrangement - thank you Ryan!!


They continued to bloom throughout the season.

By the end of the summer Kelly had cut buckets and buckets of zinnias.

She had done an entire wedding of zinnias for another friend.

Florists, neighbors and anyone with scissors and a bucket of water took home zinnias.

It was a splendid summer.

Now it’s my turn.

My friend Cheri’s daughter Anne is getting married late summer.

She wants purple zinnias.

So Cheri ordered in bulk.

She’s planting lots at her house.

I’m planting at my house too.

Remember last week when I talked about weeding and thinning my way through the garden.

I’ve been working on that process.

Removing and cutting back early spring flowers that are spent.

This makes little empty places all through my garden.

Once they are cleared I work up the soil and sprinkle in zinnia seeds.

I’ll use my favorite mix and add Cheri’s purple seeds.

Spread soil back over the area.

Tamp it down.

Give it a drink with a soft spray

There you have it.

In a week or two you’ll begin to see summer’s glory.

Just remember to keep the area moist so the seeds can sprout.

Now since my garden is mostly perennials I can’t plant a field of zinnia.

But I can find lots of little spots for a few seeds.

Zinnias love the heat

They’ll give you patches of color all over the place.

Bright color.

The kind that will take the summer heat.

I’ve also planted cosmos in the same way.

At the same time.

But I must confess.

I can’t seem to grow Cosmos in this garden.

Don’t ask me why.

A mystery.

But…I keep trying.

So, I’ll sprinkle cosmos along with the zinnia.

A little planning and planting this month will give you flowers well into the fall.

You have a big window of planting opportunity.

Actually you can plant these seeds as early as mid April and continue on through the 4th of July.

I never seem to have the time or space until about now.

I clip packages of seeds to my calendar every week or so to remind me to keep planting.

This plan will give you color and cut flowers throughout most of the growing season.

Zinnias just seem to make people smile.

What more could we ask for.

Happy Anniversary Elliott and Kristina.





Filed under Cosmos, Uncategorized, Wedding Flowers, Zinnia

10 responses to “WEDDING ZINNIAS

  1. Cristina

    Love this post…zinnias are my favorite! They always remind me of our Plantpatch days together when you taught me the art (or lack thereof) of arranging cut flowers.

  2. Loved those wedding zinnias! They were wonderful, all sizes and colors.

      • Suellen Singer

        I remember it with love. Those were such fun days. My hydrangeas are magnificent this year. Thanks for the tips about making them last. If you had ever told me that before{ I ‘m sure you have}, I must have forgotten. But I have cut them like crazy and they have lasted 2 weeks. I took some to my Dad at the nursing home yesterday and they were quite a hit. No more wedding gardens for me though.

        I did order a couple of tree roses from David Austin and they are doing well. One is called Sophie’s Rose and she watches it from her bed by the window. Love to all Suellen

      • Oh, yes, we too share a “wedding garden history”. Yours was the first – and what a wedding it was!
        So glad you are enjoying cutting hydrangeas. I just learned the cutting trick a few years ago so your
        memory is still in place. There is nothing like an arm load of hydrangeas.

        Sophie must be in heaven with her very own rose.
        Take care

  3. Kayle

    Hi Gail…my hydrangeas are heavenly this year also. Please share with me your cutting trick. Is it the same as the one for drying the hydrangeas? I rather doubt it, so give me the scoop. I really, really love your blog! Truly brightens my day.


    • Glad your enjoying it. I know how you love your hydrangea. It’s great their are loving you back!
      The important thing when you cut hydrangea is to sear the end. So take either a BBQ lighter or
      a container of very hot water with you plus another container full of tap water. You can cut them
      long or short but as soon as you cut sear the end for a few seconds. Remove most of the
      leaves then put in water up to its neck. Leave in the water for several hours or over night.
      Arrange. If you recut to arrange be sure and sear again.
      Have fun.

  4. Amy

    Hi Gail,

    I, too am growing zinnias for our wedding. We still have about a month to go until the wedding, August 16, and it seems as though the first planting of zinnias are starting to blossom. Is this a problem, or will the continue to bloom through the summer? We are trying to decide if it’s time to go to “Plan B” or if the zinnias will last. Thanks! Amy

    • Growing flowers can for a wedding can be a bit nerve wracking, but it is oh so rewarding when it works out.
      Most zinnias like to be cut, so the more you cut the more they bloom. It does depend on the variety. There are some that state they are “cut and come again” that will bloom for weeks on end. So the fact that they are just starting to bloom is in your favor. Keep them deadheaded ie keep the old blooms cut off down to the joint and this will encourage more bloom. Depending upon where you are located – how humid it is and how much rain you get the leaves on the plants can get mildew. The blooms don’t get it but the leaves often will. This is not a huge problem since the leaves can easily be removed.
      Zinnia stems can bend easily so be careful was you remove the leaves. When we did my son’s wedding from garden flowers I scouted around town and found several friends who were willing to let us cut from their gardens in the event I needed more flowers for the wedding. You might try this as a plan B. And…there’s no crime in purchasing flowers to fill in. The important thing is to remember that it’s all about a wonderful new beginning. Flowers are a part of the celebration, but they are not what it’s all about…it’s about you and your fiancé and the life to come. Enjoy!

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