The Seasonal Flowers To Buy & Style Now

When it comes to flowers, it’s more cost-effective and sustainable to buy what’s in season. Right now, peonies, roses, sweet peas, freesias and stocks are at their best. To find out how to get the most out of them, we asked leading florists to share their advice.
By Georgina Blaskey /

KELLY KNOX/STOCKSY UNITED

Peonies

“Peonies are one of this season’s hero flowers – you’ll be hard pushed to find anyone that doesn’t love at least one variety. They look good on their own or paired with some fresh eucalyptus. There are so many colours to get your hands on at this time of year, but a personal favourite would have to be a ‘Coral Charm’.” – Liz Parker & Josh Murray-Webster, florists at FLWR 

“Thanks to their large, sculptural flower heads, peonies are best displayed on their own, in abundance, in a vase – plus, they’re the perfect gift for anyone who’s getting married, celebrating a birthday or just in need of cheering up.” – Larry Walshe, florist at Bloom

“Peonies are usually sent in bud, so they won’t look like much to begin with. After a few days in water, they’ll open up to reveal their impressive flowers. If yours are struggling to open, rinse the flower with the head pointing down under warm water, as sticky sap can sometimes be the problem. You can also recut the stems and place them in warmer water for 24 hours.” – Becca Armstrong-Benson, florist at Appleyard London

ADAM NIXON/STOCKSY UNITED

Roses

“Another seasonal flower at this time of year are roses, which bloom in June. They’re classics for a reason, and work well in several different bouquets, be they the focal point, or alongside showier stems. We love lavender roses, such as ‘Memory Lane’ and ‘Nightingale’, which have a delicate, vintage colour. They look stunning paired with summery pinks and creams. For a more vibrant look, the ‘Miss Piggy Rose’ is a great choice. Its blooms are two-toned, with a bright orange centre, which fades out to a coral pink on the outer petals.” – Becca

“Known as the national flower of England, roses are a year-round choice – mainly because they’re such large flowers which fill the room with colour and scent. They make the perfect gift, too, and our personal favourite has to be the ‘Vuvuzela Rose’ – they have a garden-like quality and come in the most sensational colours.” – Larry

ISTOCK/Y-STUDIO

Sweet Peas

“Sweet peas are coming into their own now, and we can’t get enough of them. Use them to add some frilly texture to a bouquet – they also come in so many different colours. We love a bunch of them in a simple glass vase or separated into smaller bunches and popped into some bud vases. As well as looking beautiful on their own, sweet peas smell amazing and can fill a room with scent. One of our favourites would have to be the ‘Brownie Sweet Pea’ – if you can get your hands on them, they have such a unique colour. The good news is sweet peas are quite easy to look after. Just trim the stems by about an inch and pop them in room temperature water. To prolong their life, change the water every other day.” – Liz & Josh

NADINE GREEFF/STOCKSY UNITED

Stocks

“Long-stemmed stocks have the most amazing fragrance and come in a variety of jewel-like colours, together with paler shades such as apricot, cream and white. Even a few stems in a kitchen jug are enough to scent the whole room. Good jug buddies for stocks are waxflower and eucalyptus for a wonderfully relaxed but beautiful design. The stems of the UK grown varieties are longer, the blooms are bigger (much more than their Dutch counterparts) and that all-important scent is stronger. Stocks are available year-round but are at their strongest from May until September. Like all flowers, take all the leaves off below the water level, cut the stems at an angle and ensure the water is clean and topped up at all times.” – Sue Barnes, founder of Lavender Green Flowers 

KELLY KNOX/STOCKSY UNITED

Freesias

“Freesias are the unsung heroes of the flower world, but they’re often used to bring a more delicate shape to a typically blowsy, fluffy summer bouquet. They also have a lovely fragrance – similar to a gardenia or jasmine With a year-round season, they’re one of the more reliable cut flowers to choose from and we love the double white varieties, such as ‘Versailles’, which are at their strongest in summer and can last for around three weeks.” – Hannah Martin, Scent + Remedy 

“Freesias are long lasting and often arrive budded before opening up over time – you can usually get seven to 14 days out of them. They are available in a rainbow of colours and we style ours en masse: take a low vase and add lots of stems so it looks contemporary and elegant. They’re also perfect for stem vases dotted around the home. Caring for freesias is incredibly simple: just follow the usual flower care guidelines – trim the ends every two to three days, replace the water and clean the vase. Keep them away from direct sunlight or drafts but aside from that, they’re easy to look after.” – Larry

Visit FLWRStudio.co.uk, ScentAndRemedy.com, LavenderGreen.co.uk, AppleyardFlowers.com, FLOWERBX.com & ByBloom.co.uk for more information.

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