Monday, 6 December 2010

Using local Spanish flowers for weddings

This is a post I have been meaning to do for quite some time, eversince I read an article in one of the top UK wedding magazines, You and Your Wedding, about a beautiful wedding at the Hacienda San Rafael here in Seville, the article was called Hacienda Highlights and featured the wedding of Sara and Luke.
I am going back a while as this editorial was featured in July/August 2009.
The part of the article that horrifies me shows a photo of the bride's bouquet, which is quite pretty, with the wording as follows "my mother in law picked the flowers from the gardens at the venue".
I am then racking my brains as to what Mediterranean flowers could have been picked that a) would have survived and b) would have made a pretty bridal bouquet, I could not think of any, so when I examined the photograph again I realised it was a bridal bouquet made out of Oleander, which is one of the most poisonous flowers in the world......?!
Oleander grows everywhere here in the Mediterranean and needs little looking after, you will see it all along the motorways and it is indeed pretty but lethal, every part of this flower and plant is toxic from the leaves to the flowers. There is even a book called White Oleander about a wife that tries to kill her husband by wiping oleander on the door handles of the house, causing a slow death!
I was gobsmacked and emailed You and Your Wedding to ask them to warn future brides of the hazard of using this particular flower but disappointingly I have not even had a response from them, which I think is rather remiss to be honest of the magazine to publish articles about this sort of thing and then not correct features that perhaps are either misleading or downright dangerous.
This leads me onto these fabulous photos found on Snippet and Ink of a beautifully styled wedding but again using pink bougainvillea for a wedding bouquet is misleading.
Bougainvillea will start to wilt within about 5 minutes of picking it, unless it is plunged immediately into lots of water and stays there, so to use this for a wedding bouquet is a complete waste of time unless you want a sad pink droopy bouquet!
It is fine to use for table centrepieces as it will be sat in water, and it is pretty to use to scatter on tables, as even though it immediately wilts it still can look ok as table scatter or napkin decoration, but for a bridal bouquet, forget it, it also has very nasty thorns so by the time you have picked it, removed all the nasty thorns so you can hold it you will be left with a droopy mess :)
Whilst I adore these inspirational magazines and ideas, I do wish at times they would be slightly more practical and not send out the wrong or even dangerous messages.
I would be very surprised if the bride or the mother in law in the Hacienda highlights feature weren't unwell using this flower for decoration. It is one I will not even have in my own garden with my children and pets around.

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