Growing up in the beautiful countryside of Southern Europe, I loved to walk through the fields of Astilbe when it was flowering in the summer time. Wandering through these fields, my imagination was ignited.
Astilbe is one flower that reminds me of innocence, time playing outside and the beauty of nature. Astilbe is not originally from Europe – it is originally from China, Japan and Korea. Astilbe also brings to my mind other seasonal field flowers that have similar colours, shape and texture.
These days, Astilbe is one of the most sought-after flowers for weddings. We use them in hand tied, natural stemmed bouquets. The three most popular colours are white, pink and dark red. Astilbe is a very delicate flower, so I am always especially careful when constructing wedding flowers that use Astilbe, to ensure that they don’t get damaged.
Astilbe is not a very long-lasting flower; the maximum lifespan is about five days as a cut flower. Unlike other flowers used for wedding work, I do not use wiring techniques for Astilbe, but use it in natural-stemmed bouquets.
Astilbe performs best with plenty of moisture and cold climates. For this reason, it is most important to have an adequate supply of water, and I avoid using Astilbe on hot days.
When purchasing my Astilbe, I always look for bunches that does not have yellowish leaves - this is a sign of age. Astilbe is very Ethylene-sensitive (Ethylene is the ripening hormone found in plants) so I look for a STS-treated Astilbe (that which has been chemically treated against Ethylene).
When constructing the bouquets with Astilbe I always remove the leaves. If the leaves aren’t removed, they will die before the flower and will emit Ethylene gas and infect the flower. When recutting the stems of Astilbe, I always cut 3cm off the stem and place in warm water immediately, because they bleed after being cut. I leave them in the water for two hours before using them in my bouquet.
The astilbe flower is a very romantic flower, and thus is ideal for weddings! A trick I use when working with Astilbe for a wedding and am worried how it will hold - I lightly spray the Astilbe with hairspray. This minimises any drooping or pieces falling off, and has proved to be a successful technique to keep Astilbe looking great for a wedding day.
Astilbe means 'I will still be waiting for you, no matter what happens through life, I will still be there for you.'
It is the perfect flower to be included in a romantic wedding that leads us to perfect love.
Astilbe… flowers from my childhood country fields, full of unspoken stories that your imagination can only get in the language of flowers.