'The scented freesias and gypsophila are a classic wedding-day mix'. J J Marshall
Freesias were named after Friedrich Freese (1795-1876), a German physician. Freesias are herbaceous plants that are grown from corms which send up sparsely-branched stems leading to a one-sided spike of funnel-shaped flowers. Their glory is their scent which is intense, and when combined with their singular shape and variety of colour (pink, yellow, white, red and blue-mauve) it is not surprising they are a perennial favourite with florists who often pair them with Gypsophila to soften their appearance in flower arrangements.
Gypsophila was first grown in the UK in the mid eighteenth century and is still a popular plant in herbaceous borders today. Its botanical name literally means ‘lover of chalk’ which hints at its favourite soil type. Gypsophila grows to 4 feet tall and wide and because it doesn’t like to be moved once established, thought should be given to its initial position which should be in full sun. When in flower, its delicate stems are covered with an abundance of tiny white flowers as though exhaled as a cloud from above – hence its common name of Baby’s Breath. As a cut flower, Gypsophila will last a long time in clean water and at the end of its vase life can be dried, simply by hanging the stems upside down in a warm dry place.
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