Seasonal availability of flowers

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Flowers are easily accessible not just from our neighbour’s backyard but florists are popping up in every shopping strip and flowers can even be found in local supermarkets

. For this reason, it is assumed that all flowers are available all year round. However, this is not the case, seasons of flowers vary throughout the year. When it comes to knowing which types of flowers are readily available, when and where to buy them can be confusing, especially if you’re not florally minded. If you wish to have a basic understanding of when to buy certain flowers and how to care for them it is a good idea to know the different seasons of flowers.

In Australia the seasons of flowers are dramatically different to other countries and this is mainly due to the climate. Being such a harsh, dry land native Australian flora and fauna tend to be sturdy and strong in order to survive the cruel Australian climate. Having knowledge of seasons of flowers is vital in maintaining a healthy and long lasting garden throughout the seasons.

The gardening year naturally divides into the four seasons, each characterised by certain events and of course the weather. Weather is the day-to-day prevailing condition. This seasonally changes, with spring and autumn characterised by milder temperatures, summer by hotter temperatures and winter by cooler ones. Knowing seasons of flowers and plants is essential, as each plant has evolved to suit its particular zone and changing its climate can result in spectacular growth or miserable failure.

Here is a brief guide to understanding the different seasons of flowers and plants:

Spring

Even the air has its own scent! It is the season of flowers! It evokes a natural feeling of renewal and excitement in all gardeners and even those who aren’t. You can’t help but be impressed and inspired by the show nature puts on, year after year. Spring is a busy season when it comes to gardening. Everything happens at once at this time of year. This spring you could paint a picture with pansies, primroses and poppies. Peonies have been a symbol of beauty through the centuries, and their forms and great range of colours are sublime. Daffodils are joyous in yellow and jonquils offer a beautiful fragrance. The Iris is also the French Royal family’s emblem, the fleur-de-lis. The flowers vary from red, yellow, pink, blue, purple and orange, to near black and pure white. Jasmine is another flower that tempts with its fragrance and lavender also has a beautiful perfume. And of course roses, spring is the time when rose bushes will be laden with blooms. In Australia more than 1 million roses are sold each year, a statistic that makes it the most popular plant in the country.

Summer

The summer heat means enjoying spending time outdoors, cricket with family, barbecues with friends or simply breakfast on the deck. Holidays and hot weather dominate the agenda in summer. With the heat being so harsh, flowers are often overlooked for their potential to wilt and die easily. It is for this reason that water features are essential in gardens; it can be as simple as a shallow bowl with duckweed or something more elaborate. Water lilies are beautiful and were famously immortalised by French Impressionist painter Claude Monet. No need to fly to Europe for a white Christmas, surround yourself with bouquets of white flowers. Gardenias smell divine, Christmas lilies flowers early in November and has a strong fragrance, White marguerite daisies and frangipani; perfect for a float bowl. Hibiscus love full sun so are great for the warmer season. The seasons of flowers may seem hard to pick but associating them with holidays definitely makes it easier to remember seasonal availability.

Autumn

A season known for its earth tones and golden hues and of course crunchy, crackling leaves. Sure flowers are fading but there are still deciduous trees and the hot spicy colours of tropical plants. Although it is a quiet season for flowers, most popular of all are the chrysanthemums, with their array of scarlet, gold bronze, dusky pink and white flowers. The longest flowering flowers are dahlias, flowering from mid-summer right to the end of autumn. Mauve, soft blues, pale pinks and white are easy colours to use. This palette can be carried into autumn with well-known flowers such as asters, phlox and delphinium. In knowing the seasons of flowers you can create the most stunning garden or choose the best bouquet at any time of the year.

Winter

The air is chilled and the colours are dulled with a wash of grey. Winter is a time to warm up by the fire and pause and contemplate. However, what winter lacks in colour it certainly makes up for in fragrance. Many of the finest perfumed plants, such as early jonquils, freesias, boronia, daphne and osmanthus, send out their own scented atmospheres. Pansies and violas are not just pretty faces. Pansies are extremely versatile. Both pansies and violas provide lovely colour from winter to early summer. Poppies look wonderful in a garden but also last well as cut flowers. They are available in mixes of reds, oranges, yellows and pinks. Camellias are sometimes referred to as ‘queen of the winter flowers’; the camellia grows happily in many parts of Australia.

Understanding the seasons of flowers means you will have the best looking garden and will be able to create even your own beautiful bouquets all year round.