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Decorating & DIY

A Late Summer Flower Guide

Located just outside Philadelphia in Doylestown, PA, a four-acre farm sits behind Kate Sparks and her husband Barry’s home. From their driveway, there’s little sign of the bounty that awaits, save for a few beautiful planters. (In fact, like us, you may think you’ve taken a wrong turn!)

flower guide

But step around back, and you’ll find yourself immersed in the wild beauty of Laughing Lady Flower Farm. A greenhouse, hoop houses, and garden plots are filled to the brim with flowers and foliage in various stages of growth — from baby sprouts to harvest-ready blooms.

Huge advocates of using what’s in season for bouquets and arrangements, farmer Kate and her assistant Amanda shared their thoughts on best picks for late summer weddings (think August and September).

flower guide

Most popular late summer flower?
Dahlias, specifically Café Au Lait (coffee with cream to a pale pink-purple hue). We also love them in coral and candlelight, which is ivory-gold…give other dahlia colors a chance!

Uncommon flowers to use this time of year?
Lilies, of any variety. Martagon Lilies are nice, because they have multiple blooms on one stem.

flower guide

Your choice bloom this season?
Amanda: Japanese Anemone.
Kate: Panicle Hydrangea – Pinky Winky.

What flower do you wish brides would use more of?
Collarette Dahlias. They’re available in so many colors, and have a more delicate structure compared to standard dahlias. Also, honeysuckle vine; adds an instant, fresh-from-the-garden texture to both bouquets and centerpieces, plus a soft scent.

flower guide

Clockwise from top

1. Ninebark 
2. Hydrangea ‘Quick Fire’ 
3. Chocolate Lace Flower 
4. Lisianthus ‘Roseanne Brown’ 
5. Joe-Pye Weed 
6. Rudbeckia ‘Henry Eilers’ 
7. Foxglove ‘Foxy’ 
8. Perennial Sweet Pea
9. DinnerPlate Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ 
10. Thornless Blackberries

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