photo by @flowerdesignstannes

Whilst most brides still wish to carry a bouquet, finding something that is unusual and unique is not that easy.

Adding some unexpected natural elements such as a twisted branch, plump winter buds, seed pods and lichen-covered twigs can add that unique touch to your wedding florals.

These elements are usually referred to as ‘air elements’ and add movement and interest to your bouquet and wedding flowers.

Whilst you may think these natural elements may add a more rustic vibe to your florals, in fact, they can work just as well in a soft, romantic look.

It is all about capturing the visual interest created by the length, movement and space of these natural elements.

Although often best in winter they can also bring seasonal beauty to your arrangements at any time of the year.

Here are some of my favourite natural air elements available from the garden that I like to add to bouquets and arrangements.

Contorted Hazel ( Corylus avellana Contorta)
Use the twisted stems and bare twigs in winter arranging or dry for use at other times of the year. They can be used when they are completely bare or wait till mid-winter when the catkins emerge adding further interest. They will add both movement and interest to bouquets, table arrangements or cake decorations.

Contorted hazel adding a touch of movement to this beautiful romantic rose bouquet- photo sourced from pintrest
Just a small sprig of contorted hazel adds so much to this cake decoration. Cake floral arrangement by Two Wild Hands
I love the way the contorted hazel adds a touch of whimsy to this woodland arbour arrangement. Arbour florals by Heart and Soul Flowers

Tortured Willow. (Salix matsudana ‘Tortuosa’)
Has markedly contorted branches and leaves and is used in the same way as the contorted hazel but you can get taller stem so it is gorgeous in dramatic tall arrangements for ceremony areas or table centre pieces.

Tortured willow makes for quite dramatic table center pieces. Photo sourced from Pinterest
How fabulous does this tortured willow ceiling installation look. Photo sourced from Pinterest

Pussy willow. (Salix cinerea, S. caprea)
This is prized for its short very fluffy catkins that appear late winter or spring and can add a beautiful textural element to wedding florals.

 Although the willow varieties are classified as weeds they can still be found and used for winter arrangement or dried for use all year.

Magnolia stellate.
All deciduous Magnolia branches are very beautiful with their bare branches and soft fury buds in winter, but my favourite is the star magnolia as it has finer branching and more buds than other varieties. Teamed with evergreen magnolia it makes for a stunning bouquet.

Bared magnolia branches teamed with evergreen magnolia and daffodils for a beautiful winter arrangement.

Lichen covered branches
These are so interesting and can add a natural woodland vibe to your wedding florals. I think they are best on deciduous branches and the more twisted and gnarled they are the more interest they arrangements become.

Whilst most people are familiar with the stunning spring flowering dogwoods, there are several species grown just for their coloured stems. They can be either bight dark red or golden which can add both colour and warmth to an arrangement. Really only available in winter but worth sourcing to have something unique and unusual in your wedding flowers.

Red dogwood stems add such drama to a winter arrangement. Photo sourced from Pinterest

Love in the mist.
I love these lovely spring and summer annuals as a cut flower, but their seed pods are just gorgeous when used in a bouquet of another flower arrangements. With their spiky cylindrical pods adding lots of interest and again as they are not very common, they will add that uniqueness to your bouquet.

They can either be used fresh in autumn or dried and used throughout the year

Love-in-the-mist seed pods.
Beautiful autumn bouquet using love in the mist seed pods

Here at The Secret Garden we have all these plants available during the cooler months and are available for picking as part of your package if you book with us. We would love to welcome you into The Secret Garden, all you have to do is get in touch here.