It always amazes me how their delicate petals can unfurl from such tight buds. Gardenia buds start off as soft pink and then open up to lightly scented white petals, with just a subtle touch of blush. Read on to discover what else you can expect to find on your next visit to New Covent Garden Flower Market...
Head to Zest Flowers if you're in search of homegrown sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus). They have a lovely range of varieties in lots of colours to choose from.
At Pratley, there are still daffodils coming in from Lincolnshire. This particular variety is called 'Great Leap' and it has double yellow and golden petals.
And from West Sussex and Guernsey, they have alstroemeria in abundance.
The zingy green of guelder rose (Viburnum opulus) can be found at Alagar, in various stem lengths. It's just so perfect for adding a fresh pop of colour to designs.
And aren't these Allium siculum wonderful? Such structural blooms!
Their longevity makes Protea neriifolia 'Limelight' very popular for contracts. And I love their soft, fluffy burgundy tips. You'll find them at J H Hart Flowers.
This month, there's still a great selection of tulips available at Nine Elms. Have you come across this unusual variety before? It's called 'Ice Cream'. Surrounded by pink outer petals, its white inner petals are said to resemble a scoop of vanilla ice cream! You'll find them at DG Wholesale Flowers.
How pretty are these 'Blossom Bubbles' spray roses at Dennis Edwards Flowers? They'd be ideal for wedding designs with a pastel colour palette…
…as would these Delphinium 'Ned Rose' at Bloomfield.
These elegant pale pink Momoko bloom chrysanthemums stopped me in my tracks at J H Hart Flowers. Have you come across them before?
And I couldn't quite believe my eyes when I spotted the colour of this scilla! It's referred to as Scilla Rose and you can find it at Zest Flowers.
Continuing the pink and lilac colour theme, Allium giganteum are in plentiful supply…
…and head over to Bloomfield for these stunning 'Esmee Purple' hydrangeas.
Or if it's scent you're after, then do make the most of lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) season. You'll find it available as cut flowers and also as plants.
Looking for a white filler flower? Then have you considered Hypericum 'Cool Romance'. You’ll find it at S Robert Allen.
If you have brides-to-be who are looking for a simple bouquet of massed astilbe for themselves or their bridesmaids, here’s a beautiful white variety called ‘Washington'. Click here to see an example.
And yes... can you believe that dahlias are available in lots of colours, including this one called 'Karma Maarten Zwaan'?
Tanacetum Single Vegmo, also known as Feverfew, at S Robert Allen looks fabulous mixed with other 'meadow style' flowers in a bouquet.
Popular for English country garden style designs, are peach foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea).
Finishing this section as we started the report, with one of my very favourite blooms... peonies. You'll find several varieties available including Sarah Bernhardt, Festiva Maxima, Dr Fleming... and of course, Coral Sunset, pictured below. If you missed it first time round, you may like to check out the Peony Product Profile.
Over at L. Mills, you'll be spoilt for choice for homegrown summer bedding options. For example, there are 'Kong Mosaic' Coleus plants with their striking leaves…great for adding interest to hanging baskets and window boxes.
Or for a splash of yellow, how about Bidens, which are part of the Aster family?
Quality Plants have created a fantastic display to showcase their range of different types of box (buxus)...
…or if you're looking for flowering plants, they have bougainvillea in white and cerise pink.
Over at Evergeen, there are trays aplenty of Cosmos 'Casanova Violet'...
...and Osteospermum in dark pink, orange, red and pale pink.
Or for a touch of fragrance, head to Arnott & Mason where you'll find this variety of lavender called Lavandula stoechas.
...and lilac has started to make a welcome reappearance outside on Foliage Row.
There's also choisya to be found...
...and check out this dainty birch which is great for arch designs.
Upstairs at Whittingtons, there's an Aladdin’s cave brimming full of artificial flowers. For hanging designs, such as floral chandeliers, these faux blooms are ideal to use up high. And the big advantage is that after your initial outlay, they can be used again…and again! You'll find everything from peonies and roses to hydrangeas and lilies.
Knowing how popular the trend is for terrariums, I couldn't resist including these, which I spotted at The Flower Store (part of Bloomfield).
So, I hope you've enjoyed reading this month's report and it's given you lots of inspiration! As always, we'd love to hear from you if you have any comments or questions. Simply fill in the boxes below.
P.S. If you're heading to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show later this month, please do come and visit our stand in the Great Pavilion. It's the very first time we've ever exhibited at the show and it would be lovely to see you there. Click here for further details.