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The Beauty of Winter Flowers

by Jane Lampe |

There's a widely held perception that, like some animals (and some humans) going into hibernation during the winter months, same goes for flowers.

While this may be the case where the landscape freezes over, here in Australia, it most certainly isn't the case. In fact, in my mind, some of the most beautiful flowers bloom in winter. 

I think one of the reasons why I love winter flowers is their richness - deep reds and burgundies really make me think of a cosy winter's dinner.

Lonely Hunter Weddings

But then, white flowers like paperwhites, sweet peas, and early flowering japonica blossom remind me of snow.


And some of the sweetest smelling flowers bloom in winter! They say this is because they have to fight extra hard to attract the few pollinators that are out and about during the cold months!

Here are a few of my favourite winter blooms, and you will see what I mean.


Sweet peas

As sweet as they sound, sweet peas start flowering at the beginning of winter, through to mid-spring.

Coming in whites and creams, soft shades of pink, lemon yellow, lilac, and darker purples and pinks, they have dainty, almost papery petals, and their scent certainly lives up to the name.



 Elise Hassey for Floreat


A late winter bloomer, and not the most beautiful looking flower, it definitely has one of the most beautiful scents! You can literally smell it a mile away.

We get most of our daphne from Wayne and Alison Inglis in Bilpin.

 Elise Hassey for Floreat

Sweet violets

We used to have sweet violets growing wild around our garden. I loved smelling them, but once I did, I couldn't smell them again! That's because sweet violets contain a chemical called beta-ionone, a chemical that temporarily shuts off smell receptors. This is highly annoying, but also makes that first sniff very special!


Daffodils and Jonquils

Daffodills would have to be the happiest flowers around! Their buttery yellow faces make a bouquet so happy, and their sisters the narcissus have a beautiful smell.



Hyacinths are a bulb flower, and once they open, have the most beautiful, mulitple, florets. They also come in beautiful colours - white, soft pink, blue, yellow and lilac, and darker colours too!

They also have a strong scent, but these ones aren't to everyone's liking.



Freesias are a beautiful, elegant, dainty flower that were originally native to South America. My favourite colour is a soft mauve, and they also come in white, yellow, orange, and a brighter purple.

I Love Wednesdays for Floreat



Camellias flower from late autumn, through to early spring. 

Coming in white, different shades of pink, and red, their beautiful luxe flowers, and lovely foliage, add a really special, full feel to bouquets and arrangements.


Elise Hassey for Floreat


Cyclamen are one of my favourite flowers!! Most people would know them as a plant, but the cut flowers are also lovely, and if picked at the right time, can last for up to a month! They really like the cold weather too. Once a plant finishes flowering, you can put it outside under a tree, and next year it will be full of flowers!

Elise Hassey for Floreat

Japonica Blossom

Japonica blossom is the first blossom of winter - what looks like a stick has tiny little buds you can't even see, and after a few days, are fully blown, dainty flowers in white, apricot or red, with little yellow centres.


Winter Magnolia

Magnolia starts to flower around July here in Sydney. It starts with small buds, and opens into the most gorgeous flower, with pink on the outside, and white on the inside, or all cream.

Once they are open, the flowers only last a couple of days, but are very special while they do!




Hellebores (or winter roses)

Hellebores are another beautiful winter flower that start around July. Otherwise known as the winter rose, they are a floppy looking flower, in soft pink and green, or green and white, or even a darker mauve, and to me, really typify winter.



The black and white anenomes, or "panda" anenomes are a favourite - they look so good with everything!! They have just started coming into the markets in the last week or two (mid-June).


Elise Hassey for Floreat

Cymbidium orchids

The lovely Neville Schaefer of Schaefer's Orchids only makes an appearance at Sydney Flower Market each Friday in the Winter months when his Cymbidium orchids are on full show, and what a treat it is when he's there.

Our orchid order is always impeccably packed in boxes so that his prized Cymbids don't get damaged on their journey back to our studio. We got our first box last Friday, which is always a very exciting day!! 

Elise Hassey for Floreat



Another sunny, happy flower, native to Australia, wattle starts flowering in late autumn, and flowers right through winter!

Did you know there is a wattle that flowers on every day of the year in Australia?

You can read more about wattle here.



Tulips are another favourite, starting in late autumn, usually just in time for Mother's Day!

They start quite tight and short, and their stems grow as they age, so once they have finished flowering, they are beautiful and blousy, and their stems are curly!

And they also come in lots of different varieties - single, double, parrot, frilly...



Poppies flower all through winter! We source our poppies from a few different growers, one of them being Jonima Flowers (read more about their family run farm here) who have tall, strong stemmed beauties in an incredible range of colours. 

The come in white, pink, peach, red, yellow and orange sold all together in one mixed bunch, and can last for 5-7 days, depending on their stage of life. If closed in a bud and they haven't opened after a few days, you can scald the ends in boiling water for about 10 seconds or peel their furry, green cases off to nudge them open.  

 Elise Hassey for Floreat

Birds of Paradise

We love using "birds" - they have such an amazing shape and structure, and who would have thought a colour combo of orange and blue would work so well with so many things!

Birds of Paradise need 3 to 5 years to mature before they flower, so I feel each and every stem is a treasure!

I Love Wednesdays for Floreat


With so many beautiful colours available, carnations, otherwise known as sims, have well and truly made a comeback. 

I would never have dreamed a few years ago that I would be using carnations in our bouquets, but now, because of their colours, texture, and longevity, they are becoming a staple during the winter months!


 Winter flowers have so much to offer, in so many ways! Here are a few blog posts of events and weddings we have done, in the depths of winter.

A 50th Birthday at a private home in July.

A birthday party at Charlotte's house in June.

Bess and Jule's August Winter Wedding



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