Wedding herbs are the in thing for couples 'tying the knot' these days. However, herbs at weddings are nothing new.
There is a long tradition, dating back centuries, of herbs being used at weddings. When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, she bucked the tradition of using herbs and started a new trend for flowers to be used instead.
The use of wedding herbs is, however, making a huge comeback.
Beautiful, fragrant herbs are being used both as bridal bouquets and as centrepieces on the tables at wedding receptions.
One man who is pleased about this revival is herb grower Paul Farrow of Trimley Herbs who is finding his plants in big demand from brides.
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Paul, a postie by trade, has been growing herbs as a hobby for several years.
He did not expect that the beautiful plants he was lovingly cultivating would one day be used as wedding herbs or that brides would be coming to him for advice about their wedding bouquets!
Paul fell into herb growing almost by accident when fellow postie Chris introduced him to the world of herbs a few years ago.
He was hooked from that moment and was lucky enough to be given the use of an elegant Georgian greenhouse in the heart of Suffolk, somewhere along the coast. The exact location remains undisclosed because it is in a private garden 30 miles away from where Paul lives in Felixstowe.
Paul is very grateful for the opportunity to use such an historic structure in which to nurture his herbs.
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He has become somewhat of an expert on herbs thanks to the knowledge Chris has passed on. In 2015, they decided to contact the organisers of the prestigious Suffolk Show to ask if they could exhibit their herbs.
A Suffolk Show representative came out to look at their plants and wholeheartedly agreed they should exhibit their herbs at the show.
To their amazement, they won a Silver Gilt Award and interest in their business began to grow. Paul entered his herbs into the Suffolk Show Flower Show again this year and won the Silver Gilt Award yet again!
Owing to other commitments, Chris has now decided to stand back and allow Paul to move forward with Trimley Herbs, however, he remains a constant source of knowledge for Paul to draw on when needed.
Wedding herbs are becoming a major focus for Paul as couples return to the older traditions of times gone by.
Properties of individual herbs have great significance for the wedding day and beyond.
For example, Rosemary represents remembrance and fidelity, Lavender – undying love, Lemon Verbena - unity, Thyme - courage and strength, Wormwood represents affection while Yarrow represents everlasting love.
It is easy to see why wedding herbs are so popular when they represent many of the desired qualities of life.
They also bring so many wonderful aromas to a wedding reception when pots are used as centerpieces for the tables.
Trimley Herbs is definitely at the forefront of the revival in wedding herbs.
While I was there photographing a selection of herb pots that will be used as centrepieces at a wedding this month, another bride and groom came to have a chat with Paul about their wedding and there are more in the pipeline.
While I was there, Chris encouraged me to taste and smell a few of the more unusual herbs. I was amazed at the incredible flavours and aromas.
They have a wide selection of Mint plants such as Pineapple Mint, Blackcurrant Mint, Morroccan Mint and many others.
Although there is huge interest in Paul's plants for weddings, they also have a big future in the culinary world where herbs are being pushed to the fore by celebrity chefs.
So watch out for Trimley Herbs and if you get the chance, visit their exhibit at the Suffolk show on June 1st and 2nd. There is far more to their business than simply supplying wedding herbs as we will no doubt see in the future.