I have been receiving a few messages lately from you guys asking me how I dry my flowers… and the truth is, I wing it! I forage around for dying stems when I am out on walks, I dry bunches of flowers I get fresh from the market or florist by hanging them upside down or leaving them in a vase; it turns out, I aint been too far off! But I wanted to get some proper answers from someone who knows their ranunculus from their anemone and their astilbe from their heather....
I have spoken to the head florist at Abigail Ahern, Shella Anderson who has shares her story with dried flowers and the best way to go about drying. Shella is so lovely and talented and I always love her floristry creations, so I know you’re all going to love!
FOR THE LOVE OF DRIED
I LOVE the beauty in dried flowers. When I'm driving, I actually give myself a headache as my eyes are all over the place lusting over grasses, seed heads and gnarled stems. Wishing I could just stop the car and gather it all (which I do do sometimes)! I love when stems have grown in weird ways trying to find their piece of the sunshine whilst navigating around other flowers and shrubs, giving them such a unique beauty.
When I'm driving, I actually give myself a headache as my eyes are all over the place lusting over grasses
I gather (mainly dead stuff) from everywhere I go, (mostly to friends’ great amusement!) In my garden, on walks, be it country, urban or coastal I will always collect flowers, grasses and seed heads. I can't resist the natural beauty. Although gathering in this way I am always aware of being a responsible forager. I would never rip anything from its roots or take anything that isn't already growing in abundance. I always check out the sad reduced section in supermarkets too. You can rescue some poor bunches destined for the bin.
Although gathering in this way I am always aware of being a responsible forager.
Drying for me has been mainly experimental and you can give anything a go. Although there are a few rules to get the best out of your foraged treasure.
They need to be free from direct sunlight and moisture and high heat. I have a small lobby which has no heating or sunlight but I'm currently planning a larger studio (well a pretty garden shed), so that I can dry more and have somewhere to take some nice pics of them. Also planning a cutting patch for next year and researching flowers that have interesting seed heads.
They need to be free from direct sunlight and moisture and high heat.
Most flowers, herbs and grasses etc will best dry being hung in bunches. Just make sure you remove all unnecessary foliage first as this can cause moisture which will in turn create mould. Sometimes I do leave a few small leaves near the head of the stems as I love how they dry and go a little gnarly.
Most flowers, herbs and grasses etc will best dry being hung in bunches.
You can also just leave your flowers and stems to dehydrate in a jug or a vase, it's quite nice watching the process of how they change.
I personally love my stems to look 'not so beautiful', but there are other methods you can use if you prefer to preserve them looking as close to their original beauty as possible, and also some flowers dry better than others.
You can also just leave your flowers and stems to dehydrate in a jug .
To keep certain flower heads looking lovely you can dry them upright rather than hanging. Stems can be pushed through a garden riddle/sieve, cardboard box with holes in or any kind of mesh. This will then need to be suspended. They then dry and look just as beautiful as they did when fresh.
Stems can be pushed through a garden riddle/sieve, cardboard box with holes.
Your dried beauties make lovely wreaths which I love all year round - not just for Christmas! Although if you do have a fresh wreath at Christmas, just leave it somewhere dry and watch how fabulous it looks when all the green turns to that lovely deep rust!! I also pop small bunches of dried flowers on gift tags or the front of card envelopes just for a little personal touch.
Your dried beauties make lovely wreaths which I love all year round.
At these times we must all be aware of reducing our environmental footprint and it's such a lovely way to preserve what we already have around us. Flowers are amazing but I feel not so pretty when there are a zillion air miles and chemicals used just for our viewing pleasure. Trying to encourage more sustainable and mindful ways of appreciating their beauty is the way forward!!
It's such a lovely way to preserve what we already have around us.
Go gather, dry and enjoy the beauty!