When I planned out the farm last fall, one of the aspects that I considered was flowers that dry well and can be used for everlasting arrangements. As a flower farmer that only uses and sells locally, organically grown flowers, the winter months can be barren without the vibrant colors of spring, summer, and early fall. Dried flowers can fill that void with more muted but still beautiful flowers.
As a reminder, most flowers purchased from the grocery store have been imported from other countries, hybridized to last for weeks, and sprayed with chemicals to ensure they arrive at their destination in the best condition. As it is in your best interest to wear gloves when handling these flowers, I encourage you to move away from buying imported flowers and consider other alternatives.
During the month of September, I will highlight dried flowers. We will look at flowers that work well for drying, how to dry them, and different formats in which dried flowers can be displayed. This includes bouquets, wreaths, and jewelry. Today is about the flowers, themselves.
When considering flowers that dry well, I am looking for flowers that hold their color and structure and do not become overly brittle. I also look for grasses and grains that will add texture and color to arrangements. Below are my favorite flowers to work with in their dried state.
Strawflower. I will never get tired of strawflowers. They dry perfectly, add color and texture to dried arrangements, and last well. Strawflower comes in a variety of beautiful colors. You can't go wrong growing this flower in your garden.
Statice. Statice was once looked down upon in bouquets, paired with roses and baby's breath. No longer. This flower dries well, comes in a range of colors, and keeps its color. I encourage you to grow statice and enjoy it long after your garden is tucked in for the winter.
Gomphrena. These cute little buttons of joy have added whimsy and texture to market bouquets. They continue to do that as dried flowers. They hold their color and dry well.
Marigold. I love the bright color these flowers bring to dried arrangements. They do get brittle, depending on the variety you dry; but their color is worth the effort.
Yarrow. The umbrel shape of yarrow makes it a great addition to dried arrangements. It loses some of its shape in the drying process. Its colors become more muted, but it is a beautiful and textural addition.
Amaranth. You can see the amaranth Red Spike in the back of this bouquet. It dries well and adds texture to dried arrangements.
Celosia. TX Plume Summer Sherbert Mix, a Cocscomb Celosia Mix, and Flamingo Feather all make excellent options for drying.
Sunflowers. Remember to experiment with drying different kinds of flowers. I found that I like to dry sunflowers. While they lose their shape when they dry, their color continues to add pops of lemon and orange to dried arrangements.
There are so many other flowers that you can dry in addition to the flowers above. You can dry roses, hydrangeas, and even dahlias. Have fun experimenting! Next week, we will cover different methods of drying flowers. What flowers would you add to this list?
Check out this post for some of my favorite books, which include books on drying flowers.