As we attain the heady top of English flower season, now could be the proper time to start to dry flowers. Decorations constituted of dried and preserved flowers are making a come again. A brand new college of dried flower fans are reinventing the way in which we deal with dried flowers and trendy Christmas decorations and desk centrepieces incorporating dried flowers are set to be huge information for Christmas 2017.
Floral artist and wreath maker Bex Partridge from Botanical Tales has been drying and preserving flowers for a few years. She has been making her personal Christmas wreaths for years and is now producing ever-lasting seasonal wreaths to adorn the partitions of houses. Bex is obsessed with dwelling seasonally and works primarily with pure, sustainable supplies. “Dried flowers kind a phenomenal botanical document of the yr,” says Bex, who grows flowers in her backyard and allotment to dry in addition to foraging for wildflowers within the hedgerows. “One of many nice joys of drying flowers is that you need to actually decelerate and take discover of the wonder that’s round you at any given second.”
Here’s a fast grasp information to drying and preserving flowers that Bex has written for us to share with you.
Selecting flowers to dry and protect
One of the best time to select flowers for drying is when they’re at their greatest – within the morning after the dew has gone is the very best time. All the time attempt to keep away from the most well liked a part of the day as that may trigger flowers stress.
How you can dry flowers
Ideally it is best to decide flowers when they’re halfway by means of their blooming cycle. They are going to proceed to open barely as they dry so it’s necessary they’ve some development left to keep away from the petals falling or drooping. For vegetation reminiscent of larkspur, with a number of flower heads on every stem, the very best time is when half the flowers are in bloom, leaving the highest half with closed buds.
3 ways to dry flowers
There are numerous methods to dry flowers, however listed below are the three strategies I’ve had essentially the most success with:
1. Hanging flowers out to dry
In all probability the only (and most photogenic) technique, with dependable outcomes. Merely mix your flowers into small bunches, eradicating all foliage from the primary stems, tie the bottom of the stems with a size of string and cling the flowers the other way up in a cool, dry place for a minimum of two weeks. Hanging the flowers the other way up means they need to preserve their upright construction with the stems remaining inflexible.
Greatest for: Lavender, larkspur, achillea, roses, cornflower, strawflower, nigella, hydrangea and most foliage.
2. Drying flowers utilizing silica gel
I have a tendency to make use of silica for extra delicate, single flowers. Silica works by drawing out moisture from the flowers, leaving them dry and with their unique kind and color. Half fill a Tupperware field with silica gel then insert the flowers with the heads dealing with down on to the silica. Very gently construct up extra silica across the flower head, taking care to not transfer or injury the petals. Depart for something from three days to every week, relying on the scale of the flower and its moisture content material (as a information, pansies take no time however lilac takes a bit longer). Rigorously take away the flowers from the silica and brush very gently with a tender paintbrush to take away any stray beads. Ensure you use advantageous silica because the flowers might be broken by silica beads.
Greatest for: pansies, daisies, lilac.
3. Drying flowers in a vase
This can be a quite simple technique of drying flowers but it surely doesn’t at all times ship the very best outcomes, nevertheless you don’t have so much to lose if it doesn’t work. Whenever you obtain a phenomenal bunch of flowers, it would be best to get pleasure from them for so long as potential somewhat than instantly hanging them out to dry. By leaving them in a vase to dry, you expertise the total fantastic thing about the bouquet as you watch it slowly fade. I discover there’s something fairly magical a couple of barely fading bouquet however it is advisable to be careful in case the flowers start to droop. Altering the water frequently to cease it getting murky will assist, as will frequently trimming the ends. This works higher greatest if the bouquet shouldn’t be too tightly packed collectively in any other case there’s a threat of the flowers going mouldy (botrytis).
Greatest for: bouquets of flowers that you just want to get pleasure from to their fullest! Bouquets with darker flowers reminiscent of Summer season Romanic Bouquet and Seasonal Scorching Pink Bouquet are inclined to dry greatest utilizing this technique.
How you can dry seed heads & grasses
I completely love seed heads and grasses – for me they’re the unsung heroes of the backyard come the Winter months, bringing beautiful textures and tones to wreaths and shows. You’ll be able to gather seed heads and seeds on the similar time. Merely reduce off the seed heads at size, wrap them in a plastic bag and cling the other way up for just a few weeks till the seeds have fallen out. At this level you possibly can take away the bag, gather the seeds and you’ll be left with the empty seed heads. The one actual exception is nigella, which I have a tendency to select whereas the seed heads are nonetheless inexperienced, hanging them the other way up and leaving them to dry out as you’d with flowers. You received’t have the ability to gather seeds from these, however they may preserve their stunning purplish hue, which makes such an exquisite addition to floral shows.
How you can retailer dried and preserved flowers
Dried flowers might be very brittle and are prone to break by the weather. So it’s necessary to take excellent care of them as soon as the drying course of has completed. Wrap them in tender tissue paper and retailer in a cardboard field or cabinet drawer in a cool, dry surroundings. To keep away from extra motion and contact, it’s greatest to label every parcels so that you keep in mind what you’ve saved the place – one thing I’m nonetheless not excellent at!
In case you observe us – @therealflowerco or @botanicaltales – on Instagram you may need come throughout a sneak peek of Bex’s latest go to to our farm. We’re engaged on an thrilling new venture collectively for our London flower store in Chelsea Inexperienced and we’re hoping to share extra particulars with you quickly.
We’d additionally love to listen to your ideas on dried flower decorations. Is there something you’d wish to know extra about or see a tutorial for? Do drop us an e mail at [email protected] along with your views and concepts.
We’ve simply launched an ideal worth Wild Flower Posy of the week and Wildflower Meadow Bunch to our English Flower Assortment. Each bouquets are made utilizing the perfect freshly picked seasonal flowers from our sustainable English flower farm and each will give you an abundance of seasonal English flowers which might be good to dry. Our London florists in Chelsea additionally sells a big selection of seasonal flowers by the stem. Catherine and the crew within the store will likely be delighted to supply recommendation on the very best stems to decide on for drying.