Why dried flowers are trending this season

Dried flowers are bristling in an unexpected trend that extends into this winter, and if all that comes to mind is the perpetually molting pampas grass rippling from the back of the G-plan sofa in the years 80, it’s time to take another look at the decorative power of conservation.

Fake bud flowers and undressed shaggy flowers have already seen an incredible renaissance, setting aside these cheap and funeral plastic phonies, in a popular growth spurt of hand-assembled latex, paper and silk flowers, berries, branches and greenery.

Stitched from garden cuttings, they provide perennial repeat flowering that lends itself to creative arrangements for the home. The nuances, translucency, fragile veins, stamens, pistons and delicate details of the surface deviate completely from the open weave of mid-century nylon suitors. Most of us have invited a compelling asymmetrical fake succulent over the past year or so to refresh a drab corner with insanely low light. So why dry?

Preserved hydrangea mop heads dyed in an unexpected rich ruby ​​red. This little single flower color punch is all you need. Image: Dowsing and Reynolds

Fresh cut flowers die within days, dried flowers as natural biodegradable materials (unless trapped in resin or chemically modified) dry out and turn to dust. Brutus, their tense and arid elements can easily shatter and shatter. Yet, properly produced and handled, they have a lifespan of several months and potentially a year or more and play the major role in repeated performance in new arrangements. Rabbit tails, pampas, and oat grass can be dyed or sport the muted, bleached tones and sculptural features that are perfect for our lean, clean and calming 2022 interiors.

Some flowers and plants are better suited to drying than others, xanthemum, hydrangeas, some pompom dailies, blueberries, sage and grasses for example. Some species naturally dry out at the end of their flowering and fruiting season, and it is usually the less juicy varieties that give up the ghost most easily, their petals discreetly wrinkling, the colors taking on a wash of watercolor that lets guess their summer splendor.

The freeze-dried flowers were presented to the Royal Society by physicist and chemist William Hyde Wollaston in 1813.

The Victorians adored the off-season mystery of roses, teasels, ferns, and they used dried flowers for everything from the brightening up of their Gothic living rooms to the moss of their hats and dresses. It also suited their rather dark romantic lean towards the ephemeral nature of life, celebrated in the art and literature of the time. The pressing of flowers was regarded as a very feminine activity, and botany as a noble pursuit of the educated classes.

Preserved hydrangea mop heads dyed in an unexpected rich ruby ​​red.  This little single flower color punch is all you need.
Preserved hydrangea mop heads dyed in an unexpected rich ruby ​​red. This little single flower color punch is all you need.

More recently, air, silica and freeze-dried flowers have provided florists and busy growers in Britain and Europe with an alternative during the Covid pandemic as events including weddings have been wiped out by the dreaded virus.

With well-priced and creatively staged products, a trend came to life, heavily reported on Etsy and Instagram, where mail order gave housewives a moment of creation. Reported searches for dry flowers in both arrangements and single sprays on Etsy between 2020 and 2021 have increased in the range of 90-110%.

Most florists and many home and garden outlets carry a good range of spectacular dried flowers, herbs and seed heads. Some come in dyes of unlikely garish colors, just a matter of taste.

There are extremely high-end gift possibilities in this forever garden that explode memories of those crisp, fly-speckled flowers in your aunt’s downstairs guest locker room. Take a look at Anthropologie’s Fox Blossom Fruit Salad with faux and dried flowers and twisted branches in a lush Dutch masterpiece. € 350, anthropologie.com.

For something less extravagant, expect to pay in the same area as the florist’s fresh flowers. For example, a large bow-tied and boxed composition, created in Ireland in a choice of peacock feather, pink avena, star grass, stabilized white baby’s breath, pink phalaris, white banksia, gray rabbit tails, pink miscanthus, ruscus white, limonium, lavender, astilb and amaranth – would cost between 40 and 75 €, delivery included. thegarden.ie at Powerscourt Townhouse. Vases, if not included, are often offered at a reasonable additional cost.

New Moon Blooms, the company of designer Sharon Griffin (described as Ireland’s leading floral storyteller), works with Irish growers to produce unique dried images in species such as anise, miscanthus, wheat stalks, chrysanthemum grass, bleached thistle and angel hair suitable for interiors and weddings. Arrangements will last at least a year, with prices starting at € 35, newmoonblooms.ie

Mixing a synthetic color with the curious geometry of a large thistle head can be fascinating. Keep in mind that once exposed, UV light will begin to fade the natural or synthetic color of your flowers, so keep them out of direct daylight if possible. Window sills are far from ideal. If you want to try drying botanical plants yourself and the hydrangea is still curled up in bruised blue mop heads; air drying is the easiest way. Flowers and foliage are hung upside down in clusters secured by tight rubber bands (stems will shrink as they dehydrate) in a cool, dry, dark environment for up to three weeks.

Drying flowers is something of an art, so grab the primers in line to make sure you don’t just rot the plants and attract winged insects. The smell will be a dead gift. Small flower heads like daisies and violets and strands of woody foliage can be dried in a silica granule bath in about five days, before being reattached to wires and wooden rods for height. It is even possible to speed up the pressing and preservation of silica from flowers using a microwave; cut lots of fresh pieces and get ready to experiment. Pressed flowers placed on tables and then finished in a brushed or poured resin layer are very trendy on Etsy.

It is a good idea to think about the container you are using before starting any arrangement, as you would with fresh flowers. The more skeletal nature of dried flowers, like eucalyptus, can showcase a pretty piece of glass or ceramic, and with a regressive sepia tone play and upward push, will not obscure its outline or color. . No water means transparent pieces and the stems inside are magnified and celebrated more fully. Trawl Instagram for the latest dried flower centerpieces and large-scale arrangements by fashionistas around the world.

Whether you buy the dry pieces or mix them with your own creations, they should stay dry, so avoid bathroom and kitchen settings for all but the hardiest twig species. Cleaning the stems and petals is tricky because they break so easily and drop their details. It’s often better to blow the dust off with the cool, low setting of your hair dryer than to crush the parts. Dried flowers are dead and decompose very slowly, so expect a standard loss.

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