Dried Flowers: What to Pick for Drying Now
Seasonal. Sustainable. Scented. Here at The Real Flower Company, we believe in creating bouquets and arrangements that make the most of nature’s gifts as they change from season to season. Our South Downs flower farm is managed in a sustainable way to improve the soil and encourage wildlife, and our mission is to grow flowers and foliage so that they retain all their natural scent and beauty.
Autumn is a very special season on the flower farm. ‘I just adore the way the low autumn sun catches seedpods and leaves, kindling their rich colours into a fiery glow,’ says our founder and flower farmer Rosebie Morton. ‘Autumn shades bring so much pleasure, from red dogwood berries through vibrant rose hips to the bright orange seeds of spindle berries, all standing out against a backdrop of leaves that changes on a daily basis.’
To make the most of the season’s colours and textures, our team of expert florists has created the Seasonal Dried Flower Wreath – a beautiful arrangement that can be hung on an internal door or against a wall (making a great Zoom backdrop!), or used as a table centrepiece. Rosebie is an expert in foraging and drying flowers, so we asked her to talk us through some of the stems she’s picking at the moment for drying.
Hydrangeas look just as good dried as fresh so they form an important addition to our winter range. We have both Hydrangea Annabelle, with its white flowers that dry to a pretty pale green, and Hydrangea Paniculata, which fades into a wonderful antique blush that looks beautiful in any arrangement.
I love the way roses can dry to a more intense and rich colour than when they were first picked, with a lovely sweet scent that is a welcome bonus. The trick is to make sure you dry them completely because if they have even a tiny bit of moisture left they will go mouldy.
This pink feathery grass looks so stunning and architectural as it blows in the wind and catches the light. Its silky flower heads dry beautifully, looking fluffy and wild and adding an element of fun to our dried arrangements.
Anaphalis (Pearly Everlasting)
These pretty, papery, pearl-like flowers can light up a decoration, making them a real asset when winter comes around.
Scabiosa Stellata (Drumstick Scabious or Starflower Pincushion)
This is a plant that can look quite underwhelming when fresh but that comes into its own when dried, with a stunning architectural form that adds interest to everlasting arrangements. It has a habit of shedding its seeds, so you need to treat the heads with hairspray to hold them in place.
Clematis Vitalba (Old Man’s Beard)
This can be a nightmare when it’s growing wild because it’s such a thug it can quickly overwhelm its host plant with its thick vine-like stems. But it comes into its own in autumn when its silky seed heads catch the sun and glisten brightly against the background plant. You need to pick the seed heads while they are still quite young and treat them with hairspray to stop them from blowing away once they have dried.
Limonium Dumosa (Statice Sea Lavender)
The leaves of this plant grow in a rosette fashion, producing airy pale flowers that attract butterflies, making it a great asset in any garden. When dried, the delicate sprays of flowers make a wonderful addition to any arrangement.