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Home & Garden Dried flowers: Where to buy, best varieties and arrangement tips

14:06  21 february  2020
14:06  21 february  2020 Source:   countryliving.com

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These flower arrangement tips will give you the confidence to arrange flowers in a vase. Flower Arrangement - Hydrangea, Magnolia and Citrus Citrus and Hydrangea Centerpiece- Love Natural tall dried arrangement dried flower bouquet dried flower arrangement neutral palette flower decor

  Dried flowers: Where to buy, best varieties and arrangement tips © Getty Dried flowers have seen a boost in popularity lately and it’s not hard to see why. Aside from looking gorgeous on your kitchen table or windowsill, these maintenance-free blooms offer plenty of perks. "As they have no need for light or water, they're perfect for rooms with little natural light, second homes, rentals and workplaces," says florist Katherine Whitchurch, who set up her preserved-flower company, Shida, in 2018.

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They’re also much better for the environment than your weekly fresh bunch. "So many of the fresh cut flowers we buy have been grown abroad," Katherine continues. "Their short lifespan means they must be transported quickly by air in temperature-controlled conditions. Preserved and dried stems don’t need this special treatment and they last far longer too."

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In fact, dried blooms can last years with care, making them a much less wasteful option. Unlike faux stems, they’re 100% natural and biodegradable, so if you’re concerned about your carbon footprint, they’re a pretty good option. 

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Best dried flowers to buy

A quick Google should help you, but we recommend looking on places like Trouva, Not On The High Street or Etsy, where you’ll find plenty of small independent florists that specialise in dried flowers. Many sell a range of varieties by the stem so you can mix-and-match.

If you don’t want to arrange your own, Shida has a range of dried and preserved bunches, seasonal floral décor boxes as well as letterbox bouquets that make great gifts.

Alternatively, you could pop along to one of the wreath making workshops at Riverford (yes, the organic veg box brand), where you’ll be supplied with everything you need to make your own dried flower wreath for your kitchen.

  Dried flowers: Where to buy, best varieties and arrangement tips © Getty

How to care for dried flowers

Looking after dried flowers is pretty foolproof. Just keep them out of direct sunlight and don’t get them wet. Preserved blooms may look fresh, but they’ll quickly suffer if you put them in a vase of water.

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See more ideas about Flower arrangements , Floral arrangements and How to wrap flowers . - 13 Clever Flower Arrangement Tips & Tricks How to take grocery store flowers and make them look stunning! These flower arrangement tips will give you the confidence to arrange flowers in a vase.

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"If you put dried flowers anywhere damp, they’ll go mouldy," says Penny Hemming, head gardener for Riverford, who runs the dried-flower wreath workshops. "To clean them, just give them a good blast with a hairdryer."

  Dried flowers: Where to buy, best varieties and arrangement tips © Getty

How to dry flowers at home

Drying your own flowers is straightforward. Keep them dry and out of the sun and you should have a bunch to enjoy for the foreseeable future in just a week to 10 days. "I hang them upside down on a string in my house," says Penny. "Keep the bunch small, as if you’ve got a massive great wad of stems, it’s going to take longer."

When it comes to choosing stems, it's fun to experiment. Wild flowers, roses and eucalyptus work well, but you don't have to stick with traditional options. "I’m a great fan of drying seed heads and weeds," says Penny. "Once they've gone to seed, even dock leaves go these amazing red and brown colours that look really good. Dried herbs also have a lovely smell."

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How to arrange dried flowers

Unlike traditional floral bouquets, Penny recommends going more eclectic with dried arrangements. All-flower arrangements look a bit unnatural, so she likes mixing flowers with seed heads like poppies, as these look fantastic all year round. "It’s always good to mix in something green that smells nice, too, such as dried oregano," says Penny.

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Keep a pair of sharp scissors or garden shears handy to cut your stems to the height you need as you arrange them. "Position the less-delicate foliage in the vase first to create the structure and shape of your arrangement," says Katherine.

Avoid using gardener’s foam to help position the stems – it has fallen out of favour recently due to its lack of eco-credentials and has even been banned by the RHS at all its flower shows from 2021. Look for a more sustainable option like gravel, sand or supportive twigs.

If floristry really isn’t your strong point, however, you can go very minimal with a selection of single stems. "A big jug of poppy seed heads will always look lovely," says Penny. "You really can’t go wrong."

  Dried flowers: Where to buy, best varieties and arrangement tips © Getty

What are preserved flowers?

If you’re struggling with the idea of giving up fresh flowers, don’t panic. Firstly, there are ethical options out there, so you don’t have to stop buying them (plus, a lovely bouquet will always make a great last-minute gift). But if you’re intrigued, you could consider investing in some preserved flowers instead.

"Preserved flowers are essentially dried flowers where the sap has been replaced with glycerine, giving them a fresh-look appearance and flexible stems, petals and leaves," says Katherine, who was inspired to start her company as she didn’t like having to use unsustainable plastic flowers for long-lasting arrangements. "With care, the fresh appearance can last a year or even longer, after which time the flowers will slowly dry."

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