How to dry British blooms for the festive season
Lucy Vail - 1 min read
At Lucy Vail Floristry we pride ourselves in using as many British blooms as possible throughout the year and Winter is no exception. Whilst fresh flowers might be harder to come by with the shifting of the seasons, you can still create beautiful arrangements with British flowers by drying them. Earlier this year, my team and I started saving the blooms leftover from events and surplus crop from Florsiton Flower Farm to dry within our studio ahead of the festive season. We now have the most fantastic supply of dried hydrangeas, ranunculus, dahlias and meadow flowers (to name a few!) which we will use in our Christmas wreath collection, workshops and other Winter projects. There are two methods we use within the studio, both of which are super easy and don’t require any fancy floristry supplies. Why not give one of them a try at home?
METHOD 1: VASE
The easiest of the two methods (but only by a fraction!), you can simply leave the blooms to dry naturally in their vase. It is really important to make sure that the water in the vase is not too high because the longer the you leave the stems in stagnant water for, the likelihood increases that the blooms will turn and not dry well. We recommend that the height of the water in the vase is no more than 1cm. Hydrangeas are perfect for this method for because their thick stems drink up the water quickly, allowing them to dry out whilst still in their prime. Once the water in your vase has evaporated, leave the blooms to in the vase until they are completely dry.
METHOD 2: HANGING
When your flower has reached maturity, remove it from your arrangement. Take a piece of string, wire or twine - anything will do! - and tie it to the ends of the stems. Make sure that there is enough give on the string for you to suspend the blooms and choose a safe place for them to hang. We hang ours in the studio from the sides of our shelving or our tornado structure but any hook will do as long as the location you are suspending them is dry and out of direct sunlight. Typically we use this method for more delicate blooms such has dahlias and ranunculus because they are more susceptible to stem damage if left in water too long.
Dried flowers can last for years provided they don’t get too battered when in use. Be very careful not to damage the flowers when moving them because dried blooms are very fragile, particular species such as roses and meadow flowers. When your blooms are fully dry, you can either keep them where they dried, or you can store them safely until winter by wrapping them gently with tissue page and placing in a hat box (or something similar that will not let air in). Place your hat box in a warm, dry space to avoid any moisture getting to them in the interim. Airing cupboards are the best place for this. The world is your oyster when it comes to using dried flowers. Add to them your tablescape, create large vases bursting with hydrangeas or perhaps create a mini installation at home. We have used our tornado structure in the studio to keep our dried blooms safe whilst they wait to be used throughout in Christmas designs and I'd heartily recommend doing something similar! If you choose to try your hand at drying, please send me some pictures as I'd love to see them! All my love, Lucy x