We thought it would be useful for us and for you to know what we’re picking and drying right now as well as what we’re using in our bouquets. We let the seasons inspire us, just like a good chef would, and we work with our growers to make the most of what’s in their garden. Because we don’t know exactly what is blooming in our growers garden’s, how many stems or what colours I leave it up to them to send us what they’ve got and that includes whether it’s got short, bendy or long stems. It’s always seemed the most sensible way to work, however I’ve since realised that’s not the way with most florists who prefer to have complete control over their flower ordering.
Never quite knowing what I’m going to get week to week has challenged me as a florist to use different flora and colours than I might otherwise have chosen. It’s helped me to create some beautiful work and changed my mind about certain flowers I didn’t think I liked – like sunflowers. The bronze Moulin Rouge variety is incredible! It leads to a better relationship with my growers and is exciting for me.
We find the easiest most effective method for drying is to hang the flowers in a dark, dry room with good ventilation. With flowers remove most of the foliage so there is good airflow around the flower heads, tie the stems with a rubber band (as the stems will shrink as they dry) then hang the bunch upside down and leave them for a few weeks. Flowers may only take a couple of weeks to dry in summer but a lot longer in Winter.
We’ve been busy drying zinnia, dahlias, amaranthus, hydrangea and sedum. Foliage has included eucalyptus, corokia berries, olearia and firethorn (pyracantha) for it’s berries also to hopefully put aside for Christmas wreaths later in the year. When drying dahlia those with bigger heads may require some support so you could place the stem through chicken wire and leave it to dry upright.
For the big, heavy, hanging varieties of amaranthus, rather than hanging them upside down we like to place the stem in a tall vase and leave it to dry upright because we want the amaranthus trails to hang down as they naturally would, rather than drying in an unnatural upright position.
You’ll need gloves for this and probably safety glasses too. Click here to view.