Dried flowers have always been popular in bouquets and there's no reason why you can't become part of the dried flower craze, too! Best part is, there are so many different ways to used dried flowers:
1. Use them as dried bouquets the year round
2. Mix with green materials for unusual effects
3. Use with live flowers
4. Use in making miniature scenes
5. Used in framed picture bouquets
Besides the wild ones we gather, such as dock, teasel, and cattails, there are so many that are great garden subjects. Did you know you can dry Bells of Ireland and the popular celosia?
Following these principal directions will help in drying flowers.
a. Hang for straighter stems, always dry slowly in a closet, or garage, where you get good even temperature.
b. Never dry over any types of heat (fireplace, oven, conversations).
c. You may want to try sand or silica-gel, but for these listed I prefer the usual slow dry in even temperature and shade.
Strawflowers: They are listed as acroclinium or helichrysum. Acrocliniums are about 2 inches across, 15 inches tall, semi-daisy like flowers. They are fine used fresh or dried. Helichrysum are about 2 ½“across, 2 ½ feet tall with large double flowers. Also make fine fresh flowers. Grow in full sun.
Gomphrena or Globe Amaranth: Some are 9” tall with ball shaped clover like flowers in reddish purple. Mixed colors will be in white, pink, red; blossoms about ¾ of an inch across. Use fresh or dried. These make an interesting edging in the flower garden, along a walkway or edge of planter boxes. Grow in full sun.
Quaking Grass or Briza Maxima: 12 to 15 inches tall with oddly formed flat cone shaped heads. The heads may remind you of the wild rattlesnake grass. Use as an edging. Use fresh or dried. They give a light airy appearance in arrangements.
Lunaria or Money Tree: Who said money doesn't grow on trees! Sometimes also called dollar plant because of its dollar shaped pods. Grows about 2 ½' or into large shrubs. Little purple flowers followed by paper like, flat silvery round seed pods. One of the most unusual of the dried materials.
Statice: You can grow it from seed; also buy it in small plants or gallon cans. The “art shades” come in fawn, pink, red, salmon, mauve, yellow, white, blue, and near orange. The common ones are usually found in blue, rose and white. They make clusters of flowers on still stems and are very graceful in both fresh and dried bouquets. They are very bright in spring-dried arrangements.
Dried flowers can be used all year. In bouquets, when flowers are spent, they can still be used to keep the vase going until you incorporate fresh material. Seeds and sets of all of these can be found at your local nursery, garden center, garden catalog and borrowing from your neighbors garden. Just give them a heads up before harvesting. We don't want you to get any buckshot in embarrassing places.