Written by Megh Wigenfeld
There are many occasions when we have such beautiful flowers we wish we could keep forever. During the winter holidays, we reminisce on our past seasonal bouquets and wish we could still have them displayed in our favorite vase. Enter everlasting flowers—a timeless floral technique that allows us to do such things!
photography provided by Megh Wigenfeld
Some flowers naturally dry without chemicals to save them. These flowers will even keep their color if they are taken care of properly! After these flowers are dried, they can be displayed in a vase without water, pressed into a frame, or hung in the same style that they were dried. There are a few techniques to preserve flowers and certain species of flowers that will give you the best results.
DRYING FLOWERS FOR A FRAME DISPLAY
When preserving flowers for a frame display—I recommend using statice, baby’s breath, eucalyptus, and lavender.
If you would like to display your flowers in a frame, they should be dried as much as possible first so there will be no moisture in the frame. Do this by placing stems of flowers in between pages of a large book. This is the same way four leaf clovers are preserved! Then, lay the heavy book flat, perhaps right back on the coffee table. Check on the flowers every few days, pick them up, and move them slightly to see how they are drying.
After a few weeks they will be flattened as if they have been frozen in time. Since the sun hasn’t been touching the flowers, the color will still look fresh. From here, you can arrange them into a frame to create a beautiful design and add color to a room or gallery wall.
DRYING FLOWERS FOR A VASE DISPLAY
When preserving flowers for a vase display—I recommend using billy ball, rye, cotton, strawflowers, globe amaranth, celosia, statice, baby’s breath, eucalyptus, lavender.
If you’d rather have a vase of dried flowers, you will want to hang your bouquet so they remain full. To keep the vibrant colors, make sure the flowers are not hung near direct sunlight. You can string a wire between two walls for hanging bunches of flowers, use the knobs of kitchen cabinets, an unused pegboard or coat rack, or just hang the flowers from hooks or nails on a wall.
When you’ve decided what will work best in your home, take a small bunch of flowers, tie them together with string, then tie the bunch to the hook or wire. As time goes on and these stems dry out, they will get smaller.
Because they change size, every few days you should check on them and tighten the string if necessary. If you are interested in saving the seeds of your flowers to plant in a garden in the spring, attach a brown paper bag around the bunch of flowers before you hang them, or if they are hung in a room where they will not be disturbed, the seeds will fall to the ground and you can collect them (this is very easy to do with celosia).
Lastly, you can always just dry your flowers out by laying them on a platter in a dry area and keeping them out of direct sunlight. Once they’ve dried enough and aren’t droopy, they can be put into a vase or wrapped up into a bouquet and given to a friend.
Flower farmer, stylist and creative based out of Cleveland, Ohio and Brooklyn, New York.
Image source: B. Kulklin Photography