I love fresh flowers (who doesn’t to be fair), but over the last few years, I’ve certainly found myself won over by the everlasting beauty of the dried variety. Their delicate fragility and the rustic imperfection that they add to a space is something else. Plus, there is less work involved in their upkeep! I’ve found myself reaching for them more often than fresh flowers as photo props, too.
Unfortunately, the latest addition to our family at the end of last year – a mischievous black and white kitten – also has a penchant for crunchy dried stems! I’ve regularly found chewed up grasses, leaves and flower heads scattered across my studio floor. I’ve had to put my tiny vases out of reach, and lock away the collection I have for decorating gifts.
While I wait for the cat to grow out of this obsession and I can return my dried flowers to more prominent places around the house, I’m enjoying learning more about them through Angela Maynard’s new book, Modern Dried Flowers. The first part of the book covers sourcing dried flowers, how to grow your own for drying and techniques for successful drying.
It then moves on to the 20 projects that Angela has created, casually ambling through the seasons, incorporating different seasonal blooms. From a pretty hair comb that would be the perfect accessory for a spring or summer wedding, through to an autumnal wreath using eucalyptus, old man’s beard and fennel seed heads, amongst other the stems.
I equally love the simple vase arrangements, where Angela shows which flowers and grasses work well together – an everlasting display for the mantel or a table centrepiece.
There is a useful visual guide of a number of dried flowers, grasses and foliage at the back too, with a little snippet of information on each to help guide you on drying methods and usage. So, as we reach peek time of year for flowers blooming in our gardens and grasses blowing in the breeze, why not look ahead and plan to dry some for creating your own dried arrangements to last a lifetime? (just be sure to keep naughty kittens away from your creations!)
Modern Dried Flowers by Angela Maynard is published by White Lion Publishing, photography by Anna Jacobsen. Available now from all good book stores or via Angela’s website Botany Shop.