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Everlastings: bouquets that last forever

by dig the dirt editor

Reap a harvest of dried flowers, and make bouquets or wreaths that testify to your garden's glory long after your summer flowers have faded.

Easy-to-grow everlasting flowers, such as statice, celosia, globe thistle, artemisia, yarrow, and lavender are a snap to air dry, and they hold their color for years. Here’s how to cut and dry everlasting flowers.

 

Cut-trim-tie-hang.detail

  • Clip flowers while they are in full bloom and best color.
  • Strip off the lower leaves from the stems
  • Combine 8 to 10 stems together and bind together with a rubberband or raffia.
  • Hang the flower bundles upside-down from a drying rack in a cool, dry, dark spot (garages make good drying rooms).
  • When stems are dry and are easily snapped in two (after 1 to 2 weeks), place flowers in a vase or use for wreaths.

Vase basics
Most flower gardeners have lots of vases, from formal cut-crystal to down-on-its-heels crockery. But you can expand your definition of vases by rummaging through your kitchen cupboards, garage, or basement to discover flower vessels as simple and unassuming as mason jars, old pitchers, milk bottles, drinking glasses, or old paint cans. Here are some other tips for displaying your home-grown bouquets:

  • Stand up straight. To get flowers to stand erect in a vase, use a frog to help bolster blooms. These old-fashioned floral tools (with spikes to hold the flowers upright) are great for displaying flowers in low dishes or bowls. You can also use a small ball of chicken wire in large containers to help hold blossoms in place.
  • At ease. Not all flowers need to stand at attention. In fact, lots of flowers look best lolling at ease. Gather up an armful of blooms and set them into a container, allowing lots of blooms to droop over the container’s edge.
  • One is the loveliest number. Try individual blooms placed in small bottles, such as old perfume or medicine bottles, then group these singular beauties together as a centerpiece.
  • Can’t hold its water. You can use non-watertight containers, such as a wooden box or leaky watering can, by inserting a glass into the center of the container to hold the blooms and water.
  • A clean start. Before placing flowers into any vase, clean it up with a good scrubbing of soap and hot water and a splash of chlorine bleach to kill bacteria.

CHECK OUT: Cutting Gardens

Tags

cut flowers, tips on cutting flowers

comments

Have to get on this before winter comes.
Sprite
Seedling commented on 09/20/09
This reminds me of growing up and seeing my Mom's kitchen ceiling covered with bundles of drying flowers! Might have to start this tradition again with my kids!
Sprite
chief cultivator commented on 05/09/09

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