Autumn is the season that steals my heart year after year. With the warm tones and cooler weather, I savor almost every transition, with the exception of the loss of our favorite summer blooms. The vibrant colors and beautiful arrangements bring life to our homes, which can feel lost with the season change. What many people don’t think to do is to dry their beloved blooms before they wilt. With a little bit of forethought, you can hold on to your garden treasures for years to come. I have shared with you in years past my dried flower arrangements that I have in my home. My mother made them for me and I treasure them.
I was thrilled to see in our new issue of The Cottage Journal, an article about the history of dried flowers. Here is a little bit of what they learned:
“For everyone who regrets letting summer go, there is a solution. With a pair of scissors and a little forethought, the embers of summer can endure to perk up your home with their sprightly brilliance throughout the year. When the last rose of summer is withering and the final flowers in the garden are slowly bowing out, dried flowers are mementos of a past season. Make a few snips now, and those flowers will be with you forever.
Exactly when the scheme for drying flowers began, nobody knows. But the tradition undoubtedly has deep roots. For as long as civilizations have been growing flowers, gardeners have sought to preserve their glory. Dried flowers were found in Egyptian tombs as proof that the art of preserving occurred at the time of the Pharaohs. Much later, the Victorians practiced flower drying as an art form, using dried flowers in jewelry and shadowboxes. Nowadays, all sorts of means expedite drying flowers. But originally, the easiest method of preserving flowers indefinitely was to grow plants with petals that refuse to fall.
Sometimes their names reveal the durability of flowers that never fade. Strawflowers (Helichrysum bracteatum), pearly everlastings (Anaphalis margaritacea), and immortelles (Helichrysum arenarium) are all obvious candidates. Several herbs such as lavender, oregano, yarrow, and tansy hold their color when the flowers are dried. In addition, globe amaranth, globe thistle, statice, safflowers, marigolds, echinops, and hydrangeas look lovely long after the plants come and go, if you preserve them properly.”
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