The drying process can take up to a week or more. The higher the moisture content of the petals, the longer the process. When ready for use, simply open the book and gently slide your flowers off the wax paper.
Fall containers, window boxes and hanging baskets complement established plantings at this country-style home. Mums, ornamental kale and grasses, and decorative accents like cornstalks, dried flower wreaths and country-style ornaments complete the inviting harvest display.
Shirock's Los Angeles home is full of earthy browns and organic natural elements like dried flowers and macrame that give the space a very Seventies feel.
"I've always spent a lot of time outdoors and prefer the natural to the artificial," says Shirock. "I'm also a big fan of the Seventies, probably my favorite decade," she admits.
Try a new kind of holiday wreath this year. Use all-natural materials found around the kitchen and yard to form an icy decorative element for an outdoor space. To make this wreath you'll need: a Bundt cake pan; tree cuttings; berries; pine fronds; dried flowers; ribbon; a freezer; water; a penny nail; and a hammer.
Save your old mailbox, even if it has a bit of rust. Designer Janna Allbritton reused a discarded mailbox and crate to fill out a mantel and to display dried flowers, a Bible and a small succulent in a pot. "Use the unexpected to create levels and keep the eye moving for a great eye-catching vignette. Old books, a chippy step-stool, an antique box, or a child's chair are great items to start with ... this will give you a great framework from which to build," she says.
Edge planting beds with beautiful lady’s mantle. This is a go-to perennial for cottage or old-fashioned gardens. Leaves have a heavily felted texture that causes water to bead on the surface, even morning dew. Chartreuse flowers appear from late spring to early summer. They make the perfect filler for fresh garden bouquets and also dry well to use in dried flower arrangements. Deer- and rabbit-resistant plants grow 15 to 18 inches tall by 18 to 24 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 3-7. Good vase companions for lady’s mantle: peony, bearded iris, Oriental lily and clustered bellflower.
When clematis flowers fade, they form quirky mophead seedheads that look like something out of a Dr. Seuss story. Each individual stem in the mophead holds a seed at its base. As the seedheads mature, the mop “strings” become fuzzy. Clematis seedheads made a wonderful addition to dried flower creations. This clematis is ‘Rouge Cardinal,’ a beautiful large-flowered pink-hued bloomer. This clematis grows best in full sun. The 5- to 7-inch flowers shift to purple tones when plants receive more shade. To prune, in late winter or early spring, cut all stems back to 6 inches above soil. Vines grow 10 to 12 feet tall and up to 4 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 3 to 10.
Also known as German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), this is the happy flower that yields a soothing tea. Give plants a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Harvest blooms when fully open, and dry for the most concentrated flavor. For tea, steep 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers in 1 cup of boiling water. If using freshly harvested flowers, plan on twice the amount.
Catnip flowers can be made into a tea for insomniacs or headache sufferers. This member of the mint family has a faint, minty fragrance and small, lavender flowers. Use three or four teaspoons of fresh leaves for tea, or one teaspoon of dried catnip leaves.
Few gardeners grow artemisia for its flowers, which are small and not at all showy. But the plants have attractive grayish-green to silvery foliage that's great for dried arrangements. Prune them in late summer to keep them looking neat, and strip the leaves away from the cut ends. Hang them upside down to dry in a well-ventilated, dark place to dry. If you prefer, prune after the flowers appear. Artemisias make a good filler for arrangements, wreaths and swags. In the garden, the plants are stunning beside blue flowers.
Fill a jar or two with seasonal flowers picked up at a local market or grocery store (or even pick some dried hydrangeas from your own yard.) Mix those with pumpkins and seasonal fruits, like apples and pears, to make simple, but pretty table decorations.