• Drying flowers by hanging up in our workshop

    Posted on November 14, 2018 by in How to dry flowers

    Preserving flowers in Sussex

    Our Sussex workshop is not glamorous, being an old mechanics workshop, but it has character, being part of an old Victorian stable block. It has a hayloft, and even the original drainage channels in the floor. But best of all for us, it has plenty of beams for hanging up bunches of flowers to dry.

    drying billy buttons

    Experiments in drying

    The blooms I hang up come in three categories – popular ones I’ve dried before; tricky flowers, and the third category – experiments.

    preserving craspedia

    The photo above shows asters drying alongside billy buttons (craspedia). The billy buttons always dry well, but the asters looked great then dropped their petals after a few weeks!

    Popular dried flowers

    Popular flowers I dry regularly include gypsophila, billy buttons, sea lavender, eryngium, celosia and statice.

    drying eryngium flowers

    The image above shows blue eryngium thistles and purple sea lavender (limonium).

    preserving gypsophila babys breath

    White gypsophila, baby’s breath, is really useful for wedding bouquets, flower crowns and table decorations, and dries so a delicate ivory colour.

    Tricky flowers

    These include bunches I’m confident in drying but may not have a market for, or blooms that just won’t co-operate! Previous attempts in this field include feverfew (they dry easily but look a little scruffy), cornflowers (the petals are too brittle), coloured achillea (I tried coloured varieties because yellow Achillea Parker is very reliable as a dried flower, but the other colours faded unfortunately) and astrantia (too expensive to sell).

    drying cornflowers

    The image above shows my experiments a few years ago, drying cornflowers in my airing cupboard.

    achillea inflorescence

    Achillea flowers in mixed shades of pink and apricot, picked from my garden and ready to hang up.

    Trying something new

    Then there’s the third category, which appeals to my scientific nature (my training was in chemistry before a career change twenty years ago) – seeing what will dry. This year I’ve been trialling carnations, asters (see top images), wild carrot, amaranth and pink gyp amongst others.

    pink dried flowers

    The above image shows celosia in the foreground (dried well), cerise carnations (took a long time to dry) behind them, and purple statice (a good dried flower staple) at rear .

    drying seed heads carrot

    Wild carrot seed heads picked from my garden and ready to dry.

    dried pink gypsophila

    Pink gypsophila was a successful experiment for us this year – this is a product photo ready for our shop – the few bunches we had sold out within a week. The amaranth was popular too – look out for more next year.