Growing dried flowers in my garden
I’ve been reading a fabulous book by Nick Weston called Tree House Diaries in which he builds a tree house in the Sussex countryside and lives in it self-sufficiently for six months. The way it was written made me think that perhaps my dried flower blog would benefit from a more conversational style from time to time, rather than just a series of “how-to”s.
My dried flower garden in June
This month the weather has been really patchy, but I’ve spent as much time in the garden as I can. It’s a small town garden, but has many plants useful in dried flower crafts. This month I have picked some nigella seed heads and poppy seed heads for drying – I may use these in bouquets later on. Over the last couple of days, I have been picking roses – whole flowers and petals, and geranium flowers – these are currently drying in a basket in my airing cupboard for future posts on drying your own wedding confetti and potpourri making.
This morning it dawned on me that if I was going to make my own potpourri, then maybe some scented leaves may come in useful too. So I went outside with a pair of scissors and came back with scented leaf pelargoniums, lemon balm and peppermint leaves. I have no idea how the last two will dry – lemon balm essential oils are notoriously volatile, so I won’t be surprised if there is no fragrance left by the time the leaves are dry. Peppermint leaves have a habit of blackening, so it will be a case of wait and see.
So I currently have an airing cupboard full of scented petals and leaves, and the fragrance upstairs is heavenly!
I live in an 1890’s cottage with a slightly scruffy cottage garden. I love to let things self-seed around (hence the nigella and poppies), and only the strongest plants survive my neglect!
My favourite plant is the rosa mundi rose – for three reasons, firstly its heady perfume, secondly the unusual striping of the petals, and thirdly that it is really robust and spreads by suckers – if it takes over the whole garden I won’t be upset. In my garden it grows underplanted with 3 or 4 different types of hardy geranium. I have a happy colony of rose chafer beetles which seem to love it too!