Uncovering The Hidden Long Tail Of Micro-Moments

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June 5, 2024

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UK, Manchester

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Uncovering The Hidden Long Tail Of Micro-Moments

Discovering The Beauty In Dried Flowers

You know, I used to turn my nose up at dried flowers. They just reminded me of those tacky, dated floral arrangements from the late ’80s – the kind that would collect dust and cobwebs in someone’s living room for years on end. What a depressing thought! But boy, have my views on dried flowers changed over the years.

It all started a couple of seasons ago when I was wrapping up the “winter” chapter of A Year in Flowers. I realized just how versatile and useful dried flowers can be, especially when you use the right drying techniques. Suddenly, I found myself falling down a rabbit hole of dried flower exploration, learning everything I could about preserving blooms and creating gorgeous arrangements and accents.

As I discovered, if you know what you’re doing, you can dry just about anything – from delicate strawflowers to textural celosias to stunning eucalyptus. And the best part? You can enjoy the beauty of these preserved flowers long after their fresh counterparts have faded.

Drying 101: Tips From The Pros

Of course, getting the drying process right is key. After plenty of trial and error, I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade. First and foremost, timing is everything. You want to harvest your flowers at just the right stage of openness for the best results.

For example, with strawflowers, you’ll want to cut them when the buds are showing color but haven’t fully opened yet. That way, they’ll retain their shape and hue as they dry. Same goes for statice – you want to snip the stems when all the flowers on a single stem have appeared.

Another important tip? Location, location, location. Drying flowers needs to happen in a warm, dark, and dry environment. I like to hang my bunches upside down in the back of the garage, where it gets nice and toasty in the summer. Just be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight, which can cause fading.

Unexpected Gems

As I dove deeper into the world of dried flowers, I started discovering all sorts of unexpected gems. Take celosias, for instance – those incredible, textural blooms that come in such a wide variety of shapes and colors. Or globe amaranth, with its adorable button-like flowers that look just as stunning dried as they do fresh.

And then there’s eucalyptus. This versatile, fragrant foliage is a staple in the floral world, and it dries beautifully too. In fact, I’m a big fan of the ‘Round-leaved Mallee’ variety. The blue-green and silvery hues complement both cool and warm color palettes, and the aroma is simply divine.

One of my other favorite dried finds has to be cress. Those tall, sturdy stems with the beautiful silvery seedpods make for a fantastic filler in bouquets and wreaths. And the best part? They’re practically immune to wilting or shattering.

Bringing Back The Classics

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the tried-and-true dried flower favorites. Larkspur, for instance, is one of the easiest cut flowers to grow, and the dried spikes add such a lovely, architectural element to arrangements.

And let’s not forget about hydrangeas – those stunning, color-changing blooms that dry beautifully when handled with care. I’ve had great success drying the ‘Annabelle’ and ‘Limelight’ varieties, which retain their vibrant hues even after the drying process.

Then there are the classics like strawflowers and statice – two of my personal go-to’s for dried arrangements. With their bright, saturated colors and unique textures, they’re the perfect way to add pops of visual interest to any floral design.

Dried Flowers: The Next Big Thing?

As I reflect on my own journey with dried flowers, I can’t help but feel like we’re on the cusp of a real revival. These preserved blooms are popping up everywhere, from high-end floral shops to trendy home decor stores. And with good reason – they offer a timeless, natural beauty that’s perfect for so many different applications.

Just take a look at the stunning wreaths and arrangements created by my friend Siri. She’s a true master of the craft, weaving together a beautiful tapestry of dried flowers, foliages, and pods. The end results are nothing short of breathtaking, proving that dried flowers can be just as captivating as their fresh counterparts.

So if you, like me, have been hesitant to embrace the dried flower trend, I encourage you to give it another chance. Experiment with different varieties, play around with drying techniques, and let your creativity run wild. Who knows – you might just discover a whole new world of floral beauty hiding in plain sight.

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Happy drying, my friends! I can’t wait to see what you create.

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