Dried flowers have been on the scene for some time now and they’re growing in popularity.
A favourite feature of wedding styling, we fell hard for Mandy Moore’s pastel-dyed pampas grass wedding aisle in September 2019, only to witness yet more dried flower bouquets and table arrangements at hipster wedding fair Most Curious Wedding Show this February.
Now, dried flowers have officially become the staple of an on-point interior aesthetic. Lifestyle influencers like Heart Zeena routinely position a bunch of brightly coloured bunny tails and poppy seeds in an equally bright vase.
Speaking to Stylist.co.uk, Rosie Conroy, florist and co-founder of wedding prop business Lavender and Rose, comments on the trend, explaining why it’s so popular right now.
“Dried flowers are definitely having a ‘moment’, thanks – in part, we think – to them popping up all over social media influencer’s pages.
“They’re such an easy, affordable way to have flowers in your home all year long, who wouldn’t like them? Plus, no horrible wilted blooms and dirty water that you forgot to throw out long after your flowers were past their peak (just us?),” they explain.
Conroy continues: “From bright and blousy to stripped back neutrals, there really are dried flowers for every taste. There’s a big trend at the moment for bleached white dried flowers, which we do understand as tonal design is beautiful, but these aren’t always the most ecologically friendly options.
“The processes needed to bleach natural stems which then don’t crumble to bits afterwards means pretty harsh chemicals are used, that aren’t great for the planet. The natural earth tones of dried flowers which have been left to their own devices are just as pretty and can be grown in the UK, meaning they haven’t travelled a million miles to get to you.”
“Aside from bunches, we’re also seeing more and more consumers asking for dried elements in their wedding or event flowers. Mixing in dried grass, foliage or flowers with fresh stems gives a gorgeous contrast in terms of textures, and means you have something you can keep to remember your big day, long after the party has finished,” she says.
We’ve long wanted to incorporate the look into our home decor, so we’ve taken inspiration from this irresistibly beautiful trend to create a guide on how to style dried flowers in your home. Thin where to buy them, what to put them in and how to create your own, if you should so be inclined.
The best dried flowers to buy for yourself or a friend
Lavender & Rose
Based in Scotland, Lavender & Rose send their dried flowers across the UK in beautifully presented boxes. With a focus on careful sourcing, the duo behind the brand – twin sisters, Rosie and Jess – have chosen dried stems that aren’t dyed or treated with harsh chemicals to try to limit their environmental impact.
For purists there are British wheat stems – basically as close as you can get to drying your own flowers without having to get your hands dirty – which thankfully come with very few airmiles or much intervention. Elsewhere, there are fluffy white cotton stems that make a real statement piece when displayed simply in a large vase en masse.
The most popular bunches of their loot, however, are the bunny tail grasses (which any self-respecting dried flower lover will be sure to recognise from Instagram snaps). These soft little straws make a gorgeous display when broken up into smaller jars and dotted around on your bedside table or living room shelves. Starting from just £15, these natural-coloured dried flowers make the perfect gift for eco-loving pals and come wrapped in recyclable packaging with a luxury ribbon finish, topped off with a hand-written note card for a personal touch.
The Happy Blossoms
If bright and bold is more your dried flower style, then you can’t beat a bit of the The Happy Blossoms. Their gorgeous, buoyant designs are nearly impossible not to like and inject a little sunshine into whatever surrounds they’re landed in. While they do sell neutrals, we think if you’re going to plump for these, you’re best going all in to select one of their dreamy, colour combinations.
With varying stems in each mix you’ll get lots of different flowers, and because the bouquets are made to order you’ll be getting your hands on entirely one-of-a-kind product. With a choice between small, medium and large there are varying price points too, which is a nice touch. Each bunch comes wrapped in branded Kraft paper with a colourful bow and a ‘flowers make people happy’ tag which you can personalise with a message of your choice.
The pictured Sherbert Macaroon bunch is one of our favourites, and the brand says it ‘is inspired by a technicolour dream and is guaranteed to bring joy and happiness to the rainiest of days!’ If that doesn’t bring a smile to the recipient’s face, we don’t know what will.
Dot and the Dandelion
When landing on Dot and the Dandelion’s page, it’s not hard to tell that the owner has a background in fine art and photography given the gorgeous imagery and quirky presentation of their dried flowers.
Our favourite design - Ceres in a can - is a mini dried flower arrangement which comes presented in a unique vintage tin can, perfect for lifting a small corner of your home. The stems vary from design to design thanks to the organic nature of the materials, but you can expect gorgeous ever-lasting things like straw flowers, wild oats, rodanthe and textured grasses.
Dot and the Dandelion’s designs change seasonally, which is good news for any self-confessed dried flower obsessives – offering you something new every few months to treat yourself to. Based in Bristol, Dot and the Dandelion deliver their bunches across the UK with delivery taking roughly three days, so if this is a gift it’s worth noting a little thinking ahead could be a good idea.
Beautiful vases to keep your dried flowers in
Smallable is a chic French brand which carefully picks products that are hard to find elsewhere. This conscious choice to stock unusual fashion items and homewares has made it particularly popular with the Instagram set who are always looking for a point of difference for their homes, and we love the hugely varying designs.
For dried flowers we think you can’t get much sweeter than this colourful shell vase, which also comes in two other colours. Hand sewn and laminated, this paper vase is wonderfully inventive. Simply cut off the top of a plastic bottle to create a vase and slip this cover over the top for instant fairy tale seaside scenes.
Carefully shaped into a gorgeous organically formed vase, this piece is typically Anthropology with its quirky edge. While we love the pink background, there is also an option with a white background which is equally as gorgeous, and the pair would look impressively impactful together.
Because of the intricate floral pattering, we think the best pairing for this vase would be a cute mixed bunch of dried flowers that reflect the stoneware’s design. As each piece is handcrafted there are little quirks to every vase sent out, so you know you’ll be getting something a little bit special.
Hammered glass bottle vase
You may well already know Rose and Grey from their social media presence, which is big across all platforms thanks to their dreamy designs and flawless styling.
With particular attention paid to pared-back pieces, we think these hammered gold and glass vases make a real signature statement for the brand. We love the beauty of simplicity and think these would be perfect paired up with neutral flowers for a clean, calming look in a bedroom or bathroom.
How to dry your own flowers:
The easiest way to try the flower trend of the moment is to buy from the specialists listed above. But, if you’re feeling inspired and would like to give drying your own flowers a go, it’s surprisingly easy to do.
Things to consider:
- Fully matured flowers are more likely to lose all of their petals in the drying process, so if there’s a bouquet you particularly want to keep, don’t wait until the end of its life to dry it.
- Consider the type of flowers you’re drying: roses and lavender work better for air drying while tulips, daisies and chrysanthemums are more suited to microwave drying. But we’ll get onto that in more detail later.
- Cut down stems to around eight inches, or whatever you’re preferred length is as long as it’s not shorter than six inches. Remove the flowers from direct sunlight immediately.
- Remove excess foliage and leaves from the stem and wipe off any moisture left from the vase.
- Take them to a dark, dry room with good circulation, and using string or unflavoured dental floss, tie the tip of the stem of each flower to a clothes hanger, so they’re hanging upside down.
- Leave them there for three weeks and finally spray with unscented hair spray when they’re done.
- Find a microwave safe container that you’re happy to dispose of or only use for flowers after this project.
- Cover the bottom of the container in silica gel crystals (these will absorb the moisture from your flowers) before putting your flowers in stem first. Your stems will have to be quite short for this method, as it would take a lot of crystals to hold up a full stem and you probably won’t be able to fit a container that big in your microwave.
- Keep pouring in crystals until you can place them around the petal of your flowers. Be sure to be gentle so that the petals don’t get damaged. They don’t need to submerge your petals completely, but scatter a decent amount in-between them to absorb all the moisture.
- Place the uncovered container in the microwave and start off with two minutes of heat. Check how you’re flowers are doing before heating for another one to two minutes.
- Once finished, quickly cover the container leaving just a teeny tiny crack of air, and leave for at least 24 hours.
- Clean the gel from the petals with a fine brush and then mist with an acrylic spray.
Anything else I need to know?
Conroy explains that dried flowers are also a good investment as they’re so low maintenance. But you do need to clean them down every now and then.
“As long as you keep dried flowers cool, in a dry spot away from sunlight there’s no reason they shouldn’t last for years and add a little pop of texture or colour to a quiet corner of your home,” she says.
“To keep them clean you can gently dust off larger leaves and blooms, and gently blow on more delicate stems which will ensure they last as long as possible.”
Images: Heart Zeena
Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.