Gloriously faded flowers

Preserve the best of autumn

The words wilted, dried out and perished are often used negatively, but when it comes to flowers that's neither fair nor true. Some flowers become even more beautiful as they age. Faded flowers can be used to create stunning floral arrangements, filled with memory and nostalgia. Delight in a drooping bloom or crisped-up petal, embrace the wilting process and join in with this season's big flower trend: dried bouquets.

Preserve Autumn in a dried bouquet -

Pre-dried flowers or DIY: arrange and behold

You can make flower arrangements with dried blooms in two ways: either purchase pre-dried stems or bouquets from the florist and arrange them at home, or dry your own cut flowers. If you have a chance then try the latter, as it is extremely creative and rewarding. When your bouquet about to turn, it's an excellent time to preserve it. Make small bunches of flowers and hang them upside down to dry them out. For best results, do this in a dark, warm spot such as the attic, because the faster the flowers dry, the better they retain their original shape and colour. Tip: spray hairspray on the dried flowers to hold the petals together.

Other drying techniques

The fun thing about drying flowers is you never know in advance what the end result is going to look like. That keeps it exciting and, once again, proves that Mother Nature can't be told what to do. If you’d like to experiment with a different drying technique, set a convection oven to around 38 degrees and check the result after a couple of hours. Or take the traditional route and use heavy books to press your favourite stems. The best part is when you forget about them, so when you open your art book again a few months later, you're surprised with a tiny gift.