Some flowers retain their colors and scents when they are cut and dried, and can be used in flower arrangements throughout the year. Seedheads look striking in indoor arrangements too, but leave some on the plants if you want a dramatic winter border.
When to plant: Summer to autumn.
At their best: All year round.
Time to complete: About 2 weeks for drying.
You will need: Flowers for drying, rubber bands, tacks or pins, hooks or paperclips, string.
Plant and sow
Several perennials are useful as dried flowers, but you may want to sow some annuals too. Sow half-hardy annuals into modules or pots indoors in spring, planting out when all risk of frost has passed. Hardy annuals can be sown direct in autumn or spring. Water, feed, and deadhead as you would any other plant.
Cut in dry weather
Pick flowers for drying in fine weather to avoid excess moisture on the foliage and petals. Most flowers will dry better if they are cut before they are fully open. Pick roses just as the buds begin to open, and lavender stems as the top petals start to emerge.
Air-dry the blooms
Tie a few stems together with string or a rubber band. Use a kitchen hook or a paper clip to attach the band to a line of string or tie them to a bamboo cane. Then fix the string or cane to the ceiling in a cool, airy place. Because strong light bleaches out the colors, it is best to hang them in the dark, or at least in low light.
Flowers for drying: Achillea, Cornflower, Centaurea, Globe thistle, Echinops, Hare’s tail, Lagurus, Lavender, Love-in-a-mist, Nigella, Quaking grass, Briza, Sea holly, Eryngium, Statice, Limonium, Strawflower, Xerochrysum.