dried flowers in vase

Spruce Up the Farmhouse With Dried Flowers

As summer flowers fade and the landscape turns dusky and golden, I tend to forego fresh floral arrangements in the house. I’m drawn more to the dried seedheads and grasses, sage, and alliums that often look beautiful bundled together or placed into little vases sans water at this time of year. 

Although the above photo demonstrates where I typically find my dried blooms and grasses, you don’t have to forage for your dried arrangements in the wild. If you live in a more urban area where fresh — much less dried —  flowers aren’t waiting to be picked just outside your door, there are plenty of alternatives at the florist shop and the grocery store! You can also purchase a few fresh bouquets and dry them on your own.


Dried Bouquets and Their Tawny Beauty

Unlike fresh floral arrangements, which are fleeting, dried bouquets can become a permanent part of your decor. For me, during these cooler fall days, when the kids are at school, and I’m at home working, I’ll take a few breaks to slip outside with a basket and look for some alluring dried stems. Home I come with my pretties, and when I have a moment, I’ll take some time to piece bits together into bouquets to hang and display throughout the house. It can be a pretty meditative process.

Black seedheads might appear sad just hanging out there dried and possibly disheveled in your garden, but place them together with a smattering of other dried stems, and they add a focal point to your arrangement! Try it! Gather them in a vase together with more whispy elements like rye grasses and slip a dried allium in there (or two). Simple, delicate, sweet.

Don’t Forget Eucalyptus!

Eucalyptus stems dry beautifully and continue to offer up their clean, woodsy scent even after they’re past their prime (I have a few dried eucalyptus swathes that have been around for years, and they still give off a beautiful fragrance). 

I typically purchase multiple bouquets from the grocery store and place them in water for a few weeks (refreshing the water every few days). When the stems seem to be closing up, I take them out of the vase and hang them from a hook to dry. Once dry, they can be placed with other dried stems like lavender (which also holds onto its scent when dried) and either hung or placed in a container.

Tree Twigs Work Too!

Now, if dried flowers aren’t your thing (and I get that, it did take me a while to come around to the dried flowers craze — at first, they gave off a terrible 80s Hobby Lobby vibe), an alternative is cutting branches from trees. Aspens, Maples, and other trees turning their incredible shades of gold, orange, and red, look pretty grouped into big bundles in a pitcher. Once snapped from the tree, they won’t stay their gorgeous shades very long but they will offer you at least a few days of splendor. You may not love the way they look as they dry up and get crinkly, but depending on how they dry they may provide a different kind of desiccated beauty.

Tips for Drying Flowers 

If you’re purchasing flowers to dry rather than foraging for them outside in your yard or garden, here are a few tips for making sure they dry beautifully and not in a moldy mess.

  1. Remove some of the leaves from the bottom part of the stems. Keep a few at the top.
  2. Lay the stems out on a towel so that they dry before you tie them up. It takes about a day for most of the water to totally evaporate.
  3. Bundle your arrangement together in whatever way is most appealing to you, then use either a rubber band or a bit of twine to secure the bouquet together.
  4. That said, make sure you aren’t squashing any of the blooms. It’s okay if they look a little wonky as that adds to their charm, but a flattened pink rose will look pretty sad in a dried floral arrangement.
  5. Although drying flowers look cute hanging in the kitchen from a hook or rod or even a piece of driftwood, if you want to retain some of their color, you’ll need to hang them in a dark room away from sunlight.
  6. In 3–4 weeks, your flowers should be completely dry and ready to show off around the farmhouse.

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