I work at a flower shop, I love flowers, I love arranging flowers, but I never take flowers home… because I hate dealing with them! I don't like changing the water, and I especially don't like cleaning gross vases when I inevitably neglect to change the water. But come fall, more and more gorgeous dried plants are available at the flower market, no-maintenance flowers, seeds, and pods with intriguing textures, subtle colors, and an indefinite lifespan.
- Broomcorn is so graceful, and the subtle, sophisticated colors just slay me. This lovely photo was taken by Mountain Lily Farm, where you can buy broomcorn seed to grow your own for next year's bouquets.
- My parents used to have a vase of dried Shepherd's Purse in their kitchen, so seeing The Flower Patch's bunch brought back cozy memories.
- I was recently reading a decade+-old issue of Martha Stewart Living which featured a farm that grows flowers purely for drying. The farmer's personal favorite was black sorghum, and I've been on the lookout for it ever since. You know I love black flowers… Sorghum is available through Terrain, and it is as lovely as I was hoping.
- All of the plants featured here play very well with others — with the exception of yarrow. In my experience, it's a lot like fresh hydrangeas: big, poofy, independent, and difficult to incorporate into a group. But look how pretty it is! Maison De La Croix sells nice bunches.
- Cotton branches are a dream to work with — I recently used small stems in my dear friend's wedding bouquet. City Girl Meets Country Boy likewise used them in her wedding centerpieces and boutonnieres.
- Pepper berries have the same luxurious, languorous, boutiful drape as bunches of grapes, but dried pepper is more likely to last forever — it's much less susceptible to snacking. Cross Creek Ranch sells bunches, and your farmers' market might, too.
- Nigella pods are intriguing when fresh — green striped with burgundy — but are possibly even cooler when dried. Gill of A Small Garden dried these herself, keeping some plain and spray painting others for holiday decorations. Well done!
- I've mentioned my love of rosehips before, and they are as witch-ay dried as they are fresh, and so easy to incorporate into arrangements. Terrain has dried bunches, and though pricey, they are an impressive 3' tall.
- The blue-grey-green of thistles looks amazing with almost anything else, especially reds and oranges. Rosy Posies sells dried echinops that have a great shape.
- The plant I want the very most for all my fall and winter bouquets, wreaths, and garlands is a shade-loving grass called Chasmanthium latifolium. Margaret Roach featured it on A Way To Garden, and I'm afraid that like her, if I ever want it, I'll have to grow it myself. It's so gorgeous!
(Images: as credited above)