I guess when they are growing they are not dried flowers so the real title should be growing flowers for drying. As the display above shows you can get colour and texture into a bunch of dried flowers. The display is likely to last longer than a bouquet of fresh flowers and will be available when other material is expensive or in short supply.
There are 5 stages of development when a plant can produces flowers for drying.
- In bud as colour appears, examples being Helichrysum (Straw flowers) and Ammobium ( Everlasting flowers).
- As the buds open, with Echinops (Globe thistle), Eringium (Sea Holly), Lavender and Ornamental Grasses.
- In full bloom, with Achillea (Yarrow), Alchemilla mollis, Gypsophillia and Alliums (ornamental onions)
- After seeds have formed, like the Honesty in the bunch above and Antirrhinum, Poppy and Digitalis (Foxglove)
- Just before the seed pods open, but after spraying with hair lacquer to prevent seeds scattering, Nigella and Scripus ( Bulrush)
The best way to dry flowers is to pick them in mid morning when the dew has evaporated.
- Group them into small bunches and hang them upside down to dry.
- To preserve the colours, hang them in a dry well ventilated space with little or low levels of light.
- Large heads like Alliums and Artichokes need to be dried standing up. Make a chicken wire frame to separate and hold each bloom.