If you’ve followed our blog posts or read the hanging tags that come on our arrangements, you know how important sustainability is to our personal family and our shop family. During the non-growing season, dried elements are both fun and sustainable!
We continue to explore ways to implement sustainable practices at our shop. One of the most damaging things to the planet in the US floral industry is flying in 80% of our flowers from other countries. That’s why we are so excited to source some of our flowers from local regenerative family farms. I follow many flower farmers on Instagram, but one of my favorites is @BlossomAndBranchFarm. Last fall she posted this reel about creating arrangements out of dried elements during the winter when fresh flowers aren’t growing.
For me it’s the floral equivalent of canning. Homesteaders living off the land grow an abundance of vegetables so they have enough fresh produce to eat during the summer and enough to can and store to eat in the winter. I know a chef who is dedicated to only selling food that is locally sourced. A customer was complaining that his hamburger didn’t have a tomato on it. The chef patiently explained that tomatoes don’t grow in Virginia in January.
Obviously using only dried elements during the winter isn’t practical for us, but the idea has really stayed with me. This year we are experimenting with adding more dried elements to our arrangements as we find a balance between practicality and sustainability. Here are some of the dried elements we have in the shop!
One thing we love to utilize in arrangements is texture, and grasses are an excellent way to add some! Most plants get brittle and crisp when they’re dried, but pampas grass and miscanthus grass stay soft and fluffy! Zebra grass’s unique markings make any arrangement stand out, and we also love to use bunny tails for little pops of texture.
Greenery isn’t just green! When dried, some of the foliage we use in our arrangements take on completely new colors. For instance, grevillea, which can be tinted orange or red, fades when it’s dried, bringing a muted color to the arrangement. And while most people think of the green, shiny side of magnolia leaves, we love to use the brown, suede-like underside as well!
Grains are another dried element we love to use in arrangements! While the main use of wheat, millet, and sorghum is food, they also have a place in the floral world. These grains give arrangements a rustic look and can even be dyed to take on unusual colors!
Seeds come in all shapes and sizes, and we love to use them all! The unique shapes of seedbox and lotus pods lend themselves to artistic arrangements. Pinecones are a symbol of fall and winter, and we especially love to use them in holiday centerpieces!
As you can see, dried elements come in a variety of colors and textures. They will be a fun addition to our winter and holiday arrangements this year!