Thursday, November 1, 2012

Is it time yet to bring back dried flowers?

During the last century, when I was young and free in Berkeley, there were versions of Urban Outfitters all along Telegraph Avenue outside of Sather Gate that carried a huge selection of dried flowers.  They were useful for dropping into heavy, hippy ceramic vases: a sort of de regueur decorating strategy for rickety tables and windowsills where Tree of Life bedspreads blew next to them as an opaque curtain option for slim wallets and zeitgeist imaginations.(is that an oxymoron)?

In the last decade of the last century, when I was older and finally a florist, dried wreaths were on order in the fall,  arrangements of cockscomb and wheat bulged out of terra cotta pots with pretty ribbons,  and dried roses and peonies were sold by the bunch.

Our wholesale hardgoods supplier had almost nothing dried on hand this season. (There was, however a  motherload of Ting Ting - god bless it).  So if the wholesaler doesn't stock them, that must mean there isn't a demand.  And truthfully, I haven't cared about drieds for several years.

Last week, a client came in to ask for Lunaria.  Silver dollar plant.  Most Luneria I've seen is usually spotted and falling apart, although Jaime at The Monkey Flower Group had some last year that was pristine and therefore, beautiful.  This photo was taken from Mountain Farms website:



As I was looking through the dried flower selections, I wondered why they aren't popular anymore.

The little star flower is just as appealing as it was at the dawn of time when I was in Berkeley:


And look at this Santa Cruz oregano.



And these pod like flowers.


I'm ordering the Lunaria... and maybe a few other things. Stay tuned.

18 comments:

An Urban Cottage said...

I think the memory or our mom's dried flowers with a seven-year dust layer is too close to the surface for many of us.

That being said, having dried hydrangea from my own garden that still has the blush of a recent life makes me think there are some acceptable ways of using it. I think it's a great way to extend a flower budget but it should have a shelf life. Maybe three months. Set a timer.

Bow Street Flowers said...

Good point. I wish though that it weren't a matter of extending the flower budget. I'll be thinking about it.

Molly said...

Yes, please! I will be one of the first to scoop up the Lunaria!

paisleysummer said...

Yes, I think the dust was the issue. But used as short to medium term flowers, rather than long, long term flowers, could easily make them popular again! x

Jen said...

Hmm I am not a fan of dried flowers, but you make them look good. Pretty sure I was on Telegraph Avenue when you were.

Bow Street Flowers said...

Jen, I like the idea of you being in Berkeley at the same time! Cafe Mediterranean? Larry Blake's? Mo's?

webb said...

A lot of recent dried flowers have looked too cute. Not nqtural, at all. Yours will not look like that, so go for it.

flwrjane said...

Oh God don't get me started. we were just looking at an old book of Kenneth Turner's of dried flowers.

80's maybe? Shudder and laugh simultaneously.

I like to use flowers than can dry, hydrangea, yarrow, pods, bittersweet stick them in water or (oasis, shssh) and let nature do what she does best. Lunaria would be a very welcome addition to this imaginary arrangement. but strangely enough i have been turning the idea over in my head.

great minds Shelley.

xo jane

Bow Street Flowers said...

Jane, what book of Kenneth Turners?

Sprout said...

Had lunaria in the shop last year. A l-o-t of nostalgia there for people...

Jen said...

Yes, yes and yes. Also Le Bateau Ivre, Shakespeare & Co. and a little Mexican place.

Noelle the dreamer said...

Odd that you mentioned this as I just remarked to ex-RAF hubby I cannot find any Statice. Out of fashion? Perhaps, but I like to use it in copper/pottery pitchers around the house during the winter.
How is the bunny?

Bow Street Flowers said...

Hi Noelle, thanks for asking about Violet. We're having a check up right now. There's some progress.

marlowe said...

love!

flwrjane said...

I think it's called Dried Flowers by Kenneth Turner :-)

No really.

xo jane

Angels and Everlastings said...

I really love dried flowers - but I don't find that there is a market for them like there was in the 80's. I have really gotten away from them in my Etsy shop. I now am doing seashell art. Lately, though it seems like shoppers are searching and looking for my dried flower pieces and am wondering if I should order some. I think I have that dried flower book by Kenneth Turner around here somewhere.

flowers on my table said...

Hello Shelley, yes I think it's high time dried flowers were back in fashion. I loved Kenneth Turner's arrangements. I also have a friend called Terence Moore, who had some books published and who did some amazing stuff with dried flowers.I think maybe the problem is people expect too much from them and keep them too long or in sunlight. I wonder if Kenneth Turner still uses dried?

Lots of love, Linda x

Bare Mtn Farm said...

As a grower of many flowers that dry wonderfully, we have tried dried arranged bunches, wreaths, topiaries, cornucopias and lovely vases of dried flowers. Our thoughts are having locally grown flowers in your home for just a few months until our fresh flowers are available in late Feb. and March. It is a very hard sell because of the images of the past of messy, faded, dusty, spiderweb cover flowers. If only we could change that perception.