"Fresh flowers? No, it is all about the 'brown bouquet' now"

There’s no shame these days in using flowers that are slightly drooping or on the way out rather than putting them on the compost. “There is something utterly beautiful as a stem begins to droop, softening into an almost velvet-like finish as it dries. A vase with a scattering of petals, confetti-like around the base, is something rather magical,” says Philippa Craddock, who created the floral arrangements for Meghan and Harry’s wedding

This summer, brides – who had long given up on ordering fresh flowers for their wedding day, only to be foiled by the pandemic – sparked a rush on dried floral arrangements and even embraced the idea of walking down the aisle with a “brown bouquet”. Online marketplace Etsy reported a 261 percent increase in searches for dried flowers, known in the trade as “everlastings”.

Notting Hill designer Shane Connolly – who supplied flowers to the wedding of the Prince of Wales to Camilla Parker-Bowles, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – says brides have taken to using “brown” flowers as a way to go green in the autumn, ditching brightly colored imported blooms in favor of in-season alternatives, such as flower-free foliage, coffee-colored petals, and even fruit.

“Autumn flowers feel grown-up,” he says, “and have an extraordinary sophistication and elegance. And brown flowers are beautiful.” And all you need to keep a dried flower arrangement looking good for years is the occasional blast with a hairdryer to remove any dust.

“Dried flowers often last months, if not years, and this is appealing, particularly to more conscious younger generations,” says Bex Partridge, author of Everlastings (£14.99, Hardie Grant). “A vase of dried flowers brings extra movement and texture to a room and invites nature in as we move to the darker months. Structural seed heads and grasses offer something for those who are looking for a contemporary look, and branches of beech and acer can be cut and laid to dry in sheets of cardboard to flatten out their leaves.”

Dried flowers are not generally “brown”, but have merely acquired a more distinctive, faded patina. According to Craddock, “I think the blooms that look the most beautiful when dried include larkspur, strawflowers, cornflowers, nigella, achillea, and lavender”, while florist Paula Pryke loves using “dried umbel, wild teasel, berries, hips, fruits, and vegetables in autumn, to make my work more textural”.

And if all else fails, try adding a couple of twigs to your arrangement. You could head to the park to find fallen branches – or stump up £18 to buy some from a hipster Hackney florist.

Read the complete article at www.telegraph.co.uk.


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