Drying flowers

Over the last few weeks, Lucinda, Emma and I have been gathering in little harvests of flowers and seed pods for drying, picking off the leaves, and bundling them up into little posies to dry in the workshop where we pack our letterbox flowers.  We've always grown things that can be dried, but this is the first year we have made it an actual part of our plan to grow them well, instead of as an afterthought, tucked in amongst other crops, and to properly make time to harvest and dry them.  As a result, we have so much honesty, also masses of beautiful papery helichrysum, or strawflower, in lovely shades of pink and red and white (my three favourite colours, especially when in stripes).  The lavender hedge usually flowers and is covered in bees before we get around to harvesting it, but not this year.  As I type I am hoping that Lucinda is rooting about in the garden in search of gorgeous allium seed heads to rescue, especially the enormous allium schubertii.  Another big favourite this year are the wiry neon stems of limonium suworowii, or 'pink pokers'.

We're planning to offer a dried flower box by post (see www.flowergardendelivery.com) in the autumn, but we might keep most of the lavender for ourselves, for sweet dreams and moth-free woollens!  Also a great big vase of the silvery honesty paper moons to sparkle through the winter.