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Botanical Brouhaha Expert Discussion Panel: Session 20

Wedding Show 2007 030e

The Question:

Recently, I have been asked to create a number of dried arrangements for an interior design company and past clients wanting a full floral arrangement that will last and last. I’m hesitant because I’m not sure where to buy high quality dried materials or where to order them wholesale. I love working with natural flowers so much more than silks and know for sure I’d never go that route. Any wisdom is greatly appreciated! (from a designer in Colorado)


The Answers:

I would suggest buying various fresh flowers and drying them yourself. Many items from the wholesaler will do well including hydrangeas, roses, straw flowers, proteas, herbs, yarrow, cockscomb, Bells of Ireland and greeneries to name a few. Spray these with Preserving Spray to prevent shattering and fading.

-Alicia Schwede (Bella Fiori and Flirty Fleurs)

dried 504449


I have been asked to do similar things, but I usually decline. What I do is so specific to fresh flowers, I don’t feel it is an accurate representation of my work if it is in silk. Also, that is just a different business, and I don’t want to take the time to acquaint myself with the best sources for artificial flowers, and all of the other small things that come with that type of design. What I have done for clients who were persistent is to go do seasonal displays at their homes for holidays or similar occasions. I use things like branches and green garlands that will dry and still look good. That way they can keep them up for a couple of months if they want to.

-Sarah Winward (Honey of a Thousand Flowers)


I’ve been asked several times to design with dry material, and it took me a long time before I dared to start… Now that I have some experience with it, I must admit that I enjoy it a lot. Dried material allows you to create very different designs. It is a whole new playground for me as you can see in the pictures below.

About material, I don’t buy much dried flowers, because either I work with fresh flowers or I dry them myself. In fact, i really love to design with fresh flowers and let them dry on the arrangement. This works especially well with statice, hydrangea, gramineae or helichrysum. The fresh stems are flexible and much easier to work with than dried ones. I also started to dry all my leftover flowers that can be dried, especially roses. Drying is easy, and if you do it by yourself, you can really control the process and decide if you want the stems to have a special shape. I hope this help! I wish you much success and fun in your dried flowers arrangements!

-Laetitia Mayor (Floresie)


Thanks Laetitia, Sarah and Alicia! Can you believe this is our 20th Expert Panel post? Time flies when you’re having fun!

I would also like to add the resources I’ve used for dried flowers…The Flower Mart and Mountain Farms. I almost always prefer preserved to dried flowers if I have a choice. Here are a few of my favorite dried/preserved flowers…

dried echinops_lg

dried fern_adianthum_med_pre_lg

dried gardenhydrangea_lg

dried lavender_english_lg

dried roseheads_ef_pink_lg

images above via Mountain Farms

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dried flower martDF215COXRSE

images above via The Flower Mart


A couple of beautifully artistic dried arrangements from Floresie




I’ve only created a few dried/preserved arrangements over the years because I, too, prefer to work with fresh flowers. Here are a few designs I’ve created for weekly customer accounts (at their urging)…

coach wives dinner 015 (b)edit

house flowers 9-28-06 010edit


Have a fabulous Wednesday!



  1. megan says:

    Just wanted to throw in that Coast Wholesale Florist and Knud Nielsen are two great sources for dried flowers.

  2. Mimi says:

    We’ve been dabbling in the incorporation of dry flowers into our tussie mussies. I’ve been amazed at how well the fresh flowers we use dry so beautifully. We’ve never used a preservative spray though. I’m anxious to try some.


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