Saturday, July 31, 2010

Desiccated art

The art of dried flower arrangements.  Did a few once (a few years ago now).  This is one made for my parents, and they are obviously much gentler in their housekeeping than me since this is the only one left out of several.  It has yellow, apricot and ivory flowers (these have faded a bit) against a soft background of blue/grey and sage green foliage.  I had also made a lovely one out of blue and red flowers and a background of soft grey green leaves on eucalyptus boughs and had it hanging in our lounge room.  One day I took it down for cleaning, accidentally dropped it and it was sadly no more; disintegrated into a million pieces.
There is an art to drying flowers in order that they retain a. their shape, and b. their colour, or their colour in at least some degree of intensity.  Some colour is essential in order for the arrangement to avoid looking like so much kindling...  The pieces done well can have a desiccated melancholy about them that can be charming.  The lifeless tissues of once blossoming things have a sadness clinging about them; the opposite reaction that a living flower arrangement incites, the optimism and freshness and glorious fruitfulness inherent in the beauty of a living thing...
Mum and Dad have managed to preserve it so well and I'm so glad it still suits the rustic charm of their cottage.


  1. That is so lovely. And it matches perfect with their curtains and walls. There is something about dried flowers indeed, like they are not only preserved themselves, but also keep some memories alive. I once bought a really old book on a market and in there I found one dried little violet. It touched me and I couldn't help wondering who put it there to keep safe and what sweet memories that little flower would tell me if it could speak.

  2. oh neat! I have my wedding bouquet in a basket and it is a bit sad, it reminds me of how much we've aged and reminds me of the glorious day when it was fresh and we were young ... it is disintegrating but I can't bear to part with it...

  3. A very sweet arrangement.


  4. A very pretty arrangement..reminds me of an two hydrangea arrangements my mother in law gave me. I loved the look os them and I pampered them for years,but two house moves ago, I unfortunately just had to get rid of them because they looked so sad and like you said they literally disintegrated when you even lightly brushed up against them :(
    She kept beautiful gardens but now she no longer gardens so I wish I had somehow saved them.

  5. What a lovely arrangement and i love your dress from your previous post it looks fantastic.

  6. Thank you for getting back to me on the Pattern Magic twist top! I cut out a "muslin" today on 60" wide jersey using your tip. I did pick a fabric that won't fray so I should be fine with no hem.