There was recently a marquee along Mesa Street that read, “Flowers die, chocolate melts, but jewelry is forever.”
That’s not wrong. Despite seemingly containing all the beauty in the world, flowers aren’t here to stay.
They wilt, their colors become muted and they pass on to the compost bin.
But before you return them to the earth, get more mileage out of special bouquets and flowers by drying them and displaying them in a new creation.
“Dried makes it so much easier to use weirder stuff and make it a vibe,” said Susannah Calhoun, a farmer at Calhoun Flower Farms near La Mesa, New Mexico.
Dried flowers add texture and eye-catching anchors to a springtime tablescape, Calhoun said. There’s also no limit to what you can create, and don’t be afraid to let the living and dead intermingle.
Calhoun suggests adding fruits and veggies to create visual weight to arrangements. Peppers, citrus fruits, pomegranates and more can add color and contrast.
“You’re creating three spaces to look. Your mind and eye always go high, middle, low or low, middle, high,” Calhoun said. “There are always three places your eye looks when it’s trying to weigh things, and it’s always trying to weigh things.”
When choosing a vessel for dried flower arrangements, Calhoun said anything could work, including old pots, pitchers and more.
Working with dried materials also makes it easier to play with angles without worrying about water spillage.
Calhoun said both dried and fresh flower arrangements can incorporate elements from the desert and region’s natural surroundings.
Sprigs of creosote, which lends its scent to the timeless desert rain experience of the region, can add to the visual texture and composition of arrangements. Other desert plants, including small cactus pads, work as compliments to the dried flowers.
Calhoun said anything found in your backyard – from sprigs of herbs to pecan tree branches or bird feathers – can add to the composition.
When creating arrangements, Calhoun suggested keeping in mind the colors of your surroundings. Add materials and accents that will pick up on the colors of the background space.
No matter what you create, Calhoun said there’s only one way to find out whether you’ll like it or not.
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