Dried flowers : really ecological ?
Dried flowers invite nature into our homes and offer us a way to express our creativity through the arrangement: in bouquets, crowns, garlands, solifloras… With their great diversity of shapes and colours, they can be adapted to all decorative styles: minimalist, bohemian, classic…
Durable, healthy, yes, but are the flowers naturally dried?
At the boutique Les Fleurs, in Paris, a pioneer in the sale of dried flowers, we remain very mysterious about the production conditions. As for the Bazar Marguerite boutique in Limoges, the trader explains to me that the suppliers, mainly Dutch, make them “drink a product that freezes their development, to prevent them from fading“. “It’s the stabilization process”, says Victoria Aulas, who worked as a florist for 20 years before creating her e-shop L’Atelier Lonicera, specializing in dried flowers. “Stabilized flowers absorb via the sap, through the stem, a mixture of glycerin and mineral salts, sometimes with food colorants”. A process that complies with European standards, provided the seller supplies itself in Europe. Holland, Spain and Italy are competing for the market, but they are increasingly competing with China. Be careful, because there are also stabilized painted flowers, with a much less natural result. Some designers dry the flowers themselves, such as Alexandra, from the Jeanne Paris brand.
What about upstream flower cultivation?
When we know that the cut flower industry is one of the most polluting (1), we must check that the flowers, before being dried, have not been grown in Kenya or stuffed with pesticides! To do this, it is necessary to favour florists who buy directly from producers, if possible French. However, these producers are not very numerous, their catalogue is sometimes kitsch, but they are beginning to adapt to the demand of neo-fleurists!
“My producer, who has a straight face, made me laugh too much the other day: “We’re bored finding great colors for our flowers and she only wants colors to shit!!!! ” (innuendo fadasses NDRL)” says Victoria.
In the same poetic and delicate style, we fell in love with Julie Béal, who makes poetic objects based on dried flowers that she herself grows in Bérry. Beautiful!
Drying flowers yourself
It is also possible to dry picked or purchased flowers yourself. Some varieties are very easy to dry naturally in the open air (in a dry and dark place, upside down): statices, grasses (wheat, hares’ tails…)), thistles, roses (varieties in clusters, to be dried before they are too open), lavender, yellow yarrow, immortals, craspedias, kittens, or hydrangeas (to be picked at the end of flowering when they are already a little parchmented)… At your picking time!
Buy dried organic flowers & made in France
Thank you Emmanuelle
for this article and these photos !