entertainingFood & Drinkoutdoorweeders digest

weeder’s digest: flowers in the attic

by Grace Bonney

My penchant for dead flowers is no secret.

Lately I’ve been working to amass more perfectly parched specimens. I brought home all the leftover valentines day flowers and waited. Two weeks later they are ripe for plucking – I snip them at the quick and set them down as little objets d’art. Flowers in various states of decay sprinkled through the apartment, I fantasize about a day spent with dusty jewels and gin. Velvet sofa’s and too many cats. Charles Aznavour.

I tack a few gems to the wall; a constellation of ranunculus rises in the east!

I’m keeping it short and sweet this week, next week we’ll examine the mystical effects of flowers and plants in the home and some basics of Feng Shui. Get your crystals ready…

CLICK HERE for more beautiful photos from sarah…


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  • This is gorgeous and, again, a fine job from this weekly blogger! I seriously love this column. By the way, a few weeks ago, I solicited your advice on a dying house plant, and you suggested feeding it. I’ve been dumping my coffee grounds in all my plant pots, and I think it’s helping. Thanks for your suggestion!

  • there’s something very prufrock-meets-miss-havisham about the constellation wriggling on the wall – i love that! beautiful indeed.

  • sarah,
    is there an advantage to hanging flowers upside down to dry (versus leaving in a vase)? any tips for preserving color – the ranunculus look great!

  • The first picture is absolutely stunning. What a good idea! (I like the boutique maille lid in the 5th picture too :) )

  • fabframes – so glad your plant may be responding to the coffee grounds.

    minta77 – hanging them upside down will make them dry with a straight stiff stem. If they are left to dry out/die rightside up the weight of the flower head will cause the stem to buckle. I don’t know a trick for keeping color from fading. keep them out of sunlight is one obvious trick..

  • my first thought when i saw the pins was that they look like an insect collection–only way better! this is the highlight of my blog-reading week!

  • I work at a wholesale florist in Nashville. Today we got in “hens and chicks” I’m wondering if you have worked with them in arrangements before? They look so cool, and I am curious how you would use them.

  • i love ranunculus… i am even sending your link to my husband – hint hint. think he will get it. probably not.
    i think it is all their little layers that i love.

  • I’m not a huge fan of dead flowers at all, but I always have a hard time throwing away my ranunculus. Now I know *exactly* what to do with them. I wonder how long they last on the wall. Fantastic idea!

  • i love the little collage on the wall.. so beautiful.. im going to search and see if you added it to flickr bc i need to favorite it!

  • It’s amazing how something dead can bring so much life to an area. How charming they are! I’m bringin’ my crystal!! ;)

  • dead flowers may be bad feng shui…but dried flowers are the opposite…they bring a whole new meaning to the “memory” of the flower and create another layer of beauty…that’s how I see it… :)
    my rununculus are 3 weeks old and i’m lovin’ how they look!

  • I LOVE decaying flowers. Tulips are favorite. I tell my fastidious partner “I can’t wait to see how they dye” to remind him not to toss them.

    Unless they stink. Then they’re Out.

  • what’s the hubbub, bub? aren’t all cut flowers “dead”? i love em all, so long as they stay slime/stank-free. gorgeous pics, as always.

  • I usually pull the blossoms apart and lay on a screen to dry to make potpourri, very interesting ideas here, many thanks! Smiles, cyndi

  • This is a great idea! I have tons of dried flowers laying around the house. What was used to stay on the wall?? I would like to do something similar in my house.

  • OOooooh dying flowers!!! not really the same as dead flowers. Love the layers of the still colorful ranunculas, however. Who knew my week old untended flower arrangements were so cutting edge?? Maybe next week we will be treated to the gorgeous texture of bread mold and the architectural interest of broken zippers…….

  • I dried some of the roses my bf gave me for valentines. They were such a dark red, they look rather …macabre dried, but in a good way.

  • jasmine – i wire the hens and chicks onto sticks and then treat them like other stems in an arrangment – may behoove you to use floral foam, as they are quite heavy…

  • Beautiful flowers! I like using laundry racks for hanging the flowers on for drying. Since I can keep it in the spare bedroom and out of the sun to keep as much of the color as possible in every bloom.