Dried foliage and seedheads used to have a dusty image, but a new breed of florists is using them to create bouquets with a fresh contemporary feel.
Using ornamental grasses such as miscanthus with its silky flower plumes, fluffy Calamagrostis brachytricha flower heads, stipa (Mexican feather grass), panicum and delicate quaking grass (Briza maxima and Briza media) are a great way of adding volume and airiness to a floral display.
Blowsy and romantic dried hydrangea heads add volume, as do solid rich brown sedum seedheads. Alliums with their star-shaped seedheads are wonderfully sculptural (spray paint them gold for extra sparkle) and the pearly seed discs of honesty (lunaria) have a translucent, ephemeral beauty, lightening up the whole display. Other perennials to look out for when you roam the garden with your secateurs in hand, include pretty umbels such as fennel, delicate sanguisorba and fluffy clematis seedheads.
The overall idea is to embrace naturalism and imperfection so it’s a case of ‘the wilder the better’. Making your own arrangements from garden material that would end up in the compost is perfect for these gloomy winter months when fresh blooms are hard to come by.