Petal Pusher: ‘Everlasting’ flowers back in vogue

Holly Robertson.

Dare I say dried flowers are making a comeback? If social media is an indicator, with posts of dried wedding bouquets and dried flower installations, then it must be true, right? (As we all know, everything on the internet is true, haha!) Now, some of you might be thinking “I didn’t know they’d left,” while others might be running away, screaming “Noooo!” As a kid in the 70s, I remember being fascinated by Strawflowers (how are they so dry and papery-feeling even when freshly cut?) and intrigued by the weird, velvety Cockscomb Celosia my mom would hang to dry in our garage, but I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan. I didn’t love the dusty, faded, stiff, dried craft projects my mom would decorate throughout our house, but as I’ve learned more about dried flowers, I’ve realized there is so much more to them!

Fast forward to the present – I can’t stop drying flowers for my future self. When the days are short and cold and the sky and landscape are gray, playing with brightly colored dried flowers, and their unique textures is so refreshing and offers a colorful break to the winter doldrums.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve researched everything ‘everlasting’ (what flower folks are now referring to as dried flowers). Much to my surprise, many varieties of flowers are considered everlasting and make great options for drying. Here’s a short list of some of those varieties that I’ve learned about and are growing this year:


-German Statice

This week's bouquet featuring paper daisies (the pops of pink) which are perfect for drying. PHOTO BY RUBY F. MCALLISTER

-Breadseed Poppy pods

-Quaking grass

-Golden Rod

-Silver Dollar seed pods



-Bracken Fern

-And this week’s featured flower: Paper Daisy, aka Helipterum, aka Australian Everlasting

‘Pierrot Red’ Paper Daisy is a new flower for me and I plan to use it both fresh and dried. I originally saw the flowers in an Instagram post and was smitten by the punchy pop of pink color with a yellow or black center. The petals have the same papery feeling when fresh, similar to Strawflowers. I purchased the seeds from Johnny’s Seeds and sowed them in 3/4″ soil blocks (a topic for another day) in late February. They are a fast growing flower with 55-65 days from seed to bloom and were transplanted to the garden in early April. As is always the case when working with Mother Nature, learning is never ending and I now know that I can start them in mid-March so they aren’t so ‘leggy’ when ready to be transplanted.

The Paper Daisies were one of the first blooms in my garden, and I’m pleasantly surprised at how prolific they are! So many blooms! Which means so many opportunities to include in a fresh bouquet AND to dry for my future self.

Holly Robertson owns and operates Five R Farm in rural Reinbeck along with her husband Ben. In addition to growing flowers and vegetables for the local farmers market and seasonal CSA, the Robertsons also own and operate Reinbeck’s only bar-meets-record store, The Dig Inn. The Robertsons’ fifth-generation family farm is home to three dogs (Frank, Otto and Snoopy), two cats (Scooter and Marnie), two Nubian goats (Hank and Marge), and a colony of honey bees. Check out the garden/farm life on Instagram @five.r.farm and Facebook @fiverfarmer