Eco-Friendly Florals: Dried vs Fresh?

Flowers are a love language spoken by many. From a fresh bunch of spring daffodils to a bouquet of romantic roses, being given flowers will forever remain a sentimental and thoughtful gift for all. Over the past pandemic years, flowers replaced hugs for loved ones afar. Whether they were freshly picked from the garden or brought from the local florist and delivered through letterboxes or gifted at a safe distance, flowers became acts of love and self-care. And when taking a scroll on any Pinterest or Instagram feed, flowers are having their day and never more so when it comes to dried flowers.

Dried flowers stepped onto the scene a few years ago on the pages of fashion magazines and have become popular alternatives for wedding bouquets and have become an essential prop for influencers. With the rise of dried flowers in our homes, the latest debate circling the floral market is whether our obsession for fragranced fresh blooms is the most sustainable way to spend our pennies.

The floral market has also undergone difficult times over the past few years. During the pandemic and Brexit, fresh flowers skyrocketed in price. The majority of flowers sold in the UK are imported from the EU and many are grown as far as Costa Rica, Ecuador and Ethiopia. The introduction of Brexit meant that The Fresh Product Consortium estimates that the new customs rules and tariffs will add £100 million to the cost of importing fresh flowers to the UK, increasing prices for customers. With prices rising and consumers conscious of their environmental impacts, dried flowers have bloomed and have become the hot topic of floral arranging.

Dried Flowers

The benefits of dried flowers

The art of drying flowers can date back to ancient times and across different cultures. One of the most notable references was Victorian women pressing flowers between pages of books. Now, from independent sellers to giant retailers stocking dried flowers, they are having a renaissance and are beautifully decorating our homes.

These flowers are full proof. They don’t require light or water and are maintenance-free, so it’s no wonder we’ve all taken to love these quirky alternatives to fresh blooms. Not only are dried flowers fuss-free they are also better for the environment.

Freshly cut flowers are often grown abroad and are transported by plane in temperature-controlled conditions. Unless you are shopping locally, traditional bouquets are sourced internationally. Dried flowers do not require the same process of travel and emissions and last a lot longer than fresh. Preserved flowers can last months or even years when properly cared for and offer a more eco-conscious alternative to single-use fresh blooms.

flowers

Dried flowers can also be more budget-friendly. Not only are you not replacing them every week, but they can also be lower in price and finding beautifully preserved dried flowers are easy to come by. Whether they are now stocked at your local florist or independent boutique, you can also find dried flowers on Etsy and other independent platforms such as Bristol-based Rose & Co Floral Studio. Supporting local and independent stores is another great way to ensure your flowers are as green as can be.

How to dry your own bouquet

Here are a few quick tips on how to preserve your beautiful fresh blooms so they can last all year round.

  1. Hang your flowers out to dry – one of the simplest methods is to tie the base of your bunches of flowers at the stem and hang the flowers upside down in a cool, dry place for a minimum of two weeks. This trick works best for flowers such as roses, hydrangeas and lavender
  2. Drying flowers in the vase – This method allows you to enjoy your bouquet for as long as possible. Change the water regularly to avoid flowers drooping and trim the ends to keep them fresh and let them dry out naturally.

Although there are many eco-friendly benefits to dried flowers, it doesn’t mean one size fits all. Fresh flowers have the allure of a beautiful and irresistible fragrance that can fill your home. Growing flowers in your garden or allotments is a great way to still be able to gift beautifully fresh blooms without the travel miles – we don’t think stomping down your garden path in muddy boots counts. This hobby not only reconnects you to the earth and is great for health and wellbeing, but it means your next bunch of flowers are as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible.

We love having a touch of nature brought into our homes, so whether you choose fresh or dried flowers, make sure you are as eco-conscious as possible and choose local, independent or homegrown.