Discover dried flowers with Catherine Nix
Uncover the secrets of creating whimsical, rustic, and unarguably beautiful dried flower creations with none other than Catherine Nix, founder of My Scented Home! Passionate about arts and crafts, we’ve been utterly inspired by these dried floral wreaths, bouquets, and centerpieces that have been springing up in both urban and rural homes across the UK, so we invited Catherine to share all her flower drying tips and tricks with us.
A relatively simple (yet super satisfying!) process, dried flower crafting can be undertaken by practically anyone who has a passion for creating homemade gifts, an adoration for the country lifestyle, or a surplus of flowers they want to put to good use. Regardless of whether you’re a keen crafter or an avid gardener, this idyllic activity can be attempted by all.
Join us as we explore the ever-growing nature of Catherine’s blossoming business!
Inspired by her upbringing in the charming English countryside, Catherine began her dried flower journey in November, 2015 making festive dried fruit decorations to earn some extra money for Christmas. Now based in rural Dorset on the doorstep of Corfe Castle, she’s experienced massive demand for her handmade bucolic gifts thanks to the growing cottagecore trend. Although dried chillies and fruits remain a core part of her work, dried flowers have become the backbone of her business - giving urban homes a glimpse of traditional country life.
“If you’ve got a passion for the simple life, the cottagecore lifestyle, you can actually still have that even in an urban setting”
Whipping up dried flower DIY kits, autumnal wreaths, aromatic potpourri, and pomanders, Catherine passionately demonstrates that there’s no limits on what you can create with dried flowers. One of her bestsellers to look out for is her gorgeous pink and blue wreath that simply flew off the shelf during lockdown. Made using a combination of yellow Craspedia, pink and blue Delphiniums, Statice, and pink Acroclinium, this colourful dried flower wreath is sure to both tempt and inspire!
Are dried flowers worth it?
So, what makes dried flowers a better gift than the fresh alternative? First off, the cost! Although fresh flowers are stunning, they don’t tend to last more than a week or two - unlike dried flowers that can last years if they’re well looked after. One of Catherine’s top tips to keep them looking good year after year is to use a hairdryer from afar on a low setting to gently remove dust alongside a spritz of refresher oil to bring back the inviting scent.
“A floral gift is lovely but if it’s fresh, it’s forgotten about within a week really. Whereas, when you give someone a dried floral gift, that’s going to last years”
Alongside the long, money-saving lifespan, dried flowers also have a gorgeous rustic aesthetic owing to their slightly muted appearance. While you can use specialist dyes to ensure they keep their colour, you can achieve really vivid dried flowers without dyeing them - particularly when you’re dealing with vibrant red, orange, and pink flowers that naturally retain their eye-catching hues.
What makes the best dried flowers?
Some of Catherine’s favourite flowers for drying include Helichrysum, Statice (sea lavenders), Echinops, and Delphiniums. No stranger to using her own produce, the above varieties are all home-grown. However, she also sources flowers from local florists and wholesalers, encouraging everyone to turn their hand to flower drying - regardless of whether they want to make the most of home-grown flowers, a shop-bought bouquet, or preserve priceless flora from their wedding!
“Helichrysum is always really popular in the oranges and reds”
Can all flowers be dried?
Believe it or not, you can’t dry just any old flower! Some flowers simply can’t be dried, so it’s well worth doing your research before selecting your flowers. A variety of species that Catherine loves to work with includes Helichrysum, Lagurus (also referred to as bunny tails or hare's tail grass due to their fluffy appearance), as well as rustic wheat (also known as Triticum) and a wide selection of roses as they dry beautifully.
“Not every flower will dry, so you need to know which ones you can dry and which ones you can’t”
What flowers can you plant in autumn and winter?
Some popular plant bulbs can even be sowed right now (from October to December!), so we recommend checking out suitable seeds, stocking up on gardening equipment, and planting some of your favourites now ready to harvest in the early spring. A selection of flowers you can plant now include Cowslips, Cow Parsley, and Phacelia. This will give you a gorgeous selection of yellow, white, and lavender-coloured flowers - the perfect pastel palette for a spring-inspired showpiece!
Catherine shared her secret to springtime success with us, and it might just surprise you! Those popular spring-blooming flowers we all know and love so much? Forget about ‘em! Flowers such as daffodils and tulips - while beautiful - simply don’t dry, so it’s best to avoid planting these.
“I love fresh tulips, but you can’t work with those, they don’t dry. Daffodils you wouldn’t be able to dry. There’s quite a few flowers that just wouldn’t work.”
What can you do with dried flowers?
Once your flowers begin to flourish the following spring or autumn, you can then create everything from dried flower wreaths and bouquets to pomanders and pot pourri. Alternatively, you can also pick up some pre-grown flowers to dry yourself or purchase ready-made dried flowers so you can start crafting immediately - the options are endless!
No matter how you choose to get stuck into this country craft, Catherine emphasises how important it is to make something you fall in love with:
“I try to balance [customer preferences] with what I want to do because that’s important. I want to create things that I love”
If Catherine’s exquisite dried flower creations have caught your attention and you’re eager to create your own, you’ll be excited to hear that we’ve got our hands on Catherine’s ultimate recipe to DIY dried flowers. Simply follow along with Catherine’s tips and guidance to perfect the process! You can then transform your flowers into practically any kind of dried flower craft your heart desires.
For a taste of the country, no matter where you are, this pastoral pastime is sure to satisfy.