Summer never fades away when you preserve garden blooms for year-round display. The best flowers for drying are everlastings, a special group of annuals that can be air-dried without losing their color or form. Read on and realize your garden's potential for immortalizing thebeauty of flowers.
Everlastings supply natural materials for dried wreaths, bouquets, and potpourris. For variety in color, texture, and fragrance, grow a mix of flowers and foliage plants that retain their beauty long after summer has passed. You can anticipate flowers by midsummer if you sow seeds in the garden after the last expected frost.
Make borders no more than 4 feet wide so all blooms are within easy snipping reach. Mulch the plants to keep out competing weeds, conserve soil moisture, and prevent mud from splattering and spoiling blossoms.
Finally, remember that a dried bloom is only as beautiful as it was fresh, so take care to pick flawless garden specimens.
Annual statice: Statice supplies sprays of papery flowers on 12- to 30-inch-tall stems. Plants grow and bloom best in moist, fertile soil.
Learn more about statice.
Bachelor's button: One of the easiest annuals to grow, this wildflower produces papery blossoms in blue, purple, white, and pink. It grows from 1 to 3 feet tall.
Learn more about bachelor's button.
Blue salvia: Tiny spiked blooms smother 18-inch-tall Salvia farinacea all summer long. Pair it with the variety 'White Porcelain'.
Learn more about blue salvia.
Globe amaranth: Despite heat and drought, the clover-like flowers of globe amaranth bloom nonstop on stiff, 2-foot- tall stems.
Learn more about globe amaranth.
Sweet Annie: Foliage, not flowers, makes this 5-foot-tall annual popular for drying. Use supple side branches as a silvery foil in wreaths. Crush brittle main stems and use as a fragrant potpourri.
Continued on page 2: How to Dry Flowers