In a Vase on Monday: Cut and Dried

With another night of negative temperatures yesterday and weak sunshine keeping daytime temperatures low, rather than venture outside for today’s vase, on impulse I decided to use some dried dahlias that have been hanging up in the kitchen since the autumn.

Inspired by a feature on Gardeners’ World, I cut a number of dahlias, already towards the end of their useful life, pierced a hole in their stems, threaded them onto some strong thread, and just stung them up in the kitchen. I have never come across drying dahlias before but it was astonishingly effective, with the blooms drying very quickly and keeping much of their colour: these are Pink Petticoats’ which, like their dried counterparts, show a varying degree of pink.

The blooms were quickly arranged and supported by pebbles in another Chive vase; accompanying the dahlias is a copy of the book I gave away in a draw for the eighth anniversary of IAVOM, ‘Cut and Dry’, by Carolyn Dunster; ironically, dahlias are not included! Nevertheless, it is an interesting and useful book with lots of ideas.

If you would like to join the IAVOM community and share some pickings from your garden or garnered nearby, whether fresh or dried, blooms or twigs, then please add links to and from this post.

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33 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Cut and Dried

  1. pbmgarden says:

    Cathy, your weather sounds uninspiring yet you succeeded again to find lovely florals for a vase. I haven’t thought of preserving dahlias but have noticed some, like you Pink Petticoats, do dry gracefully. I’ve been missing Gardener’s World–must look for it again. Thanks for hosting. https://pbmgarden.blog/2023/01/23/in-a-vase-on-monday-january-boost/

    • Cathy says:

      Using these dried dahlias was an impulsve decision, one I was pleased to make as the temperature has just not been conducive to spending time in the garden… 😉 GW is on a winter break now, but will start again towards the end of March

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  3. Cathy says:

    They are lovely. Who would have known… There are probably a lot more flowers we could dry and nobody knows. This is certainly food for thought and I will have to experiment this year! Talking of experiments, my vase is a bit unusual this week. Thank you for the inspiration! 🤗

    In a Vase on Monday: A Conversation Piece

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, there was a woman on this GW episode who them hanging from almost every ceiling in her house! It was a bit late in the season when the progaramme was only and there were only 2 dahlias fit to try it with, but I shall be drying many more this year . I am really curious to see your vase!

      • Tracy Perez says:

        I saw that episode was impressed by the dried dahlias, and I usually don’t like dried flowers.

        • Cathy says:

          I suppose many years ago they were more popular but were kept for a long time, fading and accumulating dust. Some, like limonium (statice) and helichrysum really keep their colour well and you would hardly realise they were dried

  4. I hadn’t heard of dried dahlias either. They look really good.

  5. I like it. I wouldn’t have imagined Dahlias could be dried and there they are in all their glory. The pretty pinks have been preserved as well. I haven’t done dried flowers in a while. Unless I trip over one in the garden! Stay warm. https://theshrubqueen.com/2023/01/23/in-a-vase-on-monday-herbs-and-succulents/

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, it really emphasised the two colour tones, didn’t it? I often forget to use any flowers I have dried, so perhaps this will remind me to use some of the others

  6. bcparkison says:

    I usually let cut flowers dry then place in a basket. after a while I empty and start all over with the early yellow ones.

    • Cathy says:

      And I could certainly do with an overhaul of what I have, as there are some bits I have had for a few years whch are disintegrating in a cupboard!

  7. Kris P says:

    That’s remarkable, Cathy. I’ve never heard of drying dahlias but will remember to try it next season. Here’s my post: https://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2023/01/in-vase-on-monday-mix-of-sunshine-and.html

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  9. This was an eye-opener Cathy. I had no idea you could do this with dahlias. They always seem so ‘wet’ to me.
    My vase is twigs I am afraid, as the garden is still completely frozen: https://wp.me/pM8Y1-8P4

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I was realy surprised, Allison, but they worked surprinly well. Twigs are good though – I think mine might have been twigs if it wasn’t for these dah;ias!

  10. Su says:

    Interesting, and the colors held so well! I wonder if you could also dry peonies, which is what, at first glance, I thought your dahlias were.

  11. Noelle says:

    After you had that book up as a prize, I borrowed it from our Library for a few weeks, and too was inspired. As you say one wouldn’t think of drying Dahlias, but now I’ve seen them can say it was well worth it. I have something of the moment this week: https://noellemace.blogspot.com/2023/01/snowdrops-in-special-vase-on-monday.html

    • Cathy says:

      I will certainly try more of them this year – I also dried a bright red one which has dried to more of a maroon, and both varieties substantially shrunk in size. Must dip into my copy of the book before it goes back on the shelf, to remind me of other possibilities. Something of the moment…? Curious…

  12. tonytomeo says:

    I am as impressed as everyone else. I would have guessed that dahlia flowers are too delicate for drying. They lack substance. Although, a friend dehydrated watermelon while he was in Arizona. I can not imagine why anyone would want to do that, but I am impressed nonetheless.

  13. Anna says:

    They have come out really well Cathy – all in all a in most delicate effect. I can see that vase gracing a lace tablecloth in a country tea shop. I may well have a go this year. The lovely copy of the book you offered to celebrate the eighth anniversary of IAVOM is now in my sight on the bookshelf near my computer 😂

    • Cathy says:

      They do have a vintage effect, don’t they? The plain red ones I also dried do not look quite as effective but may still appear in a vase sometime! 😉 It’s a really interesting book, isn’t it, even if it doesn’t include dahlias!!

  14. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I had no idea one could dry Dahlias! maybe I will try next summer.

  15. Those flowers dried beautiful, Cathy. I love the mixture of colors and your clever book as a prop. I hope you get back into the double digit temps one day soon.

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