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Flowers Forever by Bex Partridge

Flowers Forever by Bex Partridge – review

Our review

A modern and inspirational approach to the best flowers, foliage and seedheads to pick, dry and arrange by a leading British floral designer.

Flowers Forever: Celebrate the Beauty of Dried Flowers with Stunning Floral Art
by Bex Partridge
Hardie Grant Books, £20
ISBN 978-1784884345

My sister once threw out a vase of dried flowers that I’d grown, dried and artfully arranged, declaring categorically that they were dead. And here you have the nub of the problem: one person’s dried flower is another’s compost heap and the hashtag #lovelydeadcrap on social media demonstrates that ambivalence. Even the author and floral designer Bex Partridge acknowledges that an appreciation for dried flowers ‘depends on your willingness to accept a flower as dried, and not dead.’

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In this book, written during the darkest days of the pandemic when many of us were reassessing our relationship with nature, Partridge argues convincingly that most flowers, grasses, foliage and seedheads can, and should, have a life beyond the freshly picked, and many of them develop a deeper character when they are dried and displayed with imagination.

Partridge argues convincingly that most flowers, grasses, foliage and seedheads can, and should, have a life beyond the freshly picked, and many of them develop a deeper character when they are dried and displayed with imagination.

As a flower farmer, I know that many growers began to experiment for the first time in 2020 with drying non- traditional flowers through sheer economic necessity, and discovered a young and enthusiastic audience keen for that knowledge. This book gives them that in spades. It takes the reader through plants that can be grown in the garden, and those in the wild – and here the author deals with the legislation on taking flowers not grown on your own land – with clear ‘What, When & How to Dry’ sections on everything from traditional flowers for drying, such as strawflowers to wild grasses, including one of my favourites, Yorkshire fog.

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The book itself is a beautiful thing to hold in the hand, and the atmospheric photographs by Laura Edwards demonstrates how nothing is off limits, and that dried flowers should not be seen as the gloomy second- best of winter, but the more dynamic sculptural forms of a wildness that we all need much more of in our lives.