Annuals – Everlasting Flowers
When the summer display has finished some annuals continue to provide welcome colour indoors throughout the winter. These are the so-called ‘Everlasting Flowers’, whose petals retain their colouring and do not fall even when dead. A selection of these should be grown in every garden, as even if they are not appreciated for drying they are still first-rate annuals for the garden. These Everlasting Flowers are all easy to grow, and require the same treatment as other annuals, except that they are devout sun lovers and more tolerant of drought. They are usually more successful during a hot, dry summer than in a cold, wet season.
When gathering the blooms it is essential to choose a dry, sunny day, and cut thewhen they are fully expanded. Tie them into bunches and hang them in a dry, well-ventilated place for a few days until any remaining moisture has evaporated. The flowers can then be either stored or arranged in vases without water. They will require dusting during winter, and this is best done with a small pair of bellows. Some pleasing effects can be obtained by combining such flowers with dried grasses or the dried seed-heads of such annuals as Love-in-a-Mist, Poppies and Honesty. These latter can also be sprayed with paint to make them even more attractive.
There are quite a lot of these Everlasting Flowers to choose from, but Helichrysum and Statice are the most popular. All of the following are worth growing:
Acroclinium (see Helipterum)