Winter flowers: A season of ethereal beauty

When I first started my flower business, I had planned to have a seasonal business, closing down in the wintertime when the garden was asleep. That first winter, I found I was really missing flowers, and I was longing to be creative. I also realized that if I wanted to be sustainable, I needed to figure out how to offer local flowers during every season. 
A dried flower centerpiece full of love light pinks and neutral preserved flowers in a white pot.
A centerpiece in the "sweet" color scheme with dried strawflowers, poppy pods, eucalyptus, sweet Annie, cress, echinacea, statice, larkspur, celosia, orach, oregano, and frosted explosion grass.

I dived into researching, and I started drying flowers from my summer garden. I experimented with winter blooms both in the garden and with bulbs forced under lights in my studio space. I thought I would end up creating something that was "good enough" to get me and my customers through the winter. But the resulting look and feel of my first winter arrangements, both fresh and dried, ended up being some of my favorite arrangements of the year. They tell a story of winter in the Pacific Northwest with grace, and a unique, ethereal beauty.

Photo collage of two winter arrangements using mainly fresh flowers: one light and one dark colors.
Left: A lovely winter floral arrangement with amaryllis, paper whites, cedar, and some dried flowers and seed pod accents. Right: A moody winter arrangement with hellebore, pussy willow, privet, bare branches, and dried flower and seed pod accents.

Seasonal flowers present an opportunity for us to accept and enjoy the beauty that is before us right now, to savor the uniqueness of a season. They help us stop trying to recreate the beauty from the past or grabbing for the beauty of the future, but instead stay right here in the present, and be thankful for the beauty that it offers (even if it’s harder to find).

A fresh winter arrangement with amaryllis and hellebore.
February might seem like the month of scarcity, but if you look, you will find beauty even in the barren winter. In this compote: amaryllis, hellebore, pussy willow, privet, cedar, dried seed pods, and bare lilac branches.

In the wintertime, fresh flowers are not abundant, but what I do have a lot of are the long-lasting, colorful dried flowers that I carefully saved from last summer. These, combined with the few forced blooms and fresh winter flowers, are beautiful in their own right. The represent hope that lasts through the dark days, bringing color, movement, and joy—a unique season to savor, not only endure.

Three beautiful dried flower bouquets of different sizes in pinks, purples, blues, and whites.
(L to R) An arrangement for a subscriber, a extra large custom arrangement, and a medium wrapped bouquet, all with long-lasting dried flowers.

Valentine's Day is one of the biggest flower holidays of the year and it falls during a winter month. For most of the county, this means importing flowers from massive flower growers in South America and other distant places. The waste associated with transporting a highly perishable product such long distances, not to mention the environmental costs or the toll of the growing process on the industry's workers (because of its use of dangerous pesticides and chemicals, and its lower standards of workers' protections and wages), is astronomical. 

In the same way that we have begun to embrace and advocate for local food systems and eating in a more sustainable, seasonal way, we can also let our tastes for flowers become in-sync with the seasons. Our world and our souls will be better for it.

During the winter, all of my wrapped bouquets will automatically be dried flower bouquets, but the rest of the products available can either be fresh with a few dried accents, or completely dried. If you have a preference, please make it known in your order notes, and I will try to accommodate your request.

Schedule your flower delivery here.

Do you have a preference between dried or fresh flowers in the winter? Comment below and tell me why.

(First three photos: Kaylin Pinkett Photography)

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