Fresh Ideas in Dried Flowers Paperback – Nov 2004
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About the Author
Since 1980, Terry Rye has been the owner of an upmarket flower shop and his floral designs have been regularly featured in many flower and garden shows in the USA. Terry is the author of several of North Light's best-selling floral craft titles, including Creative Wedding Florals You Can Make, Floral Decorations for Entertaining With Style, Garden-Inspired Silk Florals and New Inspirations in Wedding Florals.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Hours later, my head caught up in a dream of dry flowers, I stood dizzily and made my way to the herb garden for a bit of meditation. Quickly I saw how, following Ms. Rye's tips, I could finally, after so many decades, do something about the tragedy that befalls nearly all fresh flowers--when they die, you pretty much have to throw them away. And after watching Al Gore's AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, a hit movie here in San Francisco at least about the tragedy of global warming, I wanted to do something for my trash rather than just throw it away. What Terry Rye does in instill a new passion, fresh ideas is a perfect term for it, a new passion to recycle. And say you have some fresh roses, for example, that you want to last forever? Have you considered microwaving them, or perhaps ten minutes with your wife's hair dryer? I never had, and now I find myself drying flowers and hanging plants the instant they bloom (they can keep some of their polleny sheen on them if you head them off at the pass of life, as it were). My experiments with her methods have also led me to conclude that you can dry flowers in your washer-dryer, but you must leave them on a very low cycle, for they might burn.
In addition, she shows you to make arrangements using some materials unique to dried flowers. Floral foam may not be good for the earth, but it is everywhere, and I don't see how we lived without it all these years. You can buy FF in many colors, not just camouflage green, and Rye's use of topiary foam establishes her a as a pioneer in new ways to make fun three dimensional. A sunflower arrangement changes shape, like the sea-god Proteus, halfway up the stems, and turns into a pair of balls studded with gorgeous, muted autumnal shades of color. I made one for my students' pot luck and I got so many compliments I was blushing like a patch of heliotrope, and I'm not a modest man by nature.
Of course not every arrangement is to my own taste. I don't like the way she hangs araranthus springs, that look lik peapods gone to mold, so that they fall in foot-long strands from the middle of your arrangement, and you can move it, willynilly for that casual "grew" affect, along the surface of the table or mantelpiece or window sill on which your arrangement is resting. Maybe it's my modernism, but that just looks messy to me, as though you forgot to clean up even though you knew company was coming.
But in general, this book wwill wake you up like a gentle slap across the face, and bring you into a new world of different things you can do with the dried parts of the vegetable world you had once thought too unmentionable to work with. Check out her "palette of color" in which you use an actual canvas, covered in mulberry paper, and you paste, pin and glue little linum blosssoms and peonies to "paint your own Van Gogh."
The front and back covers of Terry L Rye's FRESH IDEAS IN DRIED FLOWERS got my attention! And her reasonably priced book is current, published this year by North light Books.
The first part of the book tells what you need and where you get the materials and equipment. The second part walks you through over twenty-five dried flower arrangements. The projects are grouped into classic centerpieces, gallery of gifts, hanging arrangements and seasonal favorites.
I have four favorite hanging arrangements. A "country kitchen" cluster alternates dried apple, lime and orange slices with galax leaves. A "palette of color" puts peonies and yellow marigolds on a mulberry-papered wall canvas. Manzanito twigs wreathe hydrangea, lavender, peonies and roses. Grapevine wreathes cockscomb, echinops, hydrangea, mint, statice, strawflower and tansy.
My fifth favorite is from seasonal favorites. "Autumn wheat" clusters meadow, dune and mountain grasses; myrtle; sea oats; and ti tree stems, into freestanding holiday decorations. The cluster is held together by a ribbon. The ribbon can be changed according to the season: orange for Halloween and Thanksgiving, red for Christmas, green for St Patrick's Day, pink and blue for Easter....
The other projects are beautiful. But they use...floral foam! However, the "heaven scent" glass vase of potpourri could easily include flowering oregano, lavender and green artichokes, pods and spray roses...without the foam ball!
The author writes in a straightforward way and backs everything up with clear pictures and a good index. She ends with a guide matching the six ways of drying with the common flowers best handling airing; drying with glycerine or silica gel; freezing; pressing; or watering. So the book is an enjoyably quick learning experience or review. And its idea reduces garden waste, by recycing into, and reusing as, art what you'd otherwise deadhead and toss.