Discover Flowers Forever a beautiful new book by Bex Partridge with 3 signed copies to be won – scroll down for details on how to enter.
Please note: this competition is now closed and the winners notified
When Bex got in touch to ask if I might like to review her new book Flowers Forever (Hardie Grant) I didn’t hesitate. Her first book Everlastings is an essential and inspiring introduction to dried flowers and got me seriously hooked.
I spent a lot of time during lockdown nurturing flowers I’d grown from seed and learning how to dry them was a joy – a beautiful alternative to chucking them onto the compost heap once their first lease of life was over. What’s so addictive is that you’re not just trying to capture the life they had before. By drying them you create a whole new and very beautiful form to create with all over again. There’s a sustainability and slow, quiet creativity to this that really resonates with me.
I feel like I’ve grasped the very basics of flower drying now, so I was excited to explore the subject further. In Flowers Forever Bex shares her complete process – right through from the sowing of seeds, nurturing the soil to growing, harvesting and creating her beautiful designs.
She had me from chapter 1: The Beauty is in The Decay.
Dried flowers are not a replacement for fresh flowers but an additional and sustainable source of texture, tone and beauty for the home and this new book is essential reading on the subject.
Flowers Forever – a peek inside
Bex is passionate about sustainability and the natural world and she shares her knowledge of the eco benefits of working with dried flowers as well as how to make the most of our natural surroundings. In this beautifully photographed book, she takes the reader on a journey with practical advice on the process of growing, drying and working with dried flowers, sourcing materials sustainably as well as guidance on textures, tones and colours throughout the seasons.
There’s plenty of creative inspiration to enjoy with 11 modern dried flower design ideas suitable for all skill levels. Projects include Spring Branches (lichen covered winter branches embellished with pretty dried flower heads to create the feeling of everlasting blossom); how to make a magical, fleeting patch of Summer Meadow; a dramatic ‘Cloud’ installation and plenty of ideas in between.
Possibly my favourite design idea in the book is Bex’s dried flowers on fabric wall hanging (pictured below) and she is kindly sharing with us the step by steps to make it. Click to find out more: How to make a dried flower wall hanging – wildly beautiful by Bex Partridge
Sign up to Bex’s newsletter here and be the first to hear all her latest news and scroll down to enter our competition for a chance to win a signed copy of the book along with a set of notelets.
Q&A with Bex
I also wanted to bring Bex herself in here, to share with us some of her thoughts and feelings about the book. I love the answers she gave and I hope you enjoy discovering Flowers Forever as much as I did.
Q: What inspired you to write this book and what is your writing/creative process?
The book was inspired initially by the evolution of my work and the breadth of knowledge that I had garnered from the years growing, drying and creating with dried flowers. I wanted to share all this with my audience and the reader in a greater depth that what I was able to with my first book Everlastings. Then during the pandemic and after I had signed the contract for the book, we moved to Devon and my world and work expanded exponentially and the book became something far bigger than I ever thought or dreamt of.
Q: It’s beautifully photographed by Laura Edwards – why did you choose her for your project?
With Everlastings my publisher sent me two options for photographers that they felt would be a good fit for my work. Laura was one of them and after consulting with my good friend who is also a photographer we both felt that she had a wonderful ability to capture a story and the essence of a scene beyond the obvious. She is a lover of texture like me and will always find the beauty in the mundane, something I strive to show with my work too.
We are very free flowing when working together, often I will leave Laura to her own devices to wander round the garden or studio taking the images she thinks would be best and they invariably always hit the mark. One of the hardest parts of putting a book together is all those images you can’t squeeze in and many of my favourite images are those that didn’t make it for various reasons, mainly of the garden or of me harvesting flowers.
Q: What do you most hope your book gives to its readers?
I hope with the book and with everything I do, that I offer the reader an inspirational take on creating with dried flowers. The book itself is exactly that, with projects laid out in such a way that the reader can adapt them based upon the materials they have to work with, often those that can be plucked directly from the hedgerows or flower beds. I also hope the book shows readers that there is a different way to decorate homes and spaces, one that allows nature to come into our homes, softening edges and lifting dark corners through the simple act of stepping outside of noticing what is already there for the taking.
Q: What was the first flower you ever dried and was there a moment when you knew you were hooked?
I really stumbled across dried flowers in an organic and iterative way. It started with a bouquet from a friend that was left to dry in the vase, sparking my interest and encouraging me to create a wreath from the stems. From there I invested in dried flowers to create with, buying them online from a UK based supplier. For some reason however, despite me being an avid gardener all my life it took me a good year or two before I delved into growing flowers to dry. And since then I just keep experimenting, building my knowledge, my loves and preferences. I’m not sure I will ever stop learning on this subject.
Strawflowers are a great choice for anyone new to growing their own flowers to dry – which variety is your own particular favourite?
Strawflowers are one of my absolute favourite flowers to grow and dry and I always recommend anyone new to growing flowers to start with these. They are relatively easy to start from seed (always use fresh seed and sow in a greenhouse or window sill, planting out when all danger of frost has passed and they are of a good size). And they are so easy to dry. The petals themselves are papery to touch as soon as they appear and retain their colour and shape even when dried – giving you years and years of happiness.
My current favourites are: silvery pink, salmon rose, apricot peach and scarlet. Chiltern seeds are a very reliable source for seeds.
Can you single out one or two ‘show stopper’ dried flowers?
It’s hard to single out one because the way I use dried flowers varies hugely depending on the design I am working on. That being said, I encourage people to consider grasses, seedheads and other textural fillers to support the flowers. These stems are the ones that can set a design apart and help to keep them intrinsically linked to the natural world.
What would be your essential seed/plant shopping list for anyone starting out on a dried flower growing journey?
You really don’t need a lot to get started and I always recommend starting slowly and trialling flowers to see which ones work for you. Take a stroll around your garden and notice the plants that already exist there. Are there ones that could already be used for drying? Look beyond the borders and towards the wildflowers and hedges.
If you want to start sowing seeds then select a peat free compost from a reputable source, a few packets of seeds from your favourite supplier, a small propagator and a sunny windowsill or greenhouse if you’re lucky enough to have one!
Can you describe a perfect day in your garden and what makes it so joyful for you?
This would be waking up early, before the family have risen and stepping outside on a late summer morning to soak in all the flowers that I’ve taken the year to grow. Late summer and early Autumn are the best time in my garden for picking flowers to dry. It is also the time in the year when there are fewer jobs to be done, so life can be that little bit more relaxing than in Spring and late Autumn. I adore strolling the garden and cutting my stems to be hung out to dry in the studio later in the day.
How would you describe your design style?
As with all styles, mine has taken a while to evolve and I have no doubt will continue to develop as I grow and learn more. I would describe it as ethereal, magical and nature led. Wild and free with a focus on loose, flowing displays.
What do you predict will be the upcoming most popular dried flower varieties?
I hope that the move towards British grown flowers will continue to have an influence on the dried flower trend, however it worries me greatly that more and more people are choosing dyed and bleached dried flower products. These come with a huge impact on the environment and turn what should be a stunning natural offering into a highly chemical ridden manmade product. There needs to be clearer labelling on these items so people know what they are buying. In my book I urge the reader to investigate the origins of the flowers that they are buying as knowledge is power.
I was interested to read your thoughts on escaping the imperative of a freshly mown lawn – can you share one or two of your own favourite ways to increase the wildflower areas of our gardens?
Like many of us I was a lover of a neatly mowed lawn before we moved to Devon. With our small town garden where we used to live, it was hard to do anything but mow it regularly so the boys had space to play. However, here in Devon we have an acre of land and when we moved in, the first thing we decided to do was not to mow the lawn. Mainly to see what would come up but also because it is a huge undertaking mowing the lawn as regularly as would be needed. We were delighted by the appearance of many wildflowers such as ragged robin, clover, birds foot trefoil and much more alongside the tufty grasses. I use some of these in my work and they also feed my chickens!
So my first tip would be to simply stop mowing, see what comes up and go from there.
If you are lucky to have a good seed base (most gardens will) the flowers will appear over time. The next thing to do is to introduce yellow rattle as this is a plant that outcompetes grasses and allows other flowers to flourish. Its a slow game building a wildflower lawn but so beneficial when you can watch butterflies and nectar loving insects flitting from plant to plant.
How to win a signed copy of the book and a set of notelets
We have three signed copies of Flowers Forever to be won, along with a set of notelets for each winner. So why not enter now? All you have to do is share your own thoughts on dried flowers and where you hope this book might take you. Be as creative as you like!
Post your entry as a comment at the foot of this blog post.
You won’t see your entry appear immediately when you add it to a comment box. But it will come through to our admin area once you click the ‘post comment’ button. Once we’ve logged your entry we’ll publish it.
Please note that this competition is only open to residents of the UK.
Good luck and hope you enjoy! We’ll be choosing the winner at the end of August so why not enter now?
Flowers Forever is published by Hardie Grant (ISBN 9781784884345) and is available to buy online from:
as well as your local book shops and Bex’s own online shop. Browse other hand-picked creative books in the FBWL book shop
If you would like to sign up for Bex’s newsletter, you can do that here: https://www.botanicaltales.com/newsletter-sign-up
Photography: Laura Edwards
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I’d be looking to create spells with herbs and special dried flowers… concoctions to help heal and bring joy.
I’ve always loved the beauty of dried flowers and friends often gave me theirs as they dried. I love the sculpture of petals and leaves and I see this book as giving me a platform to build my knowledge upon.
I think this book would help to inspire me not only to use dried flowers around the home but also help show me how to make some dried flower arrangements to take down to my beloved husbands grave as I can’t get there as often as I would like and by being able to learn to do this d flowers will be there all the time which is what I want for him.
It will give me great inspiration to try something new.
I recently bought an expensive stack of dried flowers to make headdresses for my daughters wedding. Now I’ve got the bug Id love to learn how to dry my own! Thanks for this xx
Love this book, dried flowers have a way of bringing the outdoors into your home whatever the weather. Also echos of summer on a dreary winters day, when their beauty can lift ones spirits.
Having loved flowers all my life since getting my flower arrangers badge in brownies back in the 70’s – I still use my original wooden flower press – I’ve tried drying them with a dehydrator over lockdown – but would Love to be a bit more adventurous now as I have more time on my hands and I’m always looking for new fresh ideas to try.
Love the wall hanging idea
Thank you for the opportunity to enter.
I’ve always loved dried flowers but never understood how to dry my own or which types to use for the best result. So, I’d welcome the book. It looks amazing.
I would like to have a go at the wall hanging, for the first time my garden is in bloom, and i would like to do something with the multitude of flowrs
I have dried flowers since I was little girl. Books were expensive so my own experience was my guide. Some of them were pretty and I shared them with friends. The little girl is many decades older now would like to create with them again. I know that the beautiful book would certainly help my art bloom.
I’ve recently grown to love collecting and drying flowers. I remember pressing flowers when I was a child. It’s a beautiful experience. This book would greatly inspire me to learn and do more with the flowers in my garden.
Book is inspiring
I’ve only ever tried to dry lavender, feeling that other flowers must be too tricky. I think this book takes away the mystery and the fear, I think I could do more now. Oh this book is a game changer for me. Thank you for this opportunity.
Looks a fabulous inspirational book
Bex Partridge dried flowers are amazing, would love to try to make even just a posy
This book is absolutely stunning and I’m desperate to dig in and start drying more flowers and grasses myself. I would be thrilled to win this beautiful and inspirational book.
Having used to dismissing dried flowers as a little pointless , it was only being shown some that had been done properly that I paid attention to them and appreciate them for their attractiveness and the clever work that goes on in making them last so well
I have a garden full of flowers, but have only ever dried lavender and everlasting flowers. I need tips on how to dry flowers effectively and inspiration on how to present them in in new ways so they become part of the interior decor.
This was an interesting read. I’ve never used dried flowers before, but have been curious about them for a while as it seems like such a beautiful and sustainable option. Would love to read this book to learn more and perhaps develop a new hobby ☺️
I’m a big fan of Bex’s work and would appreciate a copy of her book to inspire me to do more with my dried flowers – they mostly tend to hang about the place in the bunches they dried in whilst I try to make up my mind exactly what to do with them!
I am growing Strawflowers this year and they are nearly ready to cut. I did this last year and have lots of bunches I still in vases but now I’d like to learn how to be creative with them. and other dried flowers – Im thinking a beautiful dried Christmas wreath that’s totally eco friendly is first.
I love the delicacy and beauty of dried flowers, I’d love to be able to dry my own flowers to be able to enjoy my flowers for much longer and to experiment with different types of flowers and foliage.
I’d love to know which flowers can be dried the best methods and how to create beautiful arrangements for me and to gift to friends and family.
Flowers are so gorgeous the idea of drying them is so perfect to keep them for longer and much kinder to the planet
What a delightful book this looks. It is relaxing and inspiring reading about it!
When my daughters were young I used to grow various flowers for drying to combine with corn dollys to raise money for their school. This book would bring back happy memories & inspire me to be creative even though I’m in my eighties now .
I can never bear to let a bunch of flowers go – so my home is often dotted with ever decreasing sized containers holding onto the very last viable bloom – I am so inspired to do more after reading this delightful blog post about Bex and will be sharing this with my sisters – both avid home flower growers .
I have only so far dried different grasses, daisies and seed pods from my garden with my young children. The advice not to mow the lawn is great news as I’m doing this to encourage butterflies! I would love this book as I do think dried flowers are beautiful but can’t afford to buy them and would also love the children to see that they can grow flowers and keep them.
a fabulous book to learn some skills to keep a memory alive.
I have dried some buttercups which were on my late father’s property. Your book looks beautiful and very inspiring.
I love dried flowers, and even though we have a small garden we have an abundance of flowers
Absolutely beautiful and inspiring
My future daughter in law loves dried flowers and is having them for her bouquet and to dress the room. I would love to gift her this book at the start of her marriage, and we can plan what to do with her wedding bouquet
Having pressed and dried flowers for years, this book would give me the ideas and inspiration on how to use and display them more effectively.
dried flowers is not something I have thought about before reading this. I used to do it many years ago but as time has passed it has got forgotten.
The book would give me inspiration to start dried flowers again
lovely book great giveaway
Our lovely creative daughter Gina made me a huge arrangement of dried flowers for our Victorian fireplace in the cottage we lived in for over 50 years. They faded prettily to shades of beige & I loved them for many years, only dust & deterioration caused me to eventually throw them away. I discarded them at the end of the garden & the following year had statice blooming there. The seeds were still viable. Since being widowed last year I’ve moved to a retirement apartment where the bland walls are crying out for some colour. How I’d love to learn to dry & arrange flowers, a poignant reminder of times past!
The smell of dried flowers in my grandma’s drying room is a scent that takes me back to childhood. I’ve often thought about recreating her magical pictures and this book would be an inspiration!
This book could help me get the best out of my garden and enjoy my flowers and grasses even longer.
It’s a good opportunity tp start appreciating and treasuring the natural world around us
I love flowers and have lots of roses, all colours and varieties, been growing other things too including dahlias. It seems a shame when they die to dispose of them if you could make some items with drying them. I would not really have a clue how to do it, but would love to make some dried flower displays, with a bit of help from this book and the inspiration from the lovely Bex Partridge, my flowers could have eternal life!
I work for a small charity which helps people with their mental health, I am the head gardener of the walled garden which is attached to the charity. We grow flowers, fruit and vegetables, I would love to extend out ‘flower’ season through out the year to be able to offer a chance for our attendees and volunteers to have access to full process of sowing, growing and drying flowers which could then be able to be used for crafting and creating during the winter season when the garden has less to offer, thank you for the opportunity x
I’ve just got an allotment and think this book would help me to plan what to grow and dry. Very inspirational – have wanted to try this for a long time but not been motivated. Maybe now 🙂
Have had a play with dried flowers before but not very successful. Would love some guidance and inspiration to help me try again. x
I find the sound they make when moved so interesting. It would be great to know more.
I always feel so sad as the flowers in my garden begin to fade and die. I would hope that this book would inspire me to extend my craft skills to make some decorations for the City Farm cafe which my daughter manages. The cafe supports people who have learning difficulties and gives them job skills. My daughter likes to frequently change the decor, not just for the customers, but to keep the workplace interesting for her clients, however her budget to do so is limited. I’d love to learn this skill to help out!
I love flowers and I think this book would inspire me to grow more and help me use them more around my home and to gift to family to spread the joy of them all year.
I’m in my 60s and dried flowers used to be very passé…now my home is full of hydrangea and seed heads in huge containers…I’m so pleased they have made a comeback!
I would love to use this as inspiration for a new creative outlet! I have always loved dried flowers as my mum used to use them a lot in the 70’s it would be a really lovely thing to do and remind me of days gone by and maybe see if my mum is able to do a few projects with me, it may give her a renewed outlook and challenge without being overwhelming as it’s something she used to do ❤️
I love dried flowers and have experimented with them and would Love to learn more.This book looks wonderful!! I hope I win it so I can learn everything in it and enjoy the beautiful photos
Loved drying flowers when I was a little girl – my Dad made me a press – would like to get inspired to take it up again to preserve flowers from my cottage garden x
My experience of dried flowers goes back to Gardening Club at school in the 60s. All I can remember is putting sprays of leaves in a glycerine/water mixture to make autumn colours. This book would bring me up to date. Thanks for the opportunity to win 😀
This is new to me so looking forward to learning another skill. Dried flowers are perfect for any occasion and I can see a way of incorporating dried flowers with calligraphy which I have been learning for many years. Can be used for cards or even art work to put on the wall.
I don’t know a lot at all but I’d love to use dried flowers in the house for decoration. This book would encourage me to go out and collect some and then know what to do with them.
I enjoy growing flowers from seed. This book would give me ideas on which flowers dry best & how to be creative with them.
My grandmother had the most fantastic cottage garden, full of flowers. She had an ancient flower press and she showed me how to use it to press flowers. I made a scrapbook of them which I still have 60 years later. (The colours are faded but it still brings back wonderful memories).
I would love to win this book for the Therapy Garden I volunteer for as many people would benefit every week delving into your inspirational book every week and learning how to dry and display the flowers we grow in the garden
This is a beautiful book, full of interesting ways to use dried flowers, it’s just what I need. I have a young grandson who loves nature, he collects leaves and flowers and we put them in my old flower press, and there they stay.!
This book will help to give me different ideas on how we can use them
I am in the process of buying a bungalow with a beautiful garden and there’s a greenhouse!! I’ve always wanted a greenhouse and I’m so excited, there’ll be no stopping me. I intend to grow so many beautiful flowers and preserve them.
What does a dried flower decoration mean to me? Capturing a precious moment or memory; a tribute to favourite blooms of Spring and Summer; “immortalising ” displays in settings which brings joy all year around ; a way of bringing the natural world and the seasons into personal space and home; evoking the memories of favourite flower perfumes, textures and colours; the preserved beauty of nature.
I do lots of crafts and often incorporate them into my hobby…planning events for my friends.
I think it would be lovely to do a wedding which uses dried flowers. The flowers would live on as keepsakes for the wedding party. I would also use them as flower confetti for the guests to throw. I look forward to learning how to preserve the flowers I grow.
I think when done right, the process of drying flowers can give amazing results. I would definitely be eager to learn with this book
I first grew some dried flowers last year, unfortunately a lot of the varieties didn’t come up, or they started and the creatures ate them, but this year in the tunnel 3 types of Helicrysum appeared a giant golden one, a scarlet, a pink and white colored ones, I picked and dried some of them, with the stalks but the heads sagged, so I picked more and have threaded a thin piece of wire up a small part of the stalk up through the head in the hopes I can make the head stand up. I’ve already decorated my bowler hat, it looks amazing, I’m delighted, I absolutely love them
My daughter is really into dried flowers and they are expensive to buy it would be lovely for her to make her own and this book will give her the inspiration
Nature has presented the flowers as her own artwork. I don’t paint or draw, the book will help me to produce my own pictures and sculptures by using the colours and forms that are already there. I enjoy lots of crafts, this book will be the start of a new adventure for me.
I could imagine drying plants especially wild plants such as bog cotton or wild flowers and use them for 3D frames or even weaving small pieces.
I’ve never used dried flowers for a wreath or anything like that, so this book would be an eye-opener. Inspirational, thank you
I’ve had flowers around me my whole life. My grandfather was an ornamental horticulturist. My mom is a florist! As a child I would collect flowers and press them in our encyclopedias between waxed paper. I separated and hung dry my daughter’s wedding bouquet. I LOVE flowers of all kinds, but wildflowers are my favorites. I’m an amateur flower drier, but I would love to learn more to up my “flower drying game”. I love the fresh bloom, I’m always sad for the wither. I would absolutely love to preserve some of my favorites to enjoy year long!
Interested to learn and do
I love dried flowers, they always look lovely and last so much longer than real ones. I used to experiment with a lot when I was young and single and I pressed them in books – so I would always find flowers falling out when I picked up a book I had forgotten about! I think this book would lead me to start this lovely hobby again now I am retired and have more time.
I’ve worked with dried flowers for years….just love them! I save some flowers to dry from my father’s funeral arrangements. Will make a wreath to keep these forevver!
Dried flowers give us double the pleasure …..not only can we appreciate their beauty as they bloom but drying them will then give us countless more days of joy.
I believe this book would give me information on the drying process and ideas on how to arrange them along with the sustainable aspect of growing my own wildflowers.
I’m a real novice when it comes to working with dried flowers. This book would definitely give me lots of ideas and inspiration to improve my knowledge and ability.
Lovely book full of inspiring ideas
From what I’ve seen this looks an inspiring book. I’ve always thought dried flowers were dull and lifeless, seeing those here and the stunning colours of the displays has made me want to do some of my own. I love having flowers in the house and creating my own groups and bunches would be the icing on the cake! I love to bake too and would love to use them on my home bakes.
I love flowers. I love gardening and enjoying seeing what grows. It would be lovely to learn more about dried flowers and how to display them. This is a super giveaway which I would really appreciate winning.
The book looks like an interesting read full of useful tips and ideas. I love to collect seed heads from all plants in my garden to use for arrangements and to propagate for the next season.
I have the Everlastings book which was just beautiful. I grow a lot of lavender and make it into dried bunches so I’m always looking for things I could add to the lavender to make pretty wreaths and bouquets etc.
Many years ago I used to grow and dry flowers and make arrangements with them but then life got in the way. Now I am retired I fancy taking up the hobby again and hope that this book will be my ‘kick start’.
I’ve always loved dried flowers and want to learn how to make wreaths with them. I like the traditions of the May Day celebrations in England and all the crafts that would go with it.
I love having flowers in the house and throughout the summer I pick flowers from my garden and display them in vases in my rooms. This book would enable me to have flowers in my home all year round. It would give me the opportunity to make the most of the beautiful flowers i grow in my garden for much longer and be able to make stunning displays for each room. What could be nicer!
I love dried flowers as you can create a long-lasting arrangement and bouquet. I don’t know much about them though, so this book would help.
This is something I would love to try, I adore nature and being able to bring new beauty into my home wiuld be amazing
At my home
I’ve recently discovered a love for dried flowers through by capturing them in resin for jewellery making . I’d love to explore the creative ways in which I can use them and I think this book would help me with that .