Friday, July 22, 2011

Growing Blackhart Barley

A couple of years ago I decided to research growing flowers for dried arrangements - which types were the best candidates for holding their form and not falling to pieces after being dried.   Just yesterday I harvested the Blackhart Barley I had growing and it does make a stunning arrangement on its own or paired with other fresh or dried flowers.   It's very easy to grow and resembles long grass until it sends up its awns (the section where the barley or seeds grow).   This variety turns a black color and the stem and leaves turn golden.   The stem is rather fragile and needs care when handling.

Here I added a bunch of the dried barley, which actually dried out in the garden on its own, to a vase I designed from a gourd.   This is a bottle gourd and I simply cut the top off and cleaned out the inside including removing the seeds.   Then I drew a design of flowers in pencil and from there I woodburned the design onto the gourd, added some color and a coat of sealer and now have a truly homegrown design to display.
Dried lavender is another flower/herb that grows and dries well.   Here I display a bunch in a ceramic mug my daughter created in art class - she definitely has a creative gene in her!   Other flowers that grow well for drying are statice, strawflower, yarrow and zinnia.   I am still growing and experimenting - there is a nice satisfaction knowing that your own garden grew these beautiful flowers to cherish all year long!

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