Floral Design With Dried Strelitzia Leaves

As I write this our stelitzia (bird of paradise) plant is beginning to bloom yet again and the foliage is in need of some thinning out. In a separate (click here to read it) step by step article, I outline how you can get some wonderful shapes from drying the foliage but I haven’t shown you how to use it in some designs for a while.

So here are some recent designs using the dried strelitzia leaves.

  • This design was to showcase textures of both dried and fresh plant material so I have used a single dried strelitzia leaf combined with a fresh strelitzia flower. The form of the dried leaf repeats the rhythm and movement of the twisted vine as well as the fresh agapanthus foliage. Although the strelitzia leaf is smooth to the touch, the dried and twisted form gives it an implied texture that is different to the actual texture.
  • Here I have used 4 different shapes of dried strelitzia leaf to repeat the round form of the orange slices and the artificial poinsettia. As this was a Christmas wreath for a front door, using the dried material meant it didn’t need any maintenance during its display time. The wreath is made in the Himmeli style (click here for video instructions) and the fresh foliage is an Australian native plant commonly known as woolly bush which will dry naturally to a silver grey over the time the wreath is on display.
  • A design in the “naturalistic” style which means that plant material should be placed in the way it would grow naturally. Here I have placed three dried leaves into a natural split in the wood base.
  • The same as above with a naturally curled piece of bark placed to visually balance the strelitzia leaves.

Lots of options for using the dried leaves, not just for placement in designs that only have dried flowers!

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