Country Homes & Interiors

Why use seedheads?


We ask India Hurst of Vervain, a flower studio based in Bristol and Worcesters­hire, how she makes up her beautiful autumn flower arrangemen­ts.

Which seedheads do you rush to harvest, and why? Lunaria

annua (right) is top of my list. More commonly known as honesty, its translucen­t, flat seed cases are uniquely sculptural. Second is

Allium schubertii, with huge seedheads best described as fireworks. Poppies offer a sturdy seed pod; larger types such as ‘Patty’s Plum’ are my favourites. The half-hardy perennial climber Cobaea

scandens has fantastic seedheads, which I like to use once they have popped.

How do you display seedheads? They give great texture and new depth to arrangemen­ts if mixed with autumnal flowers such as dahlias, asters and straw flowers (xerochrysu­m).

Along with clusters of rosehips, they add sculptural form and remind us of the fruitful season we are in.

Any tips on how to keep seedheads looking good? Always pick your seedheads on a dry day. You need to avoid any moisture to ensure that they don’t become mouldy. I then keep the seedheads in a warm, dry environmen­t, ideally an airing cupboard. Once they are dry, I box them up and then keep them in the dark until I need them.

What would be your ultimate bunch of flowers for November? Just huge armfuls of seedheads, twigs and branches with a few autumnal coloured leaves still hanging on. Something that looks foraged and gathered from the last days of the season. Vervain, vervain flowers.

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