We had toyed with the idea of removing the smaller square beds in the vegetable garden and replacing them with a sitting area and gravel garden but then I decided that it might be better to have a cutting garden. I used one of the beds to plant up the statice.
Statice, Limonium sinuatum, hails from the Mediterranean region and although considered to be hardy from zone 8 up, it probably will not like our humid summers. It is best grown as an annual. One of the great things about statice is that to dries so well, the flowers keeping their color for year.
If you look closely you will see that there are two parts to the flower, the center white corolla and the colorful calyx which surround it. This papery calyx is what makes it suitable for drying.
The flower stems arise from a basal rosette of leaves and are leafless, although there are winged protuberances all the way along the stem.
Mine was a packet of mixed seeds so I had no idea what color they would be until the bracts started to open. Not quite as much of the darker shades as I would like. I must check to see if they have specific colors available because I am definitely going to fill a bed with this plant again next year.
Drying is very simple. Cut the flowers just before the flowers open and hang in a cool dry place for a couple of weeks. Then enjoy for years to come.