Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
When it comes to everlastings, there are so many kinds of herbs that are suitable. Here are just a few.
For use as an everlasting, it is best to allow the tansy stems to dry on the plant. They donít tend to last as long if you harvest them too early. The flattened flower heads resemble those of the carrot.
The taller thymes make excellent everlastings. The low growing ones used for ground covers arenít very suitable. For the best color, harvest these stems when the flowers are open. Being very small, thyme foliage has a delicate look.
Lemon balm makes a great everlasting. I donít find the flowering stems that attractive, and prefer to cut them before they bloom. However, this is my personal preference. There is a gorgeous variegated variety with yellow and green foliage, which looks very nice in everlasting displays.
Curry plant makes a delightful everlasting. It is often used in herbal topiaries and the like.
If you happen to have a bay tree, youíre lucky. These stems make excellent everlastings. In addition, the dried leaves can be used individually in wreaths and other types of dried herbal decorations.
Santolina or lavender cotton has very dainty, finely cut, gray foliage. This is dried for use in herbal bouquets and the like.
Rue can be used as an everlasting whether it is in flower or not. In addition, the rue seed pods make an excellent everlasting. These can be harvested when theyíre still green. Or, you can wait until they dry on the plant.
Costmary is actually related to the mum. This herb gives off a balsam-like fragrance. The daisy-shaped blooms are yellow. These open during late summer. The gray-green foliage has a silvery cast. The stems can be several feet in length.
Southernwood is a type of Artemisia. This herb has become a favorite in floral arrangements because of its attractive, gray-green, fern-like foliage. This does bloom. But, the flowers are rather small and inconspicuous.
Lemon verbena is a tender herb in much of the U.S. Typically, it is grown as a container or house plant. This is noted for its attractive foliage, which gives of a lemon-like fragrance. The small, lavender blooms open during the summer on a branched flower stalk. The stems, which dry very easily, can be cut any time during the growing season.
Sweet woodruff has narrow, dark green leaves that occur in whorls. This low growing species can be cut when the stems are in bloom. The small, white blossoms open during the late spring in small clusters that emerge from the leaf axils. These stems tend to be fairly short.
There are a number of the gray-green or silver-leaved artemisias that can be used as everlastings. These have small, daisy-like blooms and finely cut foliage.
To add additional interest to your everlasting herbal displays, try adding some German statice, or even some garlic and dried hot peppers.