The joy of making petal confetti

Over the last year we have been having fun preparing for the marriage of our daughter. The plan is to have a large informal country wedding out in the garden amongst the flowers and trees. Alas, one or two pandemic issues have got in the way but the preparation continues for a rescheduled wedding in 2021.

In many respects the delay last year has allowed us to try a few things out in the garden. Some have worked, some have been less successful and in this new year we will be able to build on the successes of this year’s planting combinations and ditch those that did not work.

With the pressure off somewhat we have been able to play a little. One of the most enjoyable and relaxing activities is to wander around the garden in the warm sunshine picking flowers to make petal confetti. It is so satisfying.

Along the way we have learnt some tricks which we thought it would be nice to pass on if you plan to do this yourself.

First of all you may need a large floppy hat and Sussex Trug to really feel the part! Choose a warm, dry day if possible and certainly wait until any dew has gone. The flowers that you choose to pick should be fully out and mature. Good quality blown roses are fine to use.

We collected petals in cardboard trays lined with kitchen paper. If possible you want to create a single layer so that they dry well. You certainly don’t want piles of petals or they will not dry successfully.

The trays of petals were slowly dried in the airing cupboard for 2 days. Once dried we placed the petals carefully and loosely into air tight storage jars (we re-purposed washed Douwe Egberts coffee jars). In each of the jars we put a home made sachet of silica gel created using unwanted, emptied herbal tea bags.

It is important to store the jars in the dark. As you can see from the pictures the petals have kept their colour well over the months. Although you cannot smell them they have also retained their wonderful scent if they had one originally.

We have labelled each picture so that you can see how the different types flowers have turned out.

Dark purple Rose
Deep pink rose
Pale pink Rose
White and yellow Rose
Dahlia David Howard
Pink Larkspur
Blue Larkspur

So what have we learnt along the way:

  • White flowers are less successful as the petals tend to dry an unattractive brown or dirty white.
  • Many of the dark red flowers turned almost black and lost their attractive colour.
  • Very fleshy petals (eg. hemerocallis) don’t seem to dry well.

We have also been advised that taking good wedding day photographs of confetti throwing takes some practice so we had a really fun afternoon in the summer throwing petals and taking some pictures. Timing the release of your treasured petals is everything and unfortunately some of your guests may not be up to the task on the day – but that is half the fun.

Finally we think we should offer a word of warning for the big day. Some darker coloured petals will stain if moistened so we suggest you don’t throw these at the bride in her beautiful dress if the weather is at all damp!