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Gotta have it: pampas grasses

Potty about pampas? Here's why you should make room for their feathery plumes, and how to get the best from everlasting grasses and dried flowers.

Cor blimey, pampas grass is having a moment, isn’t it? I didn’t realise quite how much of a moment until I heard on the news people were nicking the feathery plumes from coastal areas to take home and stick on Instagram.

Tres naughty and unenvironmentally-friendly as *interesting horticultural fact* pampas planted on dunes is there to help stabilise the sand and stop it being washed away, never mind the fact no-one wants to see a load of stumpy stems left behind by marauding influencers on their morning walk.

Not that long ago, dried blooms were the opposite of de rigeur and pampas was something you’d only see in a dusty vase at the mother-in-law’s, or in the front garden of a swinger (Google it).

So, what the hell-ianthus is going on?

I got straight on the blower to quiz Cullompton florist, Ellie of Darling Buds, a trained florist with over 10 years’ experience in the biz. She assures me that far from being the fusty bouquets of yesteryear, like loom-weaving and pearls (check out the latest here), everlasting bunches are Big News.

She does beautiful blooms for weddings and says the last two years has bought a huge uptick in brides asking for dried bouquets, either on their own or mixed with fresh flowers.

For interiors, they tick the ‘I Love Nature’ box and offer an easy-care, long-lasting and eco-friendly alternative to both plastic and fresh flowers. Plus, they’re a quick way to transform a spare bedroom into a WFH space.

If you want to get yourself some tickle sticks, now’s a good time to buy as Ellie says imported pampas currently costing £4-8 per stem is likely get more expensive due to Brexit imposed custom charges.

Her top tips to avoid the Granny look are to combine neutral with deep paint shades, like Hague Blue and Bridgerton greens.

When arranging, stick to the ‘thirds’ rule, ie: the vase should make up one-third of your composition and the stems two-thirds.

Keep them dry, so not in a bathroom or kitchen, and conversely, not too near radiators (or fires, obvs).

Beware when cutting stems down. As with trimming hair, you can’t stick what you’ve cut back on, so check and check again before snipping the bottom off your sprigs.

And though neutrals are great, dyed stems are perfect for adding a pop of colour, say to match your cushions or your mood.

Finally, if you like pampas plumes, you will adore Bunny’s tails (above), smaller grasses with pale fluffy heads, which look and feel like… yep, you guessed it. Perfect for posies.

Darling Buds specialises in wedding floral design as well as delivering fresh flower bouquets locally and online dried flower bouquets nationwide. She also runs workshops at her flower studio based in a barn conversion just outside Cullompton. (Pic credit: Darling Buds)

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