The second life of dried flowers

They grew in this vineyard of Entre-deux-Mers Bordeaux, survived the frosty springs and the scorching summers of the last seasons, before being hanged away from light and humidity. at the bottom, ten days. Emptied of their water but not of their splendor. In the old barn transformed into Jocelyne Riffaud’s workshop, dozens of varieties of dried flowers, beautiful slumber waiting for a second life. Here, statice with vaporous inflorescences, there immortelle with flower heads like tissue paper, further on, allium with large mauve pompoms, thistle with silvery or bluish tints, craspedia with luminous yellow balls, nigella from Damascus to aerial capsules …

For thirty years, Jocelyne – “But everyone calls me Josie” -, 61 years old, with a proud look on a weathered complexion, a producer of dried flowers. In her Flower Farm in Romagne (Gironde), the peasant woman has never given up exploiting her half-hectare of field culture, ” a garden “ planted with perennials and decorative or aromatic annuals, suitable for drying. Never gave up, despite the whims of fashion, the vagaries of life or the ups and downs of income from the sale of his compositions on the Cadillac and Pessac markets.

A “special charm”

In her memory, Josie always loved “The particular charm of the dry flower, which gives off a form of romanticism. It is also less capricious, less fragile than the fresh one, so we have more time to work with it ”, explains the sixty-year-old standing in the dining room of his house, where only a bouquet of dehydrated mimosa placed on the fireplace testifies to his passion. “The shoemaker’s syndrome, the worst shod”, she smiles when asked. “The dried flower also allows you to give free rein to your creativity, and it is surely this side, closer to craftsmanship than to trade that has always attracted me to the making of dry compositions. »

Coming from the city, daughter of a traveling caterer, Josie has long cultivated a creative streak. Holder of a license in sociology, the young woman of the time tried her hand at ceramics, while helping out in the markets in high season. In the 1980s, with her husband Pierre, a winegrower, they bought an old residential farm surrounded by greenery. She then began a small floricultural activity. “I quickly made dried bouquets that I sold with my ceramics. It was fashionable and it allowed me to pay myself a small salary. “

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