Flowers have a way of bringing colour, warmth, and joy to any home. The wide array of blooms that are seasonally available make it possible to create an almost limitless combination of floral bouquet to match your mood, interior decor, or occasion.
You know what they say — all things must come to an end.
Flowers are no exception, and they die quite quickly too. Thankfully there are simple ways to help preserve their beauty.
Dried Flowers For All Seasons
Dried flowers have been around for many centuries.
The ancient Egyptians dried flowers for cosmetic and medical use. Perfumes at that time were used during religious and royal ceremonies; garlands of dried flowers were quite common. When a person is about to be buried, dried flowers are used. They believed that its preserved state would be carried onto the next world by the deceased, making its appearance still very much presentable.
During the Middle Ages a combination of herbs and flowers called the tussie-mussies were believed to ward off certain diseases and keep pungent smells at bay. A dandelion’s sap was believed to be a helpful remedy for nursing mothers.
The Japanese created an art form called Oshibana. Flowers are pressed and different designs are formed. Flower petals, its leaves and stems are placed creatively on paper. Petals could be the waves of the ocean; its leaves can be rolling hills. These designs are meticulous and take a lot of effort to do.
It was during the Victorian era that the hobby of drying flowers flourished. Victorian women used to dry flowers to decorate paper, wear around their neck, or simply have them on display in their homes. The hobby spread across Europe and has since been enjoyed by the rest of the world.
The Best Flowers To Use
While it is tempting to dry every single flower you get your hands on, not all is an ideal candidate. There are varieties that are too fragile. Here are some favourites that look good dried as they are fresh:
- Dragon’s Breath
- Baby’s breath
- Globe thistle
There are other beautiful options out there and if you visit your local florist, you might be able to have some stem cuts at a discounted rate.
How to Dry Flowers
The process of drying flowers is relatively easy. This is a process that cannot be rushed as it takes a few weeks for the flower to completely dry.
Cut the stem of the flower, leaving about an inch. Make sure that each flower is in its best shape — check for any deterioration or discoloration. Make sure there are no insects in between the petals.
Lightly mist the flower and let it air dry. The evaporation process will help remove any pesticide.
Different Ways to Dry Flowers
Arguably the most popular way to dry flowers, pressing is simply placing flowers inside a book and leaving it to dry for two to four weeks.
Flat flowers such as violets and pansies are best used for pressing. Get a book with non-glossy pages such as a telephone book, and line your flowers. Make sure that flowers aren’t resting on top of each other. Get a piece of paper and place it on top before closing the book. A heavy object can help hasten the process of drying — put on top of the book and let the process do its work.
Air-drying or hanging
Hanging your flowers is the easiest way to dry flowers and will work with most varieties. Simply tie a bunch of flowers, hang them upside down in a warm, dark, dry area, and leave it to dry. Drying time depends on factors such as the environment and variety of flower. Check it after 7 days and if they’re crisp and dry, they’re good to go!
This process works best also for herbs. It leaves an aromatic scent to any room.
Do you know those packets of small beads that sometimes come with packages? They’re called desiccant and their purpose is to absorb moisture. Hobbyists use desiccant to dry flowers too.
Burying the flower in gel desiccant is how you can start the drying process. It usually takes about a week for it to dry. Gel desiccant is a good option since it can be reused by drying them in a warm oven.
Getting a bouquet through online flower delivery makes flower drying an ideal hobby nowadays. Nothing beats having an activity that helps preserve a flower’s beauty, making it, in a way, infinite.