Guide To Make Dried Flowers

Want to make your garden’s summer flowers last all year? Ok, the easiest way is to bring your garden flowers indoor and dry them.

* First: Harvesting Flowers

It is best to cut your flowers in the morning hours after the dew has evaporated from the plants. Once cut, group stems into bunches using rubber bands (pure rubber rubber bands work best) and remove them from the sunlight as soon as possible.

There are definite developmental times which are best for cutting flowers for drying. This can be very specific for different plants or even different cultivators of the same plant. In general, it is best to pick immature flowers (ones that are not completely open) since flowers continue to open during the drying process. If you pick a flower at the time that it looks perfect, it will continue to open while drying, leaving you with a flower past that ‘perfect stage’. Most people pick flowers too late. For example, have you ever seen a pretty dried rose? If you really look at it, the flower is still fairly closed. Avoid harvesting flowers too mature in development. Such flowers will generally shed upon drying and will not hold up well in arrangements.

We offer specific picking and growing recommendations for each flower we grow. Just click on any dried flower name on any of our lists to obtain a wealth of specific information including pictures!

* Second: Preserving Flowers

With only a few exceptions, we air dry all our flowers. We simple hang flower bunches upside down on wire (over two miles of it is stretched in our circa 1860 barns). The barns offer ideal conditions: 1) darkness; 2) very good airflow; 3) cool updrafts; 4) perfect (usually) humidity levels. Once you have cut your flowers, it is important to remove them from the sunlight as soon as possible. This, along with drying in the dark, is the most important factor in maintaining good color.

Note:

1)How to Hang Flower Bunches

Suspend a 1/2-inch-diameter horizontal pole or pipe from the ceiling. If fastening hooks into your ceiling or walls is not an option, use tripods or two high-backed chairs to support the pole. A bent paper clip makes a perfect hanger for your bunches. Put newspaper or a drop cloth on the floor under the hanging bunches to catch fallen leaves, seeds, and petals. Hang bunches far enough apart to allow good air circulation.

2) How Long to Hang Flowers to Dry

The drying process takes from 10 to 20 days, depending on the plant. When dried, the stems should snap. You must test the flowers for dryness. Dissect one or two, and make sure the flowers” insides are thoroughly dry.

Some flowers, such as delphiniums, keep their color better if dried quickly near sources of warm air such as a heater. Large, many-flowered blooms such as dill, fluffy grasses, and Queen Anne”s lace, should be dried upright, not hanging upside down.

3) How to Dry Flowers with Silica?

Silica-gel drying is done in shallow, airtight, plastic (or glass) containers or trays. I dry many flowers at once using a 10- by 18-inch airtight plastic container. Yours need not be that big, but make sure that the flowers aren’t crowded. Spread the flowers out, face up, on a 1-inch (minimum depth) bed of crystals. Carefully spoon or sprinkle more silica on top until you’ve completely covered the flowers with at least another inch of crystals. Drying flowers with single-petal structures, such as daisies, facedown is another technique, but my results have been identical using both approaches. To dry flowers facedown, create a small mound for the flower head, place the flower head facedown on it, and add silica over the flower until it is covered. Flowers can be almost touching, and because similar kinds of flowers dry at the same rate, you may wish to group similar blooms in the same container. Seal the container, and don’t disturb it for three to four days.

Remove delicate blossoms very carefully. Shake or brush off the crystals lightly with a soft artist’s paintbrush. Leaving flowers in desiccant too long makes them very fragile, so remove flowers right away once you’ve determined that they’re dry enough.

4) How to Use Sand to Dry your Flowers?

Sand must be very fine, clean, dry, and preferably salt free. Sifting is recommended to remove coarse grains and foreign particles. Rinsing the sand in water several times to remove any soil is also recommended. Damp sand can be dried in an oven by placing in shallow pans and baking at 250 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Be sure to use only flowers in their prime and process them quickly to prevent wilting.

To dry with sand, place an inch or two of sand in a container; scoop away a small amount of sand to form a depression on the surface; place the flower head upright in this depression and press the sand in and around the outside of the flower to support it. Next, scoop a little sand into your hand and allow it to trickle in a fine stream around each petal. Start with the outer petals and work inward row by row, allowing the sand to build up equally on all sides of each petal so its position and shape are not altered. Flowers dried with sand are fragile so be very careful when removing them from the sand. Notice that flowers must be stored in a strong carton to protect the petals from breaking.

5) Using a Microwave Oven to Dry Flowers

The latest and fastest method to dry flowers is to use a combination of silica gel and a microwave oven.

With the use of a microwave, you can now dry your flowers very quickly. Flowers should be gathered at their peak or else they will turn brown. Use any of the drying agents (silica gel, sand, borax) in a container deep enough to cover the bloom. Leave a 1/2 inch stem on the flower, and place it face up on a 1/2 inch layer of drying agent. Carefully sprinkle enough agent to cover the flower, and place it in the microwave along with a small bowl of water. Do not remove the flowers from the agent immediately, but set them aside for several hours. Listed below are some times for drying flowers in a microwave.

By using air drying and other methods also, many flowers can be preserved for year-round enjoyment. Plan now to include some flowers in your garden for drying, and check nearby fields and road sides throughout the summer and fall for more dried plant materials.

* Third: Care of Dried Flowers

Routine dusting can be accomplished using a real feather duster or hair blow dryer on it’s lowest setting.

* Last: Storing and Enjoying Dried Flowers

We recommend wrapping the flowers in newspaper and placing them in a cardboard box. Do not store the box containing the dried flowers where it is unusually damp (some basements) or very dry (some attics). Also, a lot of people think you should never store dried flowers outside (it would be way to cold). This is simply not true. Temperatures are not important. In fact, a garage can be an ideal place for storing dried flowers. Actually, if your home is heated by forced air, the preferred place to store dried flowers would be in a outside building away from the dry heat.

In general, dried flowers should remain out of direct sunlight while you enjoy them in their final state. This will minimize fading over time. We also suggest not to place dried flowers in the path of forced air heat registers. This extremely dry air is very hard on dried flower structure (causes shattering).

Suggestion for use of dried flowers would include wreaths, swags, sheaths, bouquets, and sprays. Simply hanging dried flowers in a room can be very appealing. Also, placing clusters of bunches in a basket, as though you just came in from a garden, is most attractive.

Caution: if you do store your dried flowers outside, make sure you protect them from small rodents and insects (a few mothballs will work).

Finally, I should to say that drying flowers can be addictive! Before long, wreaths will adorn all your doors, and swags will hang from every wall. And they’ll all have come from your own garden. Talk about an extended season! You’ll soon see why dried flowers are often called “everlastings”.

Continue Reading

Tips To Arrange Flower

Everybody likes flowers, remarkable ability to brighten up a room or the outside of your house is second to none. When it comes to arranging flowers you might be happy with just bunching a number of different types together in a vase and leaving it at that, but you could have a much more impressive display. All that you need is a touch of imagination and creative thinking. Arranging flowers isn’t a difficult task, try out the tips below for some impressive results.

Form of Arrangement

You may be surprised to discover that there are a number of different standard forms of flower arrangement, these are:

Vertical arrangement: As the name suggests these are tall, slender arrangements. If you’ve got a number of long focal flowers you wish to show off utilize this arrangement.Make use of a tall container to put your flowers in, it only needs to be wide enough to use only a small number of surrounding flowers.

Horizontal arrangement: broad and low arrangement, good for a large table design.A traditional horizontal arrangement is symmetrical in form and the placement of flowers. The width needs to be two times the height.The container needs to be shallow and broad, the focal flower(s) in the middle and line flowers inserted almost horizontally.

Triangular arrangement: quite possibly the most common kind of arrangement.The line flowers are first positioned to form a triangle, the triangle ought to always be taller than it is wide.

Oval arrangement: a great arrangement for a formal setting or a living room.The oval arrangement is quite straightforward and ideal for showcasing 1-3 large or medium sized flowers. Choose a short and wide container for this kind of arrangement.Use the line flowers to create the height and shape of the arrangement and place the focal flowers at the centre and fill the gaps with smaller blooms.The arrangement is not intended to be looked at from three hundred sixty degrees.

Minimal arrangement: this kind of flower arrangement usually consists of only a few flowers in a smallish container. Minimal flower arrangements are able to look elegant and understated. Selecting the vase for a minimal arrangement is a lot more important than it is for other types – pick something small but stylish.

Hogarth’s Curve: challenging “S” shape which usually demands some skill to get right. Fundamentally the Lazy “S” is a minimal flower arrangement based on the “S” curve. The line flowers make the S shape (much easier if branches are used) and other flowers fill the centre.

Crescent arrangement: the crescent flower arrangement is somewhat more difficult when compared to some of the other arrangements though works excellent as a small table decoration. An asymmetrical arrangement the crescent needs to be well balanced, not only aesthetically nut also physically so it does not fall over. It is probable that you will also require a number of leaves or branches to form the crescent. In order to keep the arrangement secure it is best to use a wide, low container/vase.

Pick a Colouring Scheme

Would you like a dark, calming green/lilac/blue arrangement or a more lively red/orange/yellow one? Colours are possibly the most important factor when selecting your flowers.Understanding basic colour theory can be very helpful here – there are numerous guides on the net. Some common blends include: Analogous colours – these are colours which are adjacent to one another on the colour wheel like orange, yellow and green; or you could try complementary colours – colours from opposite sides of the colour wheel; or triads – 3 colours equally space around the colour wheel. Another alternative of course is to apply a less academic method and just decide on colours that you simply find appealing.Keep in mind colours can often express a number of feelings like love, sympathy, friendship, happiness etc. Choose the right colours for the sentiments you are trying to convey.

Selecting Appropriate Flowers

With so many types this can seem like a overwhelming task initially however we are able to break them down into three different types:

Line flowers – taller flowers which determine the shape, height and width of the arrangement, they usually have flowers or buds along their stem.Common line flowers are snapdragons, gladiolus, curly willow, delphinium, tuberose and bells-of-Ireland.

Mass flowers – big round flowers on a single stem, they are the main focal point of the arrangement.Typical mass flowers (also called focal flowers) include daisies, magnolias, roses, daffodils, carnations, tulips, sunflowers, iris and lilies.Mass flowers are sold in bunches, you should place these in the middle of your arrangement.

Filler flowers – filler flowers consist of stems with plenty of little blooms and leaves, these fill the gaps and give a visible link between the line and focal flowers.Good examples of these are: ferns, aster, baby’s breath, feverfew, Queen Anne’s lace, heather, eucalyptus.

When selecting the flowers also think about the following factors:

Seasonal flowers – blooms that are in season are usually much better value compared to flowers which aren’t owing to the simple fact that flower growers have got so many of them

Flower meanings – Floriography (language of flowers) – just as with colours, since Victorian times a number of flowers have had certain meanings/symbolism.

Forget the rules – there are a great number of guides and articles written on mixing colours and flowers and along with them many rules. If the rules state that they should never go together but you feel they should, put them together – you are probably right.

Arranging the Flowers

Don’t forget, line flowers initially then mass/focal flowers and lastly filler flowers.As you position the flowers try and allocate each flower its own space within the arrangement while maintaining a balance of colour throughout.

Preferably use floral foam within your vase, it can make it far less difficult to position and support the flowers. Remember to soak the floral foam in water and food.

Position a flower at a time. Cut short the size of any stems as necessary. All the flowers need to face in an outward direction at an acceptable angle. Use a sharp knife to cut the bottom of the stems.

Continue Reading