Friday, May 25, 2007
Frugal Friday--Air Drying Flowers
It's spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Normally it's starting to feel like summer by this time in North Texas, but we've been blessed with lots of rain and relatively cool weather this year. But that means lots of blooming flowers, and one way to preserve these lovelies is by air drying them.
Air drying flowers is an easy and inexpensive way to preserve some of your favorite blooms. Flowers thus preserved can be used to decorate your home or given as gifts. You might even enjoy it enought o make it a new hobby.
To begin, expose the flowers to warm, dry air in a dark location. This is the oldest and simplest method, and is commonly referred to as the "hang and dry" method, a method name somewhat misleading because some flowers are air-dried on wire racks (peonies for example). Collect your plant material to be dried. If you don't have flowers in your garden, look for wild flowers which may be picked. Tie the stems in bundles of eight to ten stems (flowers upside down) to a hanger with whatever you have: rubber bands, twist ties, paper clips, string, or florist wire. (The stems will shrink as they dry, so be sure to check that they remain secure through the drying process). Then simply hang your flowers in a warm, dark, dry place. This generally takes from one to three weeks. The darkness helps preserve the flower color. Flowers dried in this manner turn out best if cut just before being fully open.
Some flowers that dry well by this method include baby’s breath, cattail, statice, celosia, cornflower, some dahlias, delphinium, dock, globe amaranth, globe thistle, goldenrod, heather, larkspur, lavender, love-in-a-mist, marigolds, marjoran, pussy willow, strawflower (Helichrysum), and yarrow (Achillea). Flowers dried in this manner are extremely stiff once dried, and can be brittle. Blue and yellow flowers retain their colors best when air dried, while pink flowers tend to fade. Roses and peonies shrink somewhat when air-dried.
Once dry, the flowers can be used in arrangements, wreaths, and all sorts of craft projects.
Please enjoy more Frugal Friday here.