Every spring when the roses begin to bloom I start thinking about decorating with a bouquet or two. Sometimes they are popped into various vases and other times into teapots to enjoy their rosy blossoms around the house. But when they are past their prime, I hate to just throw away those faded roses as well as other spent beautiful blooms.
Today I am sharing a couple of easy ways to dry flowers…
By far the easiest way to dry flowers is to pull them out of a vase, rinse off any stickiness from stems which were underwater, then place a rubberband near the bottom of the stems and hang them. Hanging from a cuphook off your fireplace mantel, a china hutch in your kitchen, or even hanging from a pretty doorknob of a bedroom door looks beautiful while they are drying, too…
Another way to dry flowers is by pressing them. Pressing flowers has been around for ages, and the garden press I have was found while my children and I were visiting family over in England during the spring of 2005. I bought it for £1.00!
I never took the little thriftshop tag off of this little garden press!
The Victorians enjoyed nature so much that pressing flowers to fill their scrapbooks and photo albums as they added-in tintype and daguerreotype photographs was de rigueur. They also created still-life vignettes inside picture frames and under glass cloches with pressed ferns, grasses and florals, often adding in taxidermy birds and animals to their scenes.
A week ago I shared this postand a mini bouquet of pear flowers were picked at their loveliest peak.
I almost hated to pick them but I knew that this was the only way to preserve their beauty. Pear trees flower for such a short time!
Here is one of those mini pear bouquets freshly pressed!
When I was a little girl I actually found an anomaly ~ an actual four-leaf clover! I kept that little faded dried clover inside the cap of a Heinz ketchup bottle for years… At some point I tossed them both away (probably when I was heading off to college ~ I had done a bunch of packing up of childhood things then) and in a way I wish I had kept it.
Before I had a flower press, I used to place white napkins or paper towels around whatever flowers I wanted to press and then I would place the flower bundle inside an old telephone book. After closing the pages of the phone book, I’d place a heavy dictionary or a small stack of books on top for a couple of weeks until the telephone book pulled all of the moisture out of each flower, leaf and stem!
Tiny roses dried from a small bouquet…
What flowers dry well?
Roses dry by far the best out of all blooms that I have tried though once in a great while I have been able to dry a pretty bouquet of hydrangeas. Most flowers you pick can be dried but a press is the way to go for most of them.
Dried hydrangeas I saved from our former home in California which have lost most of their color… This was taken in our first trailer home.
The humidity has to be fairly low for hydrangeas to dry well. Here in Texas, spring and late fall are the best times to dry flowers as the humidity is much lower than during the summertime. In California because our “high humidity” was a low 40% (our low was about 10% and really made your skin look like that of a mummy!), flowers could be dried all year long.
This same bouquet-filled basket when it was a bit fresher!
One of three hydrangea bushes we had in pots at the Big House (looking a bit ratty at the end of summer). This photograph was taken in late August or early September 2014.
*On another note, if you heard about the big gas explosion in Murrieta, California in July of 2019… That was up the street about four houses from our home! Kinda glad we sold that house now… Many of the houses around that corner house had their windows blown out from the explosion and a gas worker was killed, sadly.
What to do with freshly flattened dried flowers?
Take some of your dried florals and gently glue them onto cardstock to frame. Another idea is to make beautiful notecards to send out to friends and family just to say hello as we all self-isolate during this time. Those are just a couple of ideas so you can share your garden with others.
Enjoy your gardens and flowers this spring and try your hand at drying flowers to share and to enjoy their beauty all year long! Let me know what you will do with your dried flowers, won’t you?
French Ethereal is a lifestyle blog sharing tips on decorating, table settings, crafts, gardening, DIY and travel. I love an elegant Shabby Chic/Old World French decor all decorated with Faith. <3
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