Whether you are cutting fresh flowers for a table arrangement, air drying them naturally to make a dried flower arrangement, or any other technique, there are 3 important rules you must follow:

1. Start with fresh flowers with no blemishes. Preserving damaged flowers will not be successful. You can use tweezers to remove a blemish if needed.

2. Make sure your container is bacteria free. Bacteria can clog the pores in the stem, and the preserving liquid will not reach the bloom. A spray of 70% alcohol or bleach water will cleanse your vase and eliminate the possibility of bacteria.

3. Remove all the leaves that may touch the water. Otherwise, disease will set in quickly.

Natural Drying Method — Place the flowers you are drying in a vase that has about 1 inch of water. If you are using a bud vase, put only one bloom per vase. If the neck of the vase is wide, you may be able to have 2 or 3 stems. Keep the flower in the vase until all the water has evaporated.

Glycerin Drying — This is my favorite way to dry flowers, although it doesn’t work on all flowers. Make a mix-ture of 1 part glycerin to 2 parts hot water. Mix and let cool. Pour the water-glycerin mixture about ½ inch deep into a clear vase or jar. Strip all leaves from the stem and submerge into the mixture. Place out of direct sun. Let set 3 to 5 days and it is done! This method keeps the flower pliable and more natural.

Silica Gel — Place about ½ inch of silica gel into a container. Place flowers so they do not touch each other. Carefully add more silica gel until flowers are completely covered. This takes about 3 to 5 days, depending on the size of the flower.

Pressed Flowers — Pressing flowers is a way to preserve special flowers, such as a bridal bouquet or prom cor-sage. If you’re not in a hurry, you can use a commercially made flower press that has a wood frame and screws/wingnuts to tighten it. Or place the flower between blotting paper then pile a heavy book or two on top.

A quicker method is to use a microwave oven and 2 unglazed terra cotta saucers and blotting paper. Set one saucer rim down, lay a piece of blotting paper on it, then the flower, then more blotting paper, then the other saucer, rim up. Set them in the microwave oven then place a bowl of water or something else that is heavy (and microwave safe) in the top saucer. Microwave on medium power for 1 minute. Check the flower. If it’s not done yet, do 30-second bursts on medium power until the flower is flattened and dried.

Pressed flowers can be made into greeting cards or set in a picture frame behind glass.

To watch Debbie’s video presentation visit, Youtube.com/watch?v=zKPAMd8Tv48&t=621s

Look for the Garden Club of Kentucky channel.

The Franklin-Simpson Garden Club is affiliated with the Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc. and National Garden Clubs. Everyone is welcome to attend the club meetings at 12:30 p.m. on the third Wednesdays (either online or at the Presbyterian Cornerstone Build-ing at 220 W. Kentucky Ave.). See more gardening tips at Facebook.com/FranklinKYGardenClub. Contact the club at FranklinKYGardenClub


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