Alice Crowell Hoffman
Just a little crocus
Growing in the grass
Can announce the springtime
To the folks that pass.
Just a little maiden,
And a laddie wee,
Can spread joy and sunshine
Where they chance to be.
- JUST BLOOMED TODAY
- GARDEN UPDATE
- HOW TO DRY FLOWERS
- GARDEN GIGGLE
Super hot out there so I am hiding inside. I am grateful to get my watering done early, and I think the plants appreciate it, too.
I like doing my watering in the daytime. My MIL suggested that I do it at night, when it was cooler, but I would miss my garden! I use the time to check on everyone and sees who's drooping, sagging or broken; who needs more dirt, more sun, less sun. Plants just about scream their needs, you just have to keep an eye on them.
HOW TO DRY FLOWERS
Flowers are so beautiful and we all wish they could last forever! My Mom knew this and early in my married life, she gave me a great book on flower drying, that has held me in good stead since.
Here are some ways you can keep and preserve your special flowers
- Air Dry: This method allows the flowers to dry naturally, but they do lose some color and shape. This method has been around since the Middle Ages! Tie flowers in bunches and hang flowers upside down and let them dry for about a week. If you are drying an entire bunch, make a dust bonnet out of a piece of paper and wrap it like a cone around the stems(with the large end of the cone pointing towards the flowers). Once dry, these flowers should be sprayed with shatter-proof spray which stops the flowers from disintegrating. You can find these sprays at craft stores, such as Michaels. Be aware this method does not work for easily shattered flowers, such as pussy-willows, etc.This method is the preferred one for herbs.
- Pressing: Flowers can be pressed between sheets of paper and left for about a week. An old-fashioned way is to press them between the pages of the phone book. These will lose color and shape, but are perfect for flat crafts, such as window hangers or stain glass windows or sun-catchers, bookmarks or homemade paper. The most successful method is to use a wood flower press. Editor's Note: Be sure to see tomorrow's blog for instructions on how to make a wooden flower press.
- Microwave: We recommend the book "Flower Drying With A Microwave" by Titia Joosten. ISBN #0-937274-48-8. The book is a great reference book, and she has documented the types of flowers and the drying times and preferred methods for each.Editor's Note: Try one of our favorite links ABE BOOKS. We bet you'll be able to find a really cheap used one. We checked today and the average price, including shipping right to your door, is $4.
- Silica Gel: In the early 1600's, fresh flowers were dried between layers of sand. Although the sand method is still used today, a more successful method is to use silica gel.There are several ways to use silica gel, which is a preserving and drying medium. Silica gel is a granular substance that closely resembles sugar. Each grain of silica gel can absorb up to 40% of its own weight in moisture, and is ideal for drying flowers because the small granules can easily penetrate even the most delicate flower heads. It can be found at your craft store,drugstores, floral shops, hardware store, or if you get lucky like me, stalk your local thrift store or recycling center. People get all excited about craft ideas and projects and then dump them when they don't have time and things start to get cluttered.