One of my favorite parts about summer is watching my flowers bloom. Well, I don't really watch them bloom but I do enjoy stepping out on the patio each morning to see more color than the evening before. It is such a simple part of life, but the satisfaction I get from the different colors is a wonderful feeling. That is partly why I am always saddened to see the leaves turn and the snow fly as we set in for months without color in the garden.
Fortunately, the winter does not have to be many long months of white, you can easily save those summer blooms to enjoy during the darkness of winter. One method of flower preservation is to hang the blooms upside down so that they dry out and maintain their shape. This is probably the easiest method and it produces a pleasant, faded flower. However, if you are looking for a more vibrant effect, drying your flowers in a borax/silica combination is a better approach. Following is a step by step guide
- In a plastic container mix four parts borax to one part silica gel. Be sure the borax is free of any lumps, a sieve or strainer works well for this. Both items can be bought at the hardware store.
- Place a cut flower face down, the blooms are easiest to use, in the powdered mixture and then cover with more powder. Repeat this process until the space is used by blooms and powder, place lid on container.
- Store container in a safe dry space for about four weeks. Do not peek at the flowers during this time.
- At the end of four weeks, remove the blooms and gently blow remaining powder from petals.
This method is fairly simple and produces colorful results. I have tried it in small quantities with great results.