Preserving Flowers

There are many reasons to want to preserve a flower. You may have a flower that has a special memory or meaning for you that you'd like to keep as a memento or put in a scrapbook. For example a flower from: a wedding, a favourite place, a romantic dinner, a special occasion, from your family?s garden and you live far away, a holiday you want to remember, a treasured memory or someone beloved gave the flower to you. Or maybe you just like the look of the flower and like beautiful things and appreciate natural beauty and nature and like having it around you.

The art of preserving flowers can be traced back to earliest recorded history. For example archaeological finds were discovered with the bones of a man from prehistoric times in the Middle East.

For many centuries the Japanese developed 'pressed flower art' called 'Oshibana'. With a love and respect for the plant and meticulous attention to detail and patience each leaf and flower is glued onto a precise location. So for instance the artist has created a picture where a leaf becomes a tree and petals form mountains. The enthusiasm for pressed flower art travelled to Victorian England, Europe and the United States.

However, the way of preserving flowers most of us are familiar with is simple pressing. We may have experimented with this as children or watched our mothers pressing flowers. For example by laying the flower between two sheets of blank paper or newspaper, and shutting it inside a heavy book or putting it between two heavy books. Best to leave it in a dry, ventilated place where it will not get damp or mouldy. Leave your flower for 2-3 weeks until all the moisture has gone. This method is simple but effective - however, the drawback is that you can lose some of the flower's original colour and plumped shape and texture. It works better for some flowers than others - for example fully open roses may need a bit more work.

There are other popular methods for preserving flowers:

- Using a specially made Flower Press
- Drying in an oven
- Preserving using glycerine
- Drying using silica gel
- Drying in a microwave

Click on our article 'How to Preserve Flowers' for more information and tips on how you can get started with the art, fun, and beauty of preserving your own flowers.

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