New ways to preserve flowers
There’s been a renewed interest in the craft of pressing and preserving flowers, and these clever Kiwis are finding new ways to capture the fleeting beauty of flowers.
DIY dried flowers in a floating frame
Caroline Austin works with dried flowers at Forever Floral Press in Seaton, Wellington. She creates elaborate works, often using wedding bouquets, in suspended glass frames.
To create your own DIY version, use a book with matte pages (an encyclopedia is ideal, she says) and place the flowers (as flat as possible) between newspapers between the pages.
Close the book, weigh it down with additional books, and store it in a warm, dry place. Check the flowers daily.
Once dry, carefully remove them, then glue them individually into a floating frame (available online or at craft stores).
Gardener and artist Fiona Henderson grows 125 species of dahlia and many other flowers in her Auckland garden for her stunning arrangements.
DIY pressed flower wall hanging
To make your own piece of wall art, start with construction paper, paper and a flower press, says Davina Brankerd, who created the pictured piece and runs a pressed flower workshop at Vida Flores florist in Oakland.
Place the flowers in a single layer on a good layer of paper on top of the cardboard, giving each flower plenty of space. Add another good layer of paper. Repeat until all flowers are used. Screw the top of the piston and tighten the bolts while reducing blooms and seams.
The next day, replace all the paper. Repeat on day 3 and days 5-6. Keep the flowers in the press for at least two weeks. When completely dry, glue the appropriate card using PH neutral glue (Prankerd uses Lineco).
Drying flowers in silica
Darren Watts of Palmerston North picked dahlias on a dry day, placed them in a plastic container with enough silica sand (which he bought from Trade Me) to cover them, closed the container and waited. “Seven to 10 days is enough,” he says.
Edible, flower-covered cookies are easier than they seem: Roll the appropriate flowers onto the dough before baking, or press them between baking sheets under a book for an hour or so and then place them on top of the cookies hot from the oven.
Or use @kitchenoftreat’s Liv Glazebrook technique to dry flowers in the microwave! Use scissors to cut the flower as close to the bottom of the flower as possible; Place them on a paper towel, place another paper towel on top, then weight the flowers down using a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for 1 minute then check (microwave power will vary). Continue stroking the flowers until they dry and appear flat.