Welcome to my Hints and Tips page, I would like this to be a forum where we can discuss ideas and techniques. If you have any
questions or any information you would like to share, please don't hesitate to contact me by e-mail and I will post your thoughts onto this page.
Hellebores certainly top my list, they dry brilliantly without any apparent loss of size or colour and the great thing is they only take 2 to 3 days. Visitors to our Stand were amazed with the result and would only believe that the Hellebores were dried once they had
touched them. Roses always dry well, and half way through the first day of the Exhabition we had to put signs up saying that all Flowers displayed on the stand were Dried Flowers as many people thought they were fresh.
These wonderful flowers are now making their appearance - I had brilliant results drying them last year and without a doubt the
herbaceous varieties were the best. I dried two types - Pink Pom Pom a beautiful deep pink which has kept its colour all year, and the pale pink Meadowlark which did fade and antique a little, but which was still very pretty. So if you are lucky enough to have access to these lovely flowers, they really are well worth drying.
I was given a bunch of these lovely little flowers by a friend recently, and as I had never dried them, I was looking forward to trying.
Unfortunatly I wasn't able to - Computer problems have been ongoing, although I think I finally have them sorted out.
One of the other reasons why I didn't drop everything in my determination to get the flowers into Silica Gel was the realisation
that I didn't think they would dry very well. The problem as I see it, is that none of the flowers in the bunch I was given opened fully, the outer petals were beginning to wilt while the inner petals were still tightly furled, knowing from experience that all parts of the bloom need to come into contact with the Silica Gel crystals in order for the flower to dry properly, I felt that these probably wouldn't be a success. So I enjoyed them to the full while they were fresh.
A GOOD BUY
I found a beautiful bunch of Orange Roses on sale in a local Super Market earlier this month, there were 20 big perfect buds on 50cm
stems, every single one opened they all dried perfectly and only cost 6.20 EUR. If your Super Market stocks flowers, keep an eye open for bargains, on the other hand there are a lot of bunches of little roses available at a good price, but I have never had much luck with these, I find most don't open, although on the other hand it's always lovely having fresh roses in the house.
The hunt for that elusive product that protects Dried Flowers from the effects of humidity and UV fading goes on, and on - As I have
said before a flower dried 100% will resist drooping and fading, but as the line between over dried, properly dried and not completely
dried is very fine indeed, I am looking for something which will protect flowers which haven't been dried 100% - I have been doing
trials with a German Product and to be honest I am testing it in very difficult conditions, as my studio has humidity levels of about 75%, but the product isn't outperforming my well dried flowers, so the search goes on.
This really is a must if you're thinking of doing free standing type arrangements with your dried flowers, as it gives them strength and
body, the great news is, ordinary parafin wax works well and goes a long, long way, as you only need to apply a thin coat to the underside of the bottom petals of a flower.
WATCH OUT FOR MOTHS
A couple of weeks ago every time I went up to my Attic where I store my Dried Flowers I saw a couple of Moths looking rather guilty, but didn't think much of it - I should have!! It turns out that they were laying their eggs in a batch of my Light Pink Peonies - They didn't seem to like the dark ones thank goodness, and left all my roses alone, but the Light Pink ones were destroyed by the grubs which hatched and munched away quite happily until they were discovered - I now hang Moth Repellent along side my flowers which seems to have done the trick - A lesson learnt!
Well, warm wet Summers create very trying conditions for Dried Flowers - The humidity levels in my Studio this Summer have been
very high for weeks on end, this is partly my own fault as I have the door and windows open even when it's raining, but this puts a great strain on flowers even 100% dry and petals start to droop, if you have an arrangement where this is happening here are a couple of short term remedies, one of which is to move the arrangement into the driest place in the house and if this is not possible remove the effected flowers from the arrangement, hang up-side-down in a dark place if possible until humidity levels drop. I have been experimenting with numerous products, both those specifically for Dried Flowers as well as others, and have yet to come up with one that solves this problem, if and when I do, I will be sure to let you know.