“Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”
Slow down and enjoy life; take the time to savour the beauty around you; relax.
Life dashes by; we seem to get caught up in the immediate events that surround us all - but it is a good practise to step aside whenever possible; take a view of life from a higher perspective, and a better picture often falls into your view.
We are surrounded by beauty, when we take the time to look. Nature brings joy to anybody who needs a pick-me-up. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it.”
Flowers attract us; their beauty calls to us and envelopes our being, triggering happy emotions, and heightening feelings of satisfaction. They impart a feeling of freshness and soften our hearts when we are sad and tired. They purify our surroundings and uplift our life when we are feeling blue.Their gentle, pervading perfume lingers in our daily life. Flowers make us happy!
So, what better way is there to enjoy the beauty of flowers indefinitely?
Dehydrate your flowers and you will have them forever in your midst!
We are building into our Book Portfolio a wonderful collection of titles on working with, and enjoying, dried flowers. Take a stroll through our BOOKS and enjoy the selection we offer.
One of our favourites is this title:
Everlastings: How To Grow, Harvest And Create With Dried Flowers
This is a beautifully pictorial book, presented in a wonderful format of inspiring photographs and text. It takes you on a journey, starting with practical advice on how to pick flowers both at your home and outdoors, with in-depth descriptions of the many methods of drying blooms, seed heads and foliage, before sharing the author's favourite ways to style with dried flowers in the home, as well as wearable items such as floral crowns and hair clips.
This book is a must for your library shelves!
Preserving your Beautiful Blooms
There are many ways to dry flowers. Some work better than others; some are easier; some preserve certain flowers better than others. Any method will end up giving you the beautiful dry petals, buds and stems you seek, but using your dehydrator is perhaps one of the fastest methods, that also often keeps the colour more intact. Although no flower will retain its full, bright garden colour after it's dried, some plants hold their colour better than others. Because of this, experiment and try to use the flowers that best retain their beautiful colours.
Some of the most common flowers to dehydrate are Lavender, Rose, Hydrangea, Cornflower, and of course an endless string of other varieties.
Here are some of the drying methods that can be used:
*** Using your Dehydrator to quickly and easily dry your beautiful flowers.
*** Hanging bunches of flowers upside down in your pantry, or other cool rooms is perhaps the most common method you will see. These bunches do look lovely and are also frequently left as permanent decorations.
*** Dry your flowers in a vase of water. Have you ever left a vase of flowers for an extended period of time? Using this method often helps preserve the flowers' colour. The water can become quite smelly as the stems get soggy, so tip it out and replace with fresh water from time to time.
*** Air Drying flowers on trays is another method, using the same principles as hanging upside down. Often you may have gathered quite a collection of petals, so naturally these are unable to be tied upside down. Just lay the petals out onto the trays and leave to dry. This is a good method for making Potpourri from your petals. Also, an excellent way to dry nuts, seeds and cones.
*** A Flower Press is a traditional method for drying and preserving flowers. Again, some flowers are better suited than others for this method, so choose some of the flat-headed varieties such as pansies, violets, daises and so on.
How to Dry your Favourite Flowers in your Excalibur Dehydrator
There are a great many advantages in using your dehydrator for drying your flowers. It is fast, easy and convenient, and also will help to better keep the shape and colour of your flowers. Removing the moisture quickly from your flowers results in them retaining their original colour and often even their fragrance. Dehydrators don't distort or disfigure the original shape of your flowers.
The type of flowers, the humidity level in your environment and the kind of flower parts you use will ultimately determine the length of time it will take to completely dry your flowers. For example, drying petals will be faster than drying full flower heads. 4-10 hours is the usual time frame, encompassing all types of flowers. Allow your flowers to thoroughly cool to be sure they are completely dry.
38°C/100°F is the ideal temperature for most flowers. Small, delicate and thin-petalled flowers can be dried at a lower temperature, say around 35°C/95°F, while thicker petals may need the higher setting. If the humidity is high, you can increase the dehydrator temperature to 52°C/125°F.
Here is a lovely blend for Potpourri.....
Potpourri is a mixture of dried, naturally fragrant plant materials, used to provide a gentle natural scent, commonly in residential settings. A mixture of various dried petals and leaves from different flowers and plants is used, giving a room a pleasant smell, or placed into small cloth bags to use in a lingerie drawer.
'Potpourri' was borrowed directly from the French 'pot pourri', and in that language the literal meaning of these words is 'putrid pot'. Today's meaning has become far more pleasant a definition. 😁
MIXED ROSE PETAL POTPOURRIIngredients:
Small red berries
Grated lemon peel
10 drops Oil of Jasmine, or other preferred scent
1 tbsp Orris Root Powder
Air tight container
1. Spread rose petals and flowers evenly onto dehydrator trays.
2. Spread the mint leaves and orange slices onto dehydrator trays and sprinkle the grated lemon peel on top.
3. Strip the rosemary leaves off the stalks and spread leaves in an even layer onto a dehydrator tray. Sprinkle the berries on top of the rosemary leaves.
4. Put all trays together into the dehydrator. Set the temperature to 38°C/100°F (take note of the temperature suggestions just above) and dehydrate until the potpourri is dry and brittle.
5. Mix all the dry ingredients into a bowl and add the crumbled cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice for extra aromatic appeal.
Add powdered orris root as a fixative. Use a ratio of two tablespoons of fixative to about four cups of dried material. Add the drops of scented oil for added aroma and for a longer-lasting fragrance, and mix all together with your hands.
(Fixatives are added to a potpourri mixture to reduce the evaporation rate of the plant scents and to assist in increasing the scent of the potpourri as a whole.)
Originally, potpourri was stored in closed ceramic jars which were opened when people entertained in the room. The jars were placed near a heat source, so the perfume would expand in the warm air and fill the room with fragrance. When the people left, the lids were put back on. These days, the beauty of potpourri is considered to be part of its charm. Therefore, potpourri is now displayed in glass containers, apothecary jars, placed in baskets, découpage boxes, and ceramic or silver dishes.