Holiday Gifts from the Garden – Dried and Pressed Flowers
When we think of giving holiday gifts, items from our gardens don’t always come to mind. After all, during the months of November and December, most parts of the country experience cold weather that is unsuitable for gardening. However, it is possible to harvest flowers and greenery from our gardens during the warm summer months and preserve those items to give as gifts during the holiday season. In this article, we’ll explore a few ideas for creating treasured gifts from your garden that can be enjoyed long after the growing season has ended.
Obviously, if you want to give a gift of flowers after their prime growing season is over, you’ll have to find a good way of preserving the blooms. Drying flowers by hanging them upside down is one of the easiest ways to accomplish this. When learning to dry flowers, it will probably take some time and experimentation to get the best results. You’ll want to find a very dry and slightly warm place to hang them. A laundry room with a dryer can work well. Some flowers will respond better to drying than others. The goal is to remove the moisture from the flowers as quickly as possible, so that the blooms will still retain their color and shape as much as possible.
Gift ideas are almost endless when it comes to dried flowers. Making wreaths and other arrangements is a very popular idea; however, there are many other uses, as well. Consider covering a picture frame with small dried blossoms. You can then use the frame for a special photograph or memento, making a really unique and treasured gift for the recipient. Another idea is to fill a tall, clear cylindrical vase or jar with dried blooms, all of the same color. This is a great technique for making the flowers last their longest, because it will keep them from exposure to dust and humidity.
If you are lacking a good place to dry flowers, another preservation method is pressing. The basic principle behind pressing flowers is to gently spread the blooms out between two sheets of clean, absorbent paper and then apply pressure or weight for some period of time. One easy way to do this is to put the blooms in between the pages of a large, heavy book. The end result is a dried and pressed flower. This process can be sped up by applying silica gel or even microwaving the flower.
Pressed flowers can be made into almost limitless gifts. One quick and easy way to use them is to have them laminated between heavy sheets of clear plastic, and then cut the sheets of lamination into bookmarks. You could also add a poem, photograph, or paper initial in the lamination as well, for a special effect. Once the bookmark is cut out, punch a hole on top and tie a satin ribbon on it for a nice touch. Pressed flowers can also be used to decorate the top of gift boxes or bags, as well.
These are just a few ideas out of the many things you can do with dried or pressed flowers. For more ideas, get online or visit your library to check out some books on preserved floral crafts. You’ll discover that your imagination is the only limit when it comes to what you can do with these beautiful products of your garden.