Drying flowers is one of the joys of summer.  More than effort, it requires an attentiveness to the weather and the blooming season.  Each year I hang-dry peonies in my drying loft with great results.  Their white petals age to a vintage creme color while pink peonies turn from vibrant fuchsia to deep maroon.  This season I have discovered a new and otherwise better method of preserving botanicals.

In the past, I considered silica gel to be a time consuming and messy method of drying; however, this year has yielded a very different opinion.  After giving it another try, I found it to be quite easy to handle with amazingly realistic results.  I will be sharing photos of the dried specimens in a few weeks.  If you want to give this method a try, here are a few tips to get you started.


Purchase a 5 lb. box of Silica Gel from a craft store like Michaels.

Use air tight plastic containers - several smaller ones are better than one large one.

For best results, dry flowers of all one type in a container for similar drying periods.

Set flowers in 1/2 inch of gel and cover petals carefully with another 1/2 inch of gel.

Allow to dry 2 to 7 days depending on petal thickness.

Lift flowers and remove granules carefully with a tiny paint brush.

Seal flowers with a light coat of hairspray and store in airtight containers.

By using silica gel, you can have the beauty of fresh summer flowers all year long...and who would have guessed that??