DRYING PEONIES

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.


SILICA GEL METHOD OF DRYING FLOWERS

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??

Sally