Founded by Elleni Pearce, Everbloome's Melbourne studio boasts a floor-to-ceiling "Bloome bar", designed for a "pick 'n' mix" approach to choosing flowers.
According to Elleni, the preservation process ensures the highest quality dried flowers, with “meticulously cultivated” plants that have been harvested in full bloom. Dried in a custom chamber, they are then treated in a solution made from glycerine, water, stabilisers and dyes.
How to dry your own flowers
According to Alicia Zorn, of Perth’s Floral Army, you’ll get the best results using Australian native flowers.
“Native flowers like banksia, Australian daisy and Silver Dollar eucalyptus dry almost identical to how they look fresh. Alternatively, the South African king protea is super popular at the moment and they also dry a beautiful blush colour,” Alicia told Interiors Addict.
Keep in mind that you may not get the same vivid colours as professional dried flowers, and they may only last for around 12 months. Also, professionals have access to blooms that have been grown specifically for their specialist drying processes.
Follow these steps to dry your own flowers:
Method 1: Hang upside-down
Choose flowers that are not completely open and are not quite mature. (They continue to open as they dry and may lose petals if fully mature.)
Cut flowers in the morning, after the dew has dried; use sharp garden scissors.
Cut off unneeded foliage.
Take them inside as soon as possible.
Group flowers into small bundles or leave them as individual blooms. Use string or dental floss to hang flowers upside down in a cool, dark, dry, indoor spot. To prevent mold, hang the blooms so that air circulates well around each bundle.
When flowers are done drying, they will feel dry and stiff to the touch. This may take several days or several weeks, depending on conditions and the type of flowers.
Method 2: Use a microwave
Pick flowers just before they open up. (They will continue to open as they dry and may lose petals if fully mature.)
In a shallow, microwave-safe container, gently cover the flowers in silica sand (available from crafting stores) or an equal mixture of borax (sodium borate) and cornmeal. Fill trumpet- or cup-shape flowers with the mixture to help them keep their shapes.
Leaving the container open, place the container in the microwave and "cook" on high for a minute or so. Check to see if the flowers have completely dried; if not, microwave for another minute. Flowers that have thick petals take longer to dry than those that are thin.
Leave the flowers in the mixture for about a day after microwaving them to allow them to finish drying.
Method 3: Faster Microwave
A quicker method, in the long term, is to use your microwave oven. But it’s time consuming in the short term. Put one flower at a time in a microwave container, cover with cat’s litter, then microwave on high for two or three minutes. Let the cat’s litter cool down before you take out the flower.
Method 4: Silica gel crystals
Drying using silica gel crystals means you will retain most of the colour. Don’t use the little desiccated packets you find in shoeboxes but special flower drying crystals that come with white and coloured beads. When the coloured beads fade, the gel is no longer active and needs to be replaced.
Simply bury your flowers in a large container of silica gel and in just a few days or a week you will be able to pop then in a vase (no water, though), in a bowl, or hang them on a wall and display them with all their glory intact. Roses and lavender work really well with this method.
How to keep the colour in your dried flowers
To get the best colour, cut flowers just before they are fully open, then tie them in bundles, and hang them upside down in a dry, dark, warm location. You'll get the best colour retention from dark locations, because light can bleach the colours. Blue and yellow flowers retain much of their colour when air-dried. Pink flowers fade, so keep that in mind when selecting plant varieties to dry.
How to keep your dried flowers looking good
- Keep dried flowers out of direct sunlight to reduce fading.
- Keep dried flowers away from heat vents.
- Dust dried flowers as needed with a feather duster.
- When not in use, store dried flowers in a box in a dry place away from dry heat.
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