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Flower Guide

Flower Guide

5 Flowers to Keep at Home as Natural Pest Control

April 26, 2017
Flowers as Natural Pest Control | A Better Florist

Al fresco breakfasts and dining are especially tempting when the weather’s nice and warm. Unfortunately, the heat and humidity of summer can mean more annoying bugs buzzing around. To keep pesky mosquitoes and other insects at bay, you can turn to these flowering plants as natural solutions. The essential oils from these flowers are natural bug repellents, so you are not only blooming your home, you are also keeping the pest population under control.

Allium

170426_Allium-A_Better_Florist

Plants in the Allium family include garlic, chives, scallions, leeks and shallots. They can grow up to six feet tall with pink, white or purple blooms. They’re regarded as natural insecticides because of their fungicidal, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. They’re best for deterring insects from munching on your vegetable garden. However, alliums can be toxic to cats and dogs, so opt for other bug-repellent flowers if you have furry pals at home.

 

 

ChrysanthemumChrysanthemum | A Better Florist

Pyrethrum is the secret substance that makes chrysanthemums deadly to flying and jumping insects, including nasty cockroaches. It is often used in commercial insecticides and sprays. The flowers are harmless enough, but a word of warning: pyrethrum has been found to contain carcinogenic properties, so practice caution fs you want to reduce chrysanthemums into this lethal form.

Lavender

Lavender | A Better Florist

Lavender is pretty, aromatic and extremely useful. Extracts from this herbal flowering plant is used in linen sprays, body oils, perfumes and aromatherapy products. The calming smell of lavender actually repels insects, including mosquitoes and flies. To keep those bugs away from your breakfast and brunch table, place a bouquet as a centrepiece or keep vases by the doorway and windows to prevent insects from entering your home. You can also extract oils from your lavender to create your very own bug-repellent oil or spray. Check out the instructions here.

 

MarigoldMarigold | A Better Florist

Like lavenders, the scent of marigolds is cloying to insects, effectively repelling unwanted insects from your home. Marigolds love sunlight, so place them in places with plenty of natural light.

 

Petunia

Petunia | A Better Florist

Again, this one’s perfect for gardening maintenance. They’re not only bright and colourful, they’re also easy to grow. More importantly, these sunny blooms repel asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, a range of aphids, tomato worms, among others. For this reason, they’re a perfect all-around natural pest control flower for your home.

 

 

 

There you have it! Five blooms to keep your personal space clean and bug free. Check out A Better Florist’s the Pamper Her bundle to get luxurious blooms bundled with lavender and lemongrass candles—both natural bug repellents that smell just as great as they work.

Flower Guide

How to Make Your Bouquet Last Longer

April 19, 2017
How to Make Your Bouquet Last Longer | A Better Florist

Receiving a bouquet of flowers can make you feel like a million bucks. Those fresh and luxurious blooms can instantly perk you up and bring a smile to your face. So, you place them in a clean vase with fresh water to make them last as long as you can. Still, before you know it, those delicate petals start to dry up and fall off. What are you doing wrong?

First of all, don’t blame yourself. Once flowers are plucked, their life starts winding down. Based on a series of tests, the standard variety roses from florists can last about a week retaining their form. They’re basically on borrowed time and short of freezing them or dipping them in resin, the most you can do is make them last as long as you can.

The good news is, there’s a way for you to keep their presentable state for about two weeks. In addition to replacing the water in the vase daily to avoid bacterial growth, here are some tips and tricks to make your bouquet last longer.

Clean your cut flowers properly

Before you place cut flowers in a vase, make sure you follow these steps to maximise their lifespan:

  1. Cut the stem at a 45-degree angle so they can absorb as much water and nutrients as possible. The buds can still open up while marinating on the container’s water.
  2. Remove dirt from the stem and cut off leaves that would touch the water inside the vase. Any leaf or petal that touches the solution could rot and promote bacterial growth.
  3. Make sure you place them away from direct sunlight, too much heat can make cut flowers wilt faster.

Use plant food

If you spot a little packet with your bouquet, this is actually plant food. You can mix the contents with distilled water to keep your cut flowers fresh and perky. It contains sugar and biocide to keep the flowers hydrated while also killing bacteria in the liquid. Once the water gets cloudy, you can replace the solution with a fresh batch.

DIY plant food using soda

In case your bouquet doesn’t come with plant food packets, soda can work just as well. Sprite and 7-Up are particularly popular as flower preservatives among enthusiasts. The sugar and acid content of soda have the same hydrating and antibacterial properties as plant food packets. The ideal ratio is one part Sprite/7-Up to three parts distilled water. You can also add a pinch of bleach to keep the solution clear. Other household items you can use to prevent bacterial growth are apple cider vinegar, aspirin and vodka.

So the next time you receive a bouquet for your birthday or during Valentine’s Day, you know exactly what to do. If you have further questions regarding proper care for flowers, get in touch with A Better Florist or sign up to our Flower Jamming Session! We’re opening our doors every Saturday afternoon for people interested in learning more about flowers and floristry. Click here to find out more.

Flower Guide A Better Florist

A Guide to Healing Flowers

April 12, 2017
A-Guide-to-Healing-Flowers-RESIZED

Flowers are more than just pretty to look at, they can also be used for their healing properties. Flashback to the olden times before modern medicine was born, fresh blooms were actually used for medicinal purposes. In fact, Ancient Egyptians believed that the essence of flowers were given magical healing powers by the deities and that their wonderful scent was bestowed by the gods to let mortals become “more perfect” by smelling it. Let’s take a look at some of the best healing flowers Mother Nature has to offer.

 

Lovely Lavender

 

English Lavender is the specific type of lavender that has been most used for medicinal purposes over the years. Its essential oil is perfect for aromatherapy. When inhaled, it promotes relaxation and induces sleep. Not only is it great for calming your nerves, it’s also great for calming your skin. With anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects, it’s the perfect remedy for all your pimple pals!

 

Yarr-OW!

 

Supposedly used during the Trojan Wars, yarrow (Achillea millefolium) was used as an “herbal band-aid”. Its feather-like leaves and dense cluster of flowers help stop bleeding, inflammation and help to relieve pain. Also, yarrow promotes sweating which in turn helps in lowering fevers when drunk as tea. It’s also used in herbal formulas to help lower blood pressure.

 

Rose to the Rescue

 

Roses can be found in many bouquets, such as A Better Florist’s The Julianne, but did you know that it can also be used for healing purposes? It contains a good dose of Vitamin C, which is perfect as an important antioxidant to help overall health and fight serious conditions such as heart disease and stroke. Rose petals are also great for increasing blood circulation and battling depression, anxiety and viruses.

 

If you want to learn more about flowers (not so much their healing properties), join us for a Flower Jamming Session! Every Saturday afternoon, our office is open to those who would like to learn more about flowers and become a Floral Artist by creating your very own bouquet. Click here to find out more.

Flower Guide

Creating an Indoor Cactus Garden

April 5, 2017
Creating an Indoor Cactus Garden | A Better Florist

Living in a concrete jungle can make you yearn for the lush outdoors. This is why more and more city dwellers are blooming their home by putting aside some space for flowers and plants. Fortunately, the cactus exists for those of us not blessed with a green thumb.

In the plant world, the cactus is your low-maintenance friend. It thrives despite a lack of attention, unlike most flowering plants. They can also withstand a lot of heat, which is great in a city like Singapore where it’s practically summer all year round.

To create your very own cactus garden, here are a few simple steps you can follow.

Materials Needed

  • Cacti and succulents
  • Pots and containers
  • Rubber gloves
  • Garden trowel
  • Soil or cactus mix
  • Sprinkler or mister
  • Stones and ornaments (optional)

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Cactus Garden

Once you’ve gathered your materials, it’s time to get down and dirty. Got your gardening gloves on? Let’s go!

1. Place soil inside the pots of containers.

While glass bowls and ceramic containers can be used for potting cacti, gardening experts recommend terracotta clay pots because they can dry out the soil faster and promote oxygen exchange. (You can even buy cute vertical planters from Etsy if you don’t have a lot of flat space available in your apartment.)

Add a layer of soil about two-thirds of the way inside the pot. Some people like to mix soil with gravel or sand, but normal soil from your backyard is a-okay. Ideally, the soil should be a bit loose to mimic the normal dry environment of cacti. Alternatively, you can buy cactus mix from DIY or home improvement shops.

2. Place the cactus or succulents inside the pots.

Apart from cacti, consider buying a few other varieties of succulents to add different textures to your cactus garden. Some succulents from shops or florists already come potted, so you can keep them in those containers or transfer them to your preferred pot.  

Using your trowel, gently take the cactus out of its container and transfer it to your preferred pot. Be careful not to cut off the roots as that could affect the growth of your cactus. Add enough soil to completely cover the roots. The cactus can still grow, so make sure the pots you choose give them just a little bit of extra room. For bigger planters, you can arrange several succulents in it to maximise the space.

3. Add ornaments and arrange the pots and containers in a pleasing pattern.

If you’re a minimalist, the pots and plants are decorative enough for a garden. But if you want a pop of colour or character, you can add interesting rocks, shells or ornaments to suit your taste.

Final note: Try not to smother your succulents. As mentioned, they don’t need a lot of upkeep, so you can water them every other day—just enough to keep the soil moist.

There you have it! Three easy steps for your very own patch of Zen and green.

If you need any more ideas, check out A Better Florist’s the Hayden for succulents set in a beautiful reclaimed wooden box topped with some pebbles for that extra flair.

Flower Guide A Better Florist

The Designer’s Guide to Blooming Your Café

March 29, 2017
Blooming Your Cafe | A Better Florist

How many times have you visited a café this week? At least once a day, maybe? After all, cafés have become essential locations for on-the-go professionals. A good coffee shop is a workplace, a meeting place, an escape from the daily grind and a quick stop for a pick-me-up. This is why, apart from quality coffee, the vibe of the place is an important concern. Café owners make sure their shops are classy without being intimidating. Lush and cosy settings can draw people in, which is why entrepreneurs incorporate fresh cut flowers into their décor for a touch of style.

Flower Power

Flowers are pretty, but also functional. Aesthetically, they add a splash of color to an otherwise drab space. In terms of ambience, flowers add warmth and create a cosy atmosphere. They bring life and brightness to a space. In fact, a study on the home ecology of flowers found several emotional benefits to having flowers in your environment. They provide an energy boost, chase the blues away and make people more compassionate.

Now you know why certain coffee shops make you feel extra perky and energised after your coffee run. As it turns out, it’s not just the caffeine.

Choosing Flowers for Your Café

The conditions of a place can contribute to the lifespan of cut flowers, such as the temperature, humidity and amount of sunlight. Upscale and restaurant-type cafés can benefit from romantic and aromatic flowers like roses, carnations, dahlias and lilies. These (usually) indoor establishments are much kinder to more delicate varieties of flowers due to the temperature and humidity. Just like us, flowers love air-conditioning too.

For outdoor and open space cafés, go for the hardy variety of blossoms. The heat and humidity in outdoor settings can make flowers wilt faster. Long-lasting flowers include zinnias, carnations and orchids. Wildflowers in mason jars also fit the casual and laid-back ambience of hip shops and industrial-type concept cafés.

Flowers can be an afterthought for most café owners, but details are very important. A cosy vibe and “Instagrammable” space can make your place a hit with social media-savvy customers and yes, I’m talking about those people who take photos of their food. Pretty blooms can instantly score you a free promotion.

Lengthening the Life of Cut Flowers

Sadly, if you’ve ever received a bouquet of flowers, you know just how quickly those blooms can wilt away. To see how long your roses will last, India Sturgis tested roses from various florists and found that at most you have about a week of perk and perfume from your blooms.

To help extend their life, here are a few standard tips to lengthening the life of cut flowers:

  1. Remove any dirt or rotting leaves from the stems of the flowers to avoid any bacterial growth.
  2. Place the flowers in a clean container filled with distilled water. Remember to replace the water daily.
  3. Make sure the leaves don’t touch the water in the vessel because this would promote rotting.

Usually, florists include packets of preservatives or flower food which you can mix into the water to keep your flowers hydrated and prevent the growth of bacteria. Make sure that you check the instructions on the packet for the ideal amount of water you’d need. With a plant food solution, rather than replacing the water daily, you can opt to change it when the water gets cloudy.

Alternatively, you can always DIY your very own preservative solution. Some common household items you can use as flower preservatives are soda, hair spray, apple cider vinegar, aspirin, bleach, copper coins, sugar and vodka. So maybe save that last shot of vodka for your flowers rather than your liver.

If you follow care instructions carefully, some flowers could last as long as two weeks. Still, cafés need to replenish flowers every week or so for optimum freshness. Fortunately, you can now easily sign up for a floral subscription with your online florist. This way you actually get curated and in season flowers for the freshest possible quality of blooms, fuss free! At A Better Florist, you can get your flowers whenever, wherever and however you like them. For more details, reach out to kate@abetterflorist.com.

Flower Guide A Better Florist

All About Peonies

March 23, 2017
All-About-Peonies

Meaning

Peonies are commonly known to mean romance, a happy marriage, good fortune, riches, compassion, honor and prosperity. That’s a lot of meanings to tie down to one flower, but it’s pretty understandable once we get down to its history and mythology.

The peony is the state flower of Indiana, the traditional floral symbol of China and the 12th wedding anniversary flower.

In China, peonies are highly valued and often referred to as the “king of the flowers”. Up until 1929, they were the national flower prior to being replaced by the plum tree. Peonies were once implanted at the Imperial Palace, during the Sui and Tang dynasties. Due to this, they are known to symbolise honor, wealth and nobility.

Also, did you know that Chinese name for “most beautiful” actually translates into Peony?

 

History & Mythology

It is said that the peony was named after Paeon, a physician to the Greek gods. He was the student of the god of medicine, Aesculapius, who became jealous of his talents and tried to kill him. To save Paeon, Pluto (the god of the Underworld) transformed him into a peony, a flower that people would admire and praise. In another version of events, he was “saved” from mortal death by being turned into the flower we now know as the peony.

In ancient and medieval times, peonies were used for medicinal purposes. Their seeds and roots were believed to have been the cure for over 20 diseases including snake bites and epilepsy. Back in the day, in England, young children used to wear necklaces made out of peony roots to help with teething pains and prevent seizures.

Want to find out more about flowers and maybe even learn how to arrange them into beautiful bouquets? Check out our flower workshops! Email kate@abetterflorist.com for more details.

Flower Guide

What you need to know about Flower Delivery in Singapore

March 22, 2017
A Better Florist | Flower Delivery in Singapore

The renewed interest in the flower industry and online florists has made buying flowers easy and accessible. You can click on blooms and avail of free flower delivery in a matter of minutes from the comfort of your home or office. If it’s your first time to purchase flowers online, here’s a rundown of reminders to ensure a quick and painless transaction.

Flower selection

First thing’s first: What kind of flowers are you looking for? Who is the recipient? What kind of message do you wish to convey?

Before shelling out your bread for buds, work out the details of the floral gift. Flower selection is tied to the occasion. Roses are for romance, chrysanthemums for friends and daisies are for recuperation. Knowing the recipient’s preferences are also significant to the purchase, especially if the recipient has flower allergies. Or perhaps you just want a good bargain for your home’s floral requirements or for the centrepieces at your event. Whatever the case, make sure you have the details down before you proceed to the checkout page.

Flower delivery options

Once you’ve selected the perfect bouquet, there’s the matter of putting in the details of the flower delivery. Here’s where complications usually arise. To avoid miscommunication, be as specific as possible. Here are some helpful tips to consider for various types of delivery address.

Residential address

A residential or home address is relatively easy, just plug in the exact address, helpful landmarks, name of the recipient and ideal times for delivery. The time you put in basically lets the florist know that there’s someone who would receive the delivery. Otherwise, put in a note if it’s okay to leave the delivery on your doorstep or entrust it to your neighbour. Usually, the package is sent back to the office when no one’s on location to receive the delivery. This could cost you addition money and effort to retrieve or have it delivered again. In which case, the whole point of a fuss-free online transaction becomes pointless.

For condominiums and HDBs, in addition to the crucial details discussed above, it would be helpful to give the guard or receptionist a heads up that you are expecting a delivery. For extra strict buildings and establishments, you can even give them the name of the florist to reduce back and forth communications between you, the receptionist and the delivery person. Either let the receptionist know that you’re expecting a delivery from so-and-so florist and have them sent up to your unit or leave a note on the checkout page that the package would be received by the receptionist or guard. Naturally, if you opt for the latter, give the guard or receptionist the heads up.

Hospitals and commercial establishments

For public or commercial establishments like offices, schools or hotels informing the guard/receptionist about the flower delivery is helpful. While it is standard procedure for them to call up to your office or room before they’re cleared to proceed, it would at least expedite the process. Give your name and unit/room number. The guard would also be able to properly guide the delivery person to the right location. Time of delivery is crucial for public and commercial establishments because of the specified working hours, so make sure you indicate the window hours for delivery.

Finally, for flower delivery to hospitals, we recommend that you call the hospital or the ward first in case they don’t allow deliveries on patients’ rooms. Certain flowers can also aggravate certain conditions especially if the person is prone to allergies. In such cases, you may want to send hypoallergenic blooms or unscented flowers.

Purchasing flowers does not need to be daunting, in fact, it has never been easy. All you need is a little know-how and good connectivity to get those flowers delivered in a snap.

Flower Guide

The Beginner’s Guide to Flower Selection

March 15, 2017
Beginner's Guide to Flower Selection

Gifting flowers is a sweet and classic move towards letting someone know that you care. While buying flowers may be quite cumbersome before, online florists has made the process easy breezy these days. You can buy flowers and have them delivered in a matter of minutes within the comfort of your home.

So you’re thinking about giving flowers to your loved one and you don’t know where to start. Don’t fret, we have the perfect guide to help you throughout this whole process.

Consider the basics

First, you need to deal with the basic details.

Who’s the recipient? The types of flowers you send to your mother or a boss is different from a bouquet for your significant other. Red flowers may be romantic for your romantic partner but wildly inappropriate for a boss. Below is a basic guide on flower meanings to help you out. Of course, if you know the recipient’s favourite blooms, you’re already on the right track. It’s also helpful to find out if the recipient has allergies, so you can avoid certain flower choices. Check out this list of allergy-prone flowers to avoid.

What’s the occasion? Is it for Mother’s Day? Valentine’s Day? Or maybe there’s no special occasion and you just want to express your appreciation. Occasions can dictate not only the type of flowers you send, but also the floral arrangements for your bouquet.

Do you have a budget? Another detail to consider is your budget. If nothing else, this can narrow down your flower selection based on your price range.

Flower customs

Another key factor to consider are the customs of certain cultures. In order to avoid unintentionally offending your recipient, be aware of the basic dos and don’ts especially in a multi-cultural environment such as Singapore.

For example, the Chinese culture associate the lotus flower with wellness and purity. The lotus symbol appears quite a lot in their arts as well as religion. It is also in Chinese tradition to send flowers as gifts for unpleasant occasions. In particular, yellow chrysanthemums and white flowers are considered funereal flowers symbolising death. Alternatively, red flowers are considered auspicious, while poenies and orchids are associated with prosperity and luck, respectively.

Flower meanings

Below are some of the most popular flowers in Singapore along with their meanings:

Roses symbolise love and passion. This makes roses a staple during Valentine’s Day and anniversaries. They figure quite heavily in arts and poetry as metaphors for beauty and desire. While a red rose says “I love you,” white roses evokes loyalty and pure love. Other shades, such as pink, can convey admiration and blossoming love.

Orchids is growing in popularity because they are not only elegant, they’re also fairly low maintenance. They’re symbols for beauty and sophistication. Their exotic appeal articulates a sender’s admiration and romantic inclinations. It also illustrates the sender’s unique and refined taste.

Tulips is another favourite for romantic gestures. They represent perfect love and commitment. This sophisticated flower also exemplify elegance and grace.

Iris can be perfect for any occasion. Generally, they represent hope and devotion. Depending on colour, you can send purple irises for wisdom, yellow for passion, blue for faith and white for purity.

Chrysanthemums are great for friendly affection. This “golden flower” is an allusion to positivity and prosperity. They’re usually given for loved ones who recuperating or a gesture of good will. Red chrysanthemums can indicate love, white can mean truth and yellow can symbolise jealousy.

Sunflowers are symbols of optimism. Its “sunny” aesthetic can lift anyone’s spirit, so you can send these blooms to someone who needs some cheering. Perhaps you’d also want to send them for some joy and inspiration. This is why a sunflower is usually a fail-safe choice for its positive message.

You can always consult your online florist for the meanings behind different flowers for the perfect bouquet.

Flower Guide

Blooming your house – Made easier with Floral Subscription

March 8, 2017
Blooming your house – Made easier with Floral Subscription

Interior design doesn’t have to be boring. A great way to make a home more warm and inviting is to incorporate a bit of greenery into the design. Fresh flowers and succulents not only help brighten up a space, they also help filter the air. So they’re pleasing to both the eyes and the lungs.

Maintaining gardens and potted plants are the traditional ways of incorporating flora in the home. However, the rise of the apartment complex and condo-living provides little in the way of space. Most city dwellers do not have a backyard, let alone a garden. This is why designers and architects are bringing the outdoors indoors to make a space breathe and make it less claustrophobic. It also helps to remind dwellers of the natural world in an increasingly tech-saturated and artificial environment.

The good news is, the proliferation of online florists in Singapore have made blooming your house even easier through catering to all your floral needs.

Which rooms should you bloom?

Any room can be bloomed but, as with everything, you need to practice the art of restraint.

The kitchen is a natural choice for incorporating plants and florals. If you like to cook, you can maintain a little vertical garden for herbs and spices to add some fresh ingredients to your dishes. Fresh cut flowers can also go into your kitchen counter and dining table to encourage a healthy appetite among your fellow inhabitants.

The living room is also a prime location for flowers and succulents. Since we entertain guests in this area, flowers can be a great accessory to complement the overall aesthetic of your home. White lilies are classic choices for shared spaces. They’re elegant and sophisticated without being intimidating. They also go well with any interior. Aromatic flowers like lavender and jasmine can be incorporated to perfume your living room. Meanwhile, daisies and sunflowers are perfect for bright interiors, especially during summer, for a lively and welcoming vibe. Sunflowers also work well in kitchens for a sunny disposition—mornings, afternoons and evenings.

Bathrooms are tricky because they don’t have a lot of light and are usually high in humidity. As such, orchids and aloe vera are the usual suspects for this area. They’re hardy and actually don’t need a lot of sun to thrive. Aloe vera also has a lot of uses, including treatment of minor burns and acts as moisturiser, so it also has practical use beyond the aesthetic aspect.

Taking care of your blooms

The adjectives delicate and fragile are associated with flowers for a good reason. Once they’ve been picked, the life span of their beauty starts counting down. Potted plants need to be watered regularly, but fresh cut flowers in vases need a bit more care and maintenance. Here are a few tips to lengthen the lives of your blooms:

  1. To make sure your flowers don’t wilt quickly, place them in a clean container with distilled water and a bit of bleach to prevent the growth of bacteria.
  2. Before placing them inside a vessel, it is also advisable to take out any rotting leaves and dirt clinging to the stems. Make sure the leaves or any petals do not touch the water inside the vase, otherwise this will promote rotting and bacterial growth.
  3. Replace the liquid with a clean bleach and water solution every day.

Get a floral subscription

For those without an eye for style nor the patience for flower selection, you can always acquire a floral subscription. This way, you not only get your regular batch of blooms to decorate your home, you’d also be getting the bespoke service of a flower curator. You can give your florist the necessary information they need to tailor the kinds of flowers you’d receive on a regular basis.

Floral subscription is a personalised service to help provide you with seasonal flora fit for your home. More than that, they can arrive at your doorstep perfectly arranged by a professional florist. Those additional personal touches and service ultimately saves you the time and effort in blooming your home.

Flower Guide

Crafting with Dry Flowers – A Guide to Drying and Pressing

March 1, 2017
Crafting with Dry Flowers

Flowers have always been used to symbolize beauty and fragility. Implicit in this association is its ephemeral nature, especially when they’ve been plucked from the garden. Yet it is possible to extend the life of fresh cut flowers, all you need is a little know how and some crafty skills. Before those pretty flowers start to wilt, begin the process of preservation through drying methods. Here are a few of the proven and simplest ways to dry flowers to add a new lease on their life.

Pressing

You’ve probably done this one at some point in your life. Maybe a special someone send you a bouquet roses and you wanted to preserve this token of affection for sentimental reason. Or maybe you bright idea of making flower-infused bath bombs off those flowers you bought from an online florist in Singapore. Whether that worked out or not, keep these three steps in mind for pressing flowers using books in case you need to preserve some blossoms.

  1. Open a book and Place a piece of paper about halfway or one-third of the way inside a thick book (preferably hardbound for added weight).
  2. Place the flowers carefully on the piece of paper then place another paper on top of that before closing the book.
  3. Place the book on an even surface and add weights (could be other books or any heavy object) on top of that for added pressure.

After four weeks, you should have perfectly pressed flowers ready for your crafts. Just make sure that the flower is completely dry before pressing in order to avoid soaking the pages and possible decomposition.

Hanging

Another simple and fuss free way of drying flowers is through hanging. This is the preferred method for drying a bunch of flowers as any dry and covered space will do. Here are the steps for drying flowers through hanging.

  1. Prepare the cut flowers or freshly plucked blooms for hanging by clipping the stems to similar lengths, taking out the leaves and other dirt that can cause rotting.
  2. Tie similar flowers securely in a bunch with a rope or rubber band.
  3. Hang them upside down about 6 inches from the ceiling in a warm, airy and dry place.

Again, this would normally take 4 weeks to completely dry them out. If you’re harvesting flowers straight from the garden, make sure you choose the ones which have just fully bloomed because they have the least amount of damage and thus will incur less damage through the process of drying.

Via microwave

This one’s a bit unconventional, but fairly easy. Not everyone has the time or space to dry out flowers, but almost everyone has a microwave at home. So for those pressed on time or simply don’t have the patience to wait for weeks before working on a project, then try out the microwave method of drying flowers.

  1. Cut the flowers close to the bud, taking out stray leaves and dirt in the process.
  2. Take a microwave-safe container, fill it with about an inch of desiccant (silica gel, cat litter, borax or cornmeal). Lay out the flowers on top, making sure they are spaced evenly so each bud gets equal amount of heat, and then bury the flowers under the desiccant.
  3. Place a cup of water inside the microwave with the container. This would absorb some of the radiation and prevent burning the flowers.
  4. Depending on the thickness of the buds, you can set the microwave heat accordingly. It is advisable to start with a low setting, heat for 2 minutes and then check. For bigger blooms with thicker petals, WikiHow estimates 8 minutes of medium to high setting.
  5. Once you are satisfied with the crispness and dryness, take the container out and let it cool for one day. Important: Do not poke the desiccant with your bare hands while checking in order to avoid burns. Use a toothpick instead.

Once you have perfectly dry flowers, you can let your creative juices flow. The proliferation of the DIY culture gives you plenty of resources to make your own works of art. You can even spend quality time with your partner working with your hands while you make repurpose those flowers. Here are a few suggestions.

Personalised cards or bookmarks

You can use those pressed flowers to create personalised cards or bookmarks. Her Creative Spirit shows you how it’s done with some PVC glue and tissue. Or if you’re a bit of an artist yourself, you can take a cue from Meredith Wing and use those dried blooms as part of pretty illustrations. They don’t even have to be pressed. The hang-dried flowers can work just as perfectly for added texture and volume.

Framed art

Paintings can be costly. So why not make an art wall of those dried flowers to decorate the wall of your apartment? Instead of having them turn to dust in a box of nostalgic memorabilia, create a pressed flowers framed art instead. This way, you can actually show tangible appreciation of the gift given to you by your loved one.

Therapeutic candles

Take the life of your flowers full circle by repurposing them as DIY aromatherapy candles. Fittingly, the saying “smelling the flowers” allude to leisure and appreciation, the very same purpose of scented candles. Any aromatic flowers will do. The popular ones though are jasmine, chamomile and ylang-ylang, but feel free to add a rose or two in the mix. Check out the full instructions at Home Guides.