Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Dispelling Floral Preservation Myths!

I recently had a sweet bride drop off her bouquet for preservation. She didn’t know what to do with it and thought the best thing to do would be to place it in the freezer. She was devastated to learn that that was the WORST thing to do. By the time she got them to me, they were beginning to thaw and were a sticky, gloppy, stinky mess. They were ruined. She left in tears and I had a few tears of my own, disappointed for her. Her florist is going to help her re-create the bouquet and I will preserve that into beautiful heirloom art.

 Roses, Orchids and other Flowers, ruined by freezing the bouquet. 
 This bouquet was ruined by placing it in a refrigerator that was too cold.

After a quick combing of the net, I found lots of articles about how to preserve your own bouquet.....and all of them were wrong. One was even titled, “How to Preserve Your Bouquet by Freezing it”. Another was titled, “How To Freeze a Live Flower So You Don’t Have to Keep It In A Vase”. Now really, who would want to keep it in a vase and enjoy it when you could stick it in the freezer? And what happens to your beautiful flower if the electricity fails or you move? I will tell you... your flowers thaw into a glop of goo, hardly the sweet flower you remember.

 Inside a gooey, gloppy mess of a frozen bouquet

Preserving your bouquet, with hair spray is another misnomer. Often, you will see articles about spraying your bouquet with hair spray before hanging it upside down in a closet. There are many flowers that will dry upside down, others that will not. Hair spray can seal the moisture into the flowers, causing them to mold and mildew, turning brown and black. It is not pretty. Also, hair spray is sticky, which becomes a magnet to dust and dirt.

One mother, frantically called me because she tried the “drying upside down” technique while her daughter was on her honeymoon and it molded and turned black and literally began dripping on the floor below. She purchased new flowers and I recreated the bouquet, then pressed and preserved it. And, no, I will not tell who it was! My lips are sealed because somewhere in America, there is a mother breathing a sigh of relief that her daughter never found out that mom ruined her bouquet. (I am a mom, too...so, I am bound by the Mother’s Seal of Honor)

Dipping your flowers in wax is something I came across on Pinterest. There is no follow up video, but I would imagine that the flowers fell off the stems, seeping an icky nastiness. Wax seals in the moisture. If the moisture cannot escape, then the petals begin to mold.
Lastly, pressing your flowers between wax paper. I actually did this craft as a child. We put bits of crayon in there and ironed it, watching the color run everywhere. That’s fine for a child's craft, but for your wedding bouquet, don’t risk it. Wax paper seals in moisture and you want the moisture wicked away, not held there. 

I understand that not everyone can afford to have their flowers preserved professionally. Many flowers will dry nicely when hung upside down. Make sure you separate them and give them time to dry. You can also make potpourri. 

Find Instructions here

If you do choose to have Pressed Garden preserve your flowers, bring them to me as fresh as possible. Trim the stems and keep them in clean, fresh water. If you do place them in a refrigerator, keep it away from spots that typically freeze lettuce. Temps around 45 degrees are best. And above all... DO NOT FREEZE THEM!!!
 Fresh Bridal Bouquet of Sunflowers Roses, Veronica, Lisianthis and other Flowers, before preservation.

Same bouquet, after being pressed and preserved by Pressed Garden!

For more Floral Preservation Information, visit Pressed Pressed Garden online at: 
All Floral Preservation by Annie Smith, Pressed Garden, LLC, Austin, TX 

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