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Posts Tagged ‘Dried Flowers’

I grew flowers in the garden last season with the goal in mind to dry them and use them in flower arrangements.  I scanned many catalogs and online references looking for the right flowers to grow.  I succeeded with some and didn’t with others.  The flowers that I found really easy to grow, dry and arrange were Globe Amaranth, Yarrow, Autumn Joy Sedum, Statice, Strawflowers and Zinnia.  There were a few others like baby’s breath, larkspur and blanket flowers that also worked but I didn’t end up with alot of them.  I bundled up all my dried flowers and took them down south with me this weekend to create some arrangements for the home there.  Most if not all of these flowers were air dried (hung upside down secured with a rubber band).  I am happy with the results and will grow more of these this year along with others ….

gardening-cup-design

wooden-basket-designmason-jar-designapple-jar-design

dried-globe-amaranth Dried Globe Amaranth … a bundle of flowers and then the wreath that was created

globe-amaranth-wreath

I will add some more design to the wreath but for the most part the flowers do most of the work in a design and everything came out pretty good I think…….finally!

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I finally weeded out the gardens and it was a Jungle … only 1 week away and things grew like crazy!  I figure it rained a whole bunch – judging from the water on the pool cover and the growth!  I did harvest my first batch of Sugar Snap Peas and they are so sweet!

   

I harvested Yarrow for drying and for the first time Globe Amaranth with Baby’s Breath.  I expected the Globe Amaranth to be bigger than it actually is – I had visions of a huge flower, but not so.

I also found a HUGE moth just sitting on the spinach.  I googled it and found it to be a Carpenter Worm Moth which sounds like a very damaging insect to trees, especially fruit trees.

I also spotted some tiny white eggs on the back of a leaf of spinach … Ick!

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A couple of weeks ago I captured a picture in the backyard of The Gargoyle & Bunny and I thought that was really Neat – well, today The Gargoyle had yet another visitor … Mr. Hawk

 

 Seems like they are conversing … Spooky   LOL

I did notice the Yarrow and Echinacea purple (Coneflower) both perennials that I planted last year have resurfaced for their second year!

  Closeup

I had the dehydrator cranked up again today since cantaloupe was on sale and I bought 2 … dried one and also decided to take 2 roses and put them in the Excalibur dehydrator and see how they dried.  I have tried 3 methods of drying now – silica gel, air drying and now the dehydrator.  The major difference with the dehydrator is they retained their color much more – the redness didn’t seem to fade as much as with the other 2 methods.

Roses after a couple of hours of the Excalibur –

  Lastly, I googled peanut shells since I bought a 5 lb. bag of peanuts and thought the shells would make a great mulch…..Good thing I checked this out – totally the opposite – Do not use peanut shells as a mulch … following is a great article on Mulch!

http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/horticulture/veg-mulch.html

 

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I decided to dry the rest of the roses since I will be out of town & their condition will all but fade I am sure.  I was drying two at a time & after a couple rounds in the microwave I noticed the container was melting – egads!  The silica gel does get quite hot & I am guessing it needs to cool down completely before using again.  I did dry some rose leaves also to see the result and they get very very brittle.  What I decided was to dry the remaining roses and leaves by air drying to compare.

The tray of roses in the background are still fresh and will be left to air dry.  I need to construct something so they can hang to dry – so that way there isn’t a flat side.  I did make this herb rack last year but I think I need something different for this type of flower.

Herb rack/sign

I also went crazy with my Excalibur food dehydrator the past 2 days – strawberries & pineapple were both on sale so I overloaded on them & let the dehydrator do its magic – both of these fruits are favorites and they make Excellent snack food!

Fruit for dehydrator

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Today is our Anniversary – 24 years of wedded bliss … (what is wedded bliss anyways?)  I just know that it sure didn’t feel like 24 years and I look at us and our family and we are Happy & Content.  That must be wedded bliss?!?!?  Well, I received a dozen roses …

 and guess what I DID…  guess –

I stopped at the hobby store day before yesterday to buy silicia gel for drying flowers.  Did I mention growing and drying flowers is my new ambition?  The silica was on Sale SO that made my day…so I got to try it out today with my Roses 🙂  I only took one – I mean I did just got them.  So I covered the rose with the silica gel completely and put it in the microwave with a cup of water and nuked it for 2 minutes.  It worked!  Air drying would do the same thing but the silica gel is quicker.   I don’t understand why they call it “gel” it’s tiny crystals …

 

So I will preserve these dear roses for the next 24 years :-)))

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