Audra Lowe: Well, no matter where you live, decorating your home for the cooler months should definitely include some flowers right?
Rhiannon met up with our garden guru Mar Jennings all to learn how to dry flowers for the winter.
Rhiannon Ally: Hey Audra. I know how much you love flowers and so do we. And we've all seen those beautiful press flowers. Today Mar’s going to show us how to take it from this to this.
Mar Jennings: It looks like a lollipop right?
Rhiannon Ally: Fluffy to flat. It does.
Mar Jennings: It’s very simple. It’s pretty simple. The idea is you have to start with the very heavy type of book. These are great old bank ledgers so I have them and I use it just for this project.
Rhiannon Ally: Yeah. These are heavier than the books today. I feel like --
Mar Jennings: Yes. And you can find these at antiques sales, old bookstores just like something--
Rhiannon Ally: And a lot of character too.
Mar Jennings: A lot of character. I love them because they are decorative. But the idea is towards the back of the book is really where you want to put the flower.
Rhiannon Ally: Okay. So how do we know the flowers are actually ready?
Mar Jennings: Great question. You want to make sure that it losses at elasticity and that it’s lost all its moisture and it’s kind of -- you feel that. It’s a little dry right?
Rhiannon Ally: It’s a little dry.
Mar Jennings: This is a good time right now.
Rhiannon Ally: So this is the perfect time?
Mar Jennings: Perfect time you want to place it in the middle of the book and then you want to close the book very slowly adding pressure. And it’s a good idea if you have something that that’s thick that you put even more books on top of it. And then in several weeks just keep checking it. You want to keep checking it just incase there is a little bit of moisture in here.
Rhiannon Ally: In several weeks it’ll look like this?
Mar Jennings: It’ll look just like that.
Rhiannon Ally: And you can frame it or keep it like that. How cool is that? It’s got so much personality. If you don’t have -- in the garden.
Mar Jennings: There are other things you can do. I love great oak leaves. They’re just so beautiful in their design and you just capture that season.
Rhiannon Ally: And the same thing just wait until it’s completely dried.
Mar Jennings: How about a botanical?
Rhiannon Ally: I like that.
Mar Jennings: A beautiful fern. You often see that art works. It’s very expensive, you create your own. So why not a botanical?
Rhiannon Ally: And press these the exact same way so --
Mar Jennings: This is very easy, very easy.
Rhiannon Ally: Simple. Okay. So what if we don’t want to press them but we dry them out. Lots of people like that.
Mar Jennings: Let’s step it up. People love dried hydrangeas and I love to show you el natural way of doing it. You want to make sure when you're picking your hydrangeas that they’ve lost again their moisture.
And the best time to do that is right after in the morning about 11, 12 o'clock when all the dew is dried completely. And then you want to go ahead and you want to take off all the leaves okay? That will make sure that it’s not spending any water going to any of the area other than just the tower of the flower.
go ahead and put them in water about half way, put them in a vessel that you can see. And you will notice that all the water will evaporate.
Rhiannon Ally: Will get sucked up.
Mar Jennings: Will get completely sucked up. And when it does, that’s when you know that you're completely dried and they're ready to go.
Rhiannon Ally: And so I get to do the finishing touch?
Mar Jennings: That's right. You’re going to keep them inside. You want to make sure you use a little bit of hairspray. In that way they don’t get messy in the house.
Rhiannon Ally: Okay. This is --
Mar Jennings: These are already done. Now here’s my pet peeve. We have to mention this, every year, just get yourselves new hydrangeas. It is either dust collector. I've seen them four to five years in a house. Get rid of them. Go and get new ones.
Rhiannon Ally: Great ideas. Thank you so much Mar. I think I'm going to take this back to Audra. What do you think?
Mar Jennings: I think that’s a great idea. We’ll make some more for her.
Rhiannon Ally: Thanks Mar. Here you go Audra.
Audra Lowe: My hands are empty. I have nothing. I’ll check back at my desk.
If you guys want to, check out more tips from Mar including which plants to pick for the office. You can head to bettertv.com and then click on the videos.
Also, don’t forget to check out his blog. He’s got a lot of info on there and it’s right on our website.