After you’ve enjoyed your fresh cut flower arrangement or bouquet, you may want to preserve it to enjoy for longer, or find a new use for them as they come to the end of their life. These tips can also be used for bridal bouquets.
Dry your flowers
One of the most popular options is to dry a bouquet and preserve it for longer. When kept in cool and dry spaces, dried flowers can last for up to a year. Tie your bouquet around its stems with string and hang them upside down from a coat hanger. In order to best preserve the colours, keep them tucked away in a dark space like the loft or the cupboard under the stairs. After roughly two weeks, your flowers will be dry and ready to display. You can also spray them with a little bit of hairspray for extra protection. Dried flowers can also be used for pot pourri.
Brides - keep an eye out in your delivery box for a leaflet explaining the process - and find a nice relative who will look after this job while you pop off on your honeymoon!
Press your flowers
An alternative to drying, pressed flowers can be displayed in a photo frame, album or scrapbook, or glued/varnished into DIY projects. All you need for this is a few tea towels or kitchen roll, and a pile of heavy books - although you can buy a flower press from any craft shops or online. Snip off the heads of the flowers you want to press and put them between two tea towels or a couple of sheets of kitchen roll and squish between layers of books - the more layers the better! The excess moisture can wrinkle book pages or the colour might transfer, so don’t use a book you’re particularly attached to. Chunkier flowers like roses don’t press well, but leaves press nicely.
You can also do this with an iron, but results vary due to the heat.
If you’re a fan of rose water in your beauty regime, this can be made simply from rose petals and water. Pick the clean petals from your rose - two to three roses is about one cup of petals - and simmer on a low heat for about 40 minutes. The petals will start to lose their colour, so leave to cool before straining and decanting into a spray bottle. Store it in the fridge and it’ll last for a month. Always be sure to do a patch test before using any new products on your skin.
Reusing your packaging
If your flowers came in cellophane and tied with a bow, carefully unpackaging your flowers means these can be used again in the future - why not create a hamper for a birthday present and use the cellophane to package it up. If you’ve got kids around, bows can be tied on to a simple headband for a bit of extra flourish, or use the strands to tie it around a ponytail.
The best option for any leftover stems, offcuts, and leaves, is the compost heap (or food waste bin) - and a much better resting place than going in the bin and heading to landfill!