If you want to keep those gorgeous Valentine's blooms gifted to you by someone special, you can dry them to give you happy memories in the months to come.
The options are to dry them to place bouquet-style in a vase, or press them as a keepsake. Mold In Label
If you are drying them
"The best drying methods vary depending on the flower and some aren't quite right to dry," says Mary-Anne Da'Marzo, founder and head florist at Soho's The Last Bunch (thelastbunch.com).
"Roses preserve well when hung upside down or air-dried. Alternatively, if you're looking for a speedy method, you can use the microwave or air-fryer."
"There are a number of ways you can improve the result of the preservation process at the time of receiving if you're already planning on drying your Valentine's Day bouquet," she continues.
"Whilst preparing your flowers to display them in a vase, make sure you remove any leaves on flowers (keep the leaves on any accompanying foliage) before putting them in water. This is to ensure the flowers get as much water as possible so you can dry them at their best."
When filling your vase with water, add a drop of bleach or a baby sterilising tablet to the water to extend the life of your cut flowers further.
"Even if your bouquet already comes with flower food, doing this will help retain natural petal pigmentation and keeps them in the best possible condition ready for drying."
"Try to take your flowers out ready for drying when they're at their best and most open," adds Da'Marzo. "Leaving them until they die means they won't preserve properly, minimising the dried yet fresh-looking bouquet aesthetic."
With #pressedflowers videos gaining more than 170.6 million views on TikTok, leading online florist Bloom & Wild (bloomandwild.com) has recently added flower pressing kits to its catalogue.
Jo Reason, the company's brand and range director, offers the following guide to pressing your Valentine's flowers.
Scissors, fresh flowers, a pile of heavy books, plain paper, clear glue, frame.
Choosing the right flowers is essential as this determines how flat they will lay. Daintier blooms with single-layered petals, such as pansies and daisies, tend to press better than larger flowers with many petals.
Reason says: "Naturally flat flowers are in theory an easier press, but that is not to say your Valentine's Day roses cannot be too. For larger blooms such as peonies and roses, we recommend using a flower press kit to ensure these thicker stems truly lay flat."
Colour plays an important role in pressing as shades of pink and red tend to fade faster over time, Reason notes.
"Flowers which are yellow, cream and orange maintain their rich hues for longer. Orange roses are a great flower for someone starting something new or needing a boost," she says.
Drying your flowers out before beginning the pressing process is a great way to preserve colour and prevent mould and rot. Keep your fresh flowers in a warm location for a short period of time to encourage them to lose their moisture quickly.
Once you have selected your preferred blooms to press, trim down the stems to be anywhere between 1-5 cm. Trimmed stems ensure a more precise and flat lay.
Grab a heavy hardback book and place a sheet of plain paper inside. Arrange your flowers on the paper, making sure you leave enough space between each flower so none of them touch, or they'll stick together.
Cover your arrangement with a second sheet of paper, shut the book and pile some more books on top to add weight on top of the flowers. Wait for two weeks before opening your book and taking a peek.
There are countless ways to present pressed flowers, but most choose to frame their newly flattened bouquets in a clear frame, tastefully arranged. To do this, hold the flowers in place with a little dot of clear glue and wait until the glue has dried. You can even decorate a clear phone case following the same method.
Once you have decided how you would like to present your pressed flowers, whether that be in a frame or used as decoration for a love-adorned note, ensure they are kept out of direct sunlight. This helps the flowers to retain their colour.
Reason advises: "A little tip I have found is spraying my pressed flowers down with unscented hairspray for extra protection. This helps the colours remain more vivid for longer and protects against any premature deterioration."
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