Bringfrom the Summer garden indoors to a warm kitchen, where the dry air will preserve them perfectly for a memorable rustic display.
Kitchens can provide a perfect location for drying flowers from the Summer garden, as the dry heat produced is just what is needed if the best results are to be obtained. The space above an Aga or similar cooking range is ideal for air drying flowers, as there is a continuously warm atmosphere all year round, and the sight of bunches of flowers,and grasses hung to dry is particularly appropriate in a rustic kitchen.
To preserve the truest colours and achieve the best results, it is essential to pick flowers at just the right time, and this can vary from one type of flower to another. Generally, blooms must be picked just before they are fully open, preferably on a fine, dry day. If they are left too long. They will often fall to pieces when dry, so it is worth taking trouble to get the timing right.
Prepare the flowers for drying as soon as possible. Strip off any large or untidy leaves, but leave any small, attractive green or grey foliage. Gather the flowers into bunches of 10-12 stems and secure each bunch with an elastic band twisted round tightly. As the flowers dry, the stems shrink considerably and will fall out of a loose band.
Hang the bunches up with string so that they are out of direct sunlight, otherwise the colours will soon fade. Leave space around each bunch so that the air can circulate freely.
Light and crisp
Flowers will dry at very different rates, depending on when they were picked, the variety and the conditions indoors. The drying process is complete when they feel light and crisp, the stem should feel stiff and warm all the way up to the head.
To store dried flowers which are not needed immediately, choose a dry, dark place and place them in paper bags or sacks or cardboard boxes.