Drying flowers calls to days of sweetness gone by, and preserves memories of romantic times, lovely events, or fields of wildflowers on a spring day.
Some good flowers to air dry are artemesia, baby's breath, chinese lanterns, pearly everlastings, globe amaranth, love-in-a-mist or nigella, statice, sweet annie, yarrow, tansy, and strawflowers. (tansy is also a bug repellent.)
Cockscomb should be air dryed for a day or so, and then finished in a brown paper bag, because the color is hard to keep, and this prevents fading. Daffodils can be pressed between two pieces of dryer sheets and inserted into pages of a book. These can then make a pleasant addition to scrap books, photo albums, or personalized stationary. Hydrangea dries best if gathered and used for display in a vase of water, and then left to dry slowly. Larkspur dries better with this method too.
Use these and the following methods, but don't be afraid to experiment with different kinds of flowers. Marigolds, daisies or zinnias dried on a hog wire screen make for more unusual arrangements. Prop the hog wire on top of a fruit crate or box, and poke the stems through the wire squares keeping the flower heads upright. When they dry, they are full and flat. Flowers can also be dried on paper plates in a microwave at 30 per cent or power level three, but the slower method is really better.
Gathering is best on a hot, dry afternoon. Humidity isn't favorable for attaining a nice color. Cut and bundle the stems together by the handful, keeping in mind the length needed. Most flowers do fine when they are simply cut and hung upside down on a nail. Use rubber bands to secure the bundle, so that, as the stems shrink, the rubber band adjusts to the smaller size. Then they should be stored in a cool dry environment inside of dress boxes, for example. If hanging them on a wall, keep them out of direct sunlight for the best longevity. A bouquet from a special occasion can preserve memories of many noteworthy moments. Ferns don't dry so well, but baby's breath and statice are very common in standard bouquets.
Enjoy a sunny day full of wonderful fragrances, and try some different arrangements with flowers that grow just about anywhere. Then have fun with some of the methods and tips for drying flowers.