Drying your ﬂowers is a great way to preserve their beauty so that you can keep them on display for long periods of time. And it’s not as hard to do as you might think. Here are two ways to dry those pretty blooms and retain the precious memories for even longer. AIR DRYING works best for roses, chrysanthemums, lavender, solidago and eryngium. It’s also best for hanging full bouquets as the ﬂowers will dry perfectly straight and therefore look justas lovely back in their arrangement. Here’s how to AIR DRY FLOWERS: 1. Take the ﬂowers you want to dry and remove any foliage below the head of the ﬂower. 2. If you#re drying a large arrangement, split your ﬂowers into bunches of the same ﬂower type, but no more than 6-7 per bunch, If they are very large ﬂowers, then do only one at a time. 3. Tie each bunch at the end of the stems with a rubber band and hang upside down from a coat hanger or on a line in a dry, dark place. Sunlight can fade the colours. 4. Leave to dry for several weeks, checking after the ﬁrst week to see when they are dry. The petals will rustle and become hard. 5. To further protect the ﬂowers, and to give them a bit of a shine, spray each with a bit of hairspray. Using SILICA GEL is another way to dry but can be hard on delicate ﬂowers and takes a little more eﬀort than air drying. It is, however, a bit quicker. Silica gel is the stuﬀ that comes in those tiny packets ﬂoating around in your new shoeboxes to help keep them dry, but you can also ﬁnd bags of it on Amazon speciﬁcally for ﬂower drying. Here’s how to DRY FLOWERS WITH SILICA GEL: 1. Find a storage container with a lid that will ﬁt your longest ﬂowers. 2. Fill the container with an inch of silica gel crystals. (Or a sand and salt mixture if you would like a more eco-friendly and natural version, though this takes several weeks to dry instead of several days). 3. Separate the ﬂowers as much as possible and gently cover them with another half inch of silica (or sand and salt) making sure the ﬂower head is completely buried though not squished. 4. Seal the container with the lid and make it as airtight as possible. Keep the container out of direct sunlight where it won’t be disturbed for 3-6 days (or up to several weeks if in sand and salt). 5. Make sure to check your ﬂowers every few days as over-drying them can cause ﬂowers to crumble. 6. Brush oﬀ any silica residue, or sand and salt, with a soft paintbrush. Enjoy the process, whichever one you choose!