CHERISH THE MEMORIES…
THE HISTORY OF PRESERVED FLOWERS-FLOWER PRESERVATION-PRESERVED BOUQUETS
For centuries, special occasions have included some form of fresh herbs and flowers to accent a special moment or event. In the late 1700’s the art of drying flowers became a ritual to preserve not only the summer gardens for winter décor, but also for medicinal tinctures, perfumes and potpourri.
By the early 19th century, the fascination matured and became vogue with many a parlor being graced with elaborate designs encased in beautiful domes and frames. A great number also included butterflies, birds, and animals to portray a complete nature vignette.
A few years later, the passing of Queen Victoria’s beloved husband Prince Albert, brought about an obsession for saving and preserving memories. The custom became more detailed even yet with the addition of mementos, photos, ribbons, and any odd sort of keepsake or trinket being included. Since then, we have been pressing prom corsages in high school yearbooks, and tissue wrapping wedding bouquets to safely store in a hope chest. And today it continues…
We are very proud to keep this tradition alive and have one of the few on-site, freeze dry preservation machines in the northeast. Dried flowers are my closet passion and I have been drying flowers since opening the florist. For over 20 yrs I have been a professional freeze dry, flower preservation specialist, and board member of the International Freeze Dry Floral Association. This unique and delicate process of preserving flowers, highlighted on NBC, and afforded the seal of approval from Good Housekeeping; is one of the most sophisticated methods of flower preservation today. Once preserved, the flowers are artfully arranged in decorative frames, shadowboxes, domes, or a host of other ideas. As a floral designer, I bring my talent to these dried and preserved flowers for a wonderful keepsake to be treasured for years to come, with all the memories intact.
perfect for all special events but not limited to:
- Preserve Wedding flowers
- Preserve Anniversary flowers
- Preserve Prom wristlets & corsages
- Preserve Engagement bouquets
- Preserve Graduation flowers
- Preserve Bar/Bat Mitzvah flowers
- Preserve Holiday flowers & poinsettia
- Preserve new baby flowers
- Preserve Pageant& Presentation bouquets
- Preserve Sympathy flowers
- ….and a host of others. You can also cherish your garden by preserving some of those prize winning blooms, or that lovely vase of roses preserved.
KEEPSAKE IDEAS FOR PRESERVED FLOWERS
Our custom shadow frames and boxes are American made, by a family owned business in Montana; with many shapes, sizes and finishes to choose: round, oval, rectangle, square and heart. Various finishes include oak, cherry, mahogany, white, silver, gold and black. We can also paint coordinate a custom color to compliment your décor. Ranging in size from 5”-24” diameter for any style of arrangement.
These are two choices resurrected from the past that are also lovely. The bell jar or ‘cloche’ was used in the Colonial garden to create a miniature terrarium for tender seedlings. Today we not only use them for this true purpose, but as a decorative cover for all sort of precious items. Flowers are placed in a small vase or needled arranger, and the cloche sets right over it. They are a unique accent to any home, vintage or modern, and start quite small for 1 bloom, and graduate up to app. 20’ tall. Second is the wood based domes are a Victorian tradition, but because of their simple design, can look quite modern. Flowers are arranged in an upright design to fill the inside, and then displayed on a shelf, dresser, or table. These start at a single bloom size and go up to a 12’’ tall. Perfect in any room, and not an invading piece. These both are perfect for multiple recipients and especially nice for sympathy remembrances.
A lovely box that is a multi use option as it doubles as both a flower display and storage keepsake for cherished mementos inside. Available in 2 styles and sizes with dome display areas of either 5×7 and 8×10. This is also a wonderful gift for anyone who is sentimental .
TO PRESERVE FLOWERS-WHEN & WHAT TO DO-COSTS
Fresh flowers surprisingly, start to deteriorate just after the blooms are perfectly open. At this point their lives are nearly over; they have given you their show-which was their entire desire. Freeze drying preserves whatever stage the flower is in, whether bud or wide open. If the flower is spent or drooped, we can at times re-hydrate them, but you must be aware that the flowers preserve in the condition they are brought in. It is not a miracle method, but a preservation method. With that; it is advantageous for us to receive the flowers as soon as possible-preferably within 3 days of the occasion. While some flowers last longer, the results are best with the freshest and healthiest blooms. If…your flowers were forgotten out of water or just fretfully damaged; we of course can replace the spent blooms or an entire bouquet. We offer white glove, flower pick-up by courier if you are in the tri-state area; whether at your event end or the next day @$1.50/mile or we can retrieve local bouquets any day Monday-Saturday
- Keep your flowers in water, or water any foam or florist container they are in.
- Mist them lightly with tepid water.
- Using a plastic bag (recycle your dry cleaner wrap or cello!) completely cover the flowers loosely, and twist tie to keep the moisture level inside.
- Until you bring them to us, place them in the center* of your refrigerator-not the freezer-or any cool, dark place which is preferably below 50 degrees but above freezing. The cooler they are, the less the blooms will mature and begin to deteriorate.
- do not place near any interior walls of the refrigerator, as they may freeze.
- If you are shipping flowers to us; after following the steps above you will need to pack them with plenty of padding, taped or wired in, and including an ice pack if warmer months. We highly recommend overnight shipping-especially in extreme temperature seasons.
- Yes…we can locally retrieve your flowers for you-ask about our event pickup.
PRESERVING FLOWERS-THE COSTS
Freeze drying ranges from $20. for one flower, to $200. for a standard sized wedding bouquet, and 500.+ for a large memorial heart. The cost of the preservation is based on the amount of space your project uses in the machine. All frames, domes, shadowboxes, and tussies are additional plus a design fee. If we are replacing any flowers or accessories, they will be additional.
Some example pricing
A single flower in a small dome ranges from $50-75.
A prom corsage or wristlet in a dome/frame ranges from $100-150.
A standard sized wedding bouquet framed ranges from $450-575.
One half dozen roses dome/framed ranges from $150-300
A grooms lapel and a few bouquet flowers dome/framed (as shown below ranges) from $250-350.
Single flowers unframed are $20.
A medium to large memorial heart framed $750-1100
A bouquet made into a wreath/topiary without frame $350-450.
Flowers made into a small nosegay $200+
To uncomplicate the process…the flowers are first placed into a deep freeze and can remain so indefinitely until your space becomes available. During busy seasons this could be up to 4 months. The freeze dry machine is much the size of two large home refrigerators, where the interior temperature is at -5 degrees. The flowers are transferred from the deep freezer and placed inside for up to 3 weeks where the moisture will gradually be withdrawn every day with the rising of the temperature. Upon coming out of the machine they are completely dry and not unlike a thin, delicate rice paper, which makes them extremely fragile. Some flowers preserve better than others to which we can advise you; if you question the success of certain varieties, please feel free to ask of your concern.
The longevity of your flowers will depend on the conditions you display them; typically, you can expect up to 25 years or beyond . The more care you take, the longer they of course will last. Never display near high humidity, extreme heat, or direct sun. It is also not advisable to handle them any more than necessary, as they are extremely brittle. A small insect repellent is discretely hidden to ward off any possible intrusions, but an occasional watchful eye would be advised, as our insects of today enjoy all flowers, fresh or dried..
Even though this method is the least toxic excepting for air drying, there are energy issues and enhancement chemicals created solely for it purposes. We have chosen to forego most of these enhancements and to compensate for the energy used by purchasing carbon offsets from NativeEnergy.com