HELEN NICOLAOU Special to The Standard
SCUGOG: The 1970s was a groovy decade, seeing changes in music, culture and fashion. Many of us remember the craft of drying and pressing flowers. Today, with better-preserving methods, "Makers" are bringing back the Art of Drying garden flowers and using them in a variety of projects.
The type of flower would determine the appropriate method available to preserve our best blooms. Blooms are best harvested on a dry, sunny day and before they have peaked maturity. Flowers which naturally have a higher moisture content would require being covered in silica gel and microwaved for a few seconds at a time, till the flower feels papery in texture. Examples would be peonies, dahlias and roses.
A traditional method which is the simplest, requiring only your time, is "air drying."
Cut the stems longer, remove the leaves and bundle them with a rubber band, in small and medium bunches. Hang them upside down in a dry and warm area, away from sunlight with good air circulation, like a garden shed or garage. This would include small and delicate flowers like lavender, baby's breath, stocks and larkspur.
Hydrangeas have been prolific producers of stunning blooms this season, and are perfect for air drying, and used in wreaths and many other designs. With the hydrangeas, it is recommended to cut the stem on a sharp angle and place the stem in one inch of water; once the water has evaporated and the blooms feel like tissue paper, they are ready to use.
Once you feel confident with your results, there are many other choices of flowers to try, if want to continue to dry flowers. Drying and displaying your garden flowers is a great way to decorate and brighten up a dull space during the autumn and winter.
On Tuesday, September 5th., Molly Shannon spoke to us on "Canadian Succulents." Shannon gave us many ways succulents can be highlighted in the garden, and, best of all, succulents are low maintenance. They should be planted in a dry, sunny area, to bring out the best in their growth and vibrant colours. Besides the old variety of hens and chicks, nurseries offer a wide selection of succulents which can be used and planted in many ways, as well as in mass patterns to dazzle the eye. Thank you, Shannon, for your presentation and bringing in a wonderful variety of succulents.
The meeting was well attended, and many lovely entries were on display this evening, for the Autumn Flower and Vegetable Show.
Freda Vernon won first place, for her large variety of tomatoes. Norma Haney won first place, in the Special Exhibit class, for her Decorative Cut Foilage entry. Libbi Hood won with her Burgundy Dahlias, in the Best in Horticultural class. Helen Nicolaou won Best in Design, for her September Harvest entry.
Tuesday, October 3rd, at 7:30 p.m., Paul Holden from Grow Wild Nursery will be speaking, on "Why Grow Native Plants."
We will also be holding our delicious "Annual Dessert Night Fundraiser." Our talented members will be baking their favourite cakes, cookies, squares and pies. There will be some gluten-free items available. Members bring your better half, relatives and friends for a delicious evening of sweets.
Just a reminder, 2023 Photo Entries are due this evening. See the PRGC Yearbook, for classes and details on displaying entries. Also, 2024 membership fees are due. Guests are always welcome. See you there.
Visit us at pineridgegardenclub.com, to find out more info on becoming a member.
Pineridge Garden Club - where gardeners come to bloom