Preserve Valentine's Day bouquet

Published: Saturday, January 31, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 30, 2004 at 11:23 p.m.

A gift of red roses is one of the most popular tokens of affection exchanged each Valentine's Day. You can keep the memory of this lovely gesture alive all year long by preserving your roses. Whether used in arrangements, wreaths, or even as potpourri, dried flowers can be enjoyed for months, or even years.

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Keeping the memory of a special Valentine's Day alive is easy by preserving your roses.

Special to The Sun

The floral experts at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM offer the following tips for drying your roses and making the love last long past the holiday: The easiest method is air-drying. Roses can be dried individually or in small bunches.

Remove leaves from stems and make sure that they are bunched loosely and that there is enough air circulating throughout the bunch. Hang the rose bunches upside down in a dark, dry, warm room. When the stems are dry and rigid (which should take about one to two weeks), the flowers are ready to be stored or used.

Another method to dry your roses is to press them. Weight pressing is a simple way to preserve individual or small bunches of roses. Simply place roses (whole buds or just the petals) between the pages of a heavy book. You may want to line the pages with wax paper, so as to preserve the book.

Close the book and place something heavy on top. After two or three weeks, the flowers will be ready to be stored or used.

Once your roses are dried, they can be used in a myriad of ways. Whether you simply use the petals as potpourri, or you use the full booms to create an elegant arrangement, your Valentine's Day roses will last for the remainder of the year. For an elegant look, place your roses, along with some floral accents, between two panes of clear glass and frame them.

Flowers such as statice, strawflowers, larkspur, delphinium, safflower, baby's breath and mimosa are also ideal for drying and will make beautiful accents to your dried roses.

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