Most people can agree that beautiful, fresh flowers are fantastic for brightening up our day, our spring gardens and even the rooms in our homes. But plants are living, breathing things, and as is the wondrous circle of life, flowers bloom, grow and die.
Jesseline Gough, Marketing Co-ordinator at pickOntario explains why some of us are being a little too hasty, however, with our flowers once their life cycle has come to an end. “There are so many fun and different ways to recycle and preserve flowers once they die,” says Gough. “People are so used to throwing them out without giving their plants a second thought; without knowing that there is still some life left in them!”
To make the absolute most out of those gorgeous arrangements and bouquets (even in their afterlife), Gough has provided some creative methods for reusing local flowers:
Potpourri – Don’t let those flower petals go to waste. Lay your petals out to air-dry then mix them together with your favourite oils, scents and other delicious-smelling ingredients. Once everything has sat for some time and absorbed, your potpourri is ready for display and décor, or for putting into small sachets to have any space smelling great.
Peonies and lilies make for an exquisite combination in potpourri.
Pressed Flower Art – A pretty way to display flowers in a room other than a vase!
Cosmos are the prefect choice for pressing because they open wide and lay flat. Flatten the flowers between the pages of heavy books and leave them like this for several days. Once fully pressed, pick a nice frame to showcase your flower art, hang, and enjoy!
Preserve Bouquets – Here is one for the brides. Skip the bouquet-toss at your party and instead, keep it as a meaningful memory of your special day! Hire a professional preservationist who will use silica gel or freeze-dry your flowers. This is a great way to ensure your keepsake is maintained in the upmost condition.
Roses make for great wedding bouquets because they tend to last the longest and excellent for preserving.
Floral Drinks – Teas, lemonades, cocktails – you name it! There are so many tasty techniques for infusing old flower petals into drinks. Flowers can help bring out sweetness and adds just the right amount of floral taste to any refreshment. Tip: Hibiscuses go great with Prosecco!
Bath Bombs, Body Scrubs and more – Like drinks, there are also numerous recipes for creating delightful body scrubs, lotions, bath bombs, facial cleansers – anything to liven up your routine and introduce some flowery goodness into your beauty regimen. Lavender is always a safe bet for a heavenly fragrance.
“It goes to show just how versatile flowers can be, especially those found right here in our province,” says Gough. “Our locally grown Ontario flowers can still have many uses to them, well beyond their withering fate.”
Regardless, don’t feel bad when your flower and house plant does die. Everything has a life span, so think of it as an opportunity to do the above, and start fresh with brand new flowers and plants!
pickOntario is an initiative developed by Flowers Canada (Ontario) Inc. to raise awareness, interest and demand for Ontario-grown cut flowers and potted plants.
— Erika Navarro