A bouquet delivery is easily one of the best gifts to give to someone. They’re not only beautiful, but they also have a lovely fragrance and are sometimes associated with special and meaningful occasions. However, as the days pass, the only thing these flowers can do is to wilt.
Yet, a bouquet has only lived half of its life before it starts to wilt – so don’t throw it out just yet! Take a look at some of the sustainable ways you can extend their usefulness with the resources you have at home.
The most straightforward approach to repurposing your old bouquet is to simply dry them! Whilst their petals may shrink and lose its colour over time, there’s still no doubt that these dried blooms still carry a beautiful and elegant sort of aesthetic, albeit rather rustic.
The simplest way you can dry out the bouquet is by hanging it upside down by tying the end with a string. Leave it somewhere dark and dry for 2-4 weeks. For those who have small bouquets of flowers, you can also opt to dry them flat by placing them in between pages of a book.
With the dried flowers, you can use them as decorations by placing them in frames or the like. They are also perfect sustainable substitutes to confetti, especially so if you have a huge volume of flowers. You can also try including using them in your baths.
The fragrance of these flowers will not disappear as soon as it wilts. A simple way to preserve this fragrance is to create your very own potpourri!
Prepare a sheet tray with parchment paper and place your flowers and individual petals on the tray. You may want to add in thin slices of citrus fruits or tuck in sprigs of lavender, rosemary or the like into the mix! Whole spices such as cinnamon sticks or cloves can give your potpourri a spicy scent, if you wish to give it another layer of texture. Next, add 10 drops of your favourite essential oil to one tablespoon of water, and sprinkle it over the ingredients. Pop the tray into the oven that you’ve preheated at 93˚C for at least 2 hours. Give it another spritz of essential oil, and you’re done! Gently mix the ingredients, put it in a bowl, and your home will be graced with a refreshing scent all day.
For those who are crafty, you can use these flowers to create botanical clothing dyes. As with anything art and craft, this approach requires a lot of trials of experimentation.
For one, you will need to know how to create dyebaths, which is relatively easy. Place your petals in a pot filled with water (1:3 accordingly), cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Afterwards, turn the stove down and let it simmer for an hour. Strain the dyebath with a strainer and add the fabric. Let it simmer for 30 minutes or longer, depending on how deep you want the colours to be, before removing it with a tong. Place it in a bowl to cool down and once it’s cool to the touch, rinse the fabric under warm water before drying it in the shade.
Before you start on the dyebath, you’d first need to mordant your textiles. Most botanical dyes require a mordant to bond the colour to the fabric. There are a few options to choose from, but alum and iron are considered to be the safest mordant to use. Be sure to exercise caution, even for substances that are deemed “less harmful”.
If you wish to manipulate the colours of the dye (lighter, darker or change it entirely), you can sprinkle in a modifier to the dyebath or the afterbath. Examples of modifiers include white vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda.
It’s no doubt a lot of work, but it is a constant source of entertainment and well worth a little experimentation with your family members, especially the younger ones!
Last and not least, composting is an excellent way to get rid of organic and biodegradable material. It’ll be even better if you have your own mini garden, as you’d be repurposing your wilting bouquet to support a new life.
Instead of throwing a bouquet as soon as it ceases to show signs of vitality, try your hand at something new and repurpose it! Even wilted, these flowers can continue to add beauty and sometimes, utility and practicality to your home for a long time.