Flowering plants have a greater potential for use than sitting in your planter or garden space. There are many activities and crafts that utilize flowers as a medium or a component. These activities allow you to extend the enjoyment of your investment and to expand your creativity, giving your flowers a life beyond the confines of the garden.
Certain flowers provide an unusual flavor and offer an interesting addition to the dining experience. Edible flowers include chive, nasturtium and bee balm, which can be added directly to dishes, used to make teas or frozen in ice cubes. Edible flowers can be prepared in a number of ways from using sugar and egg to candy violets and pansies to stuffing and cooking of squash blossoms, while some flowers are used directly as toppings for preparations from savory dishes to sweets and cakes.
Drying flowers allows you to preserve the memory and beauty of blooming plants. There are several drying methods available to fit blossoms of varying size, as well as their intended use. According to Iowa State University’s Reiman Gardens, flowers should be gathered in the morning and then hanged upside down in a well-ventilated area, away from light. The University of Missouri Extension suggests choosing blossoms that have not fully opened for best results. Dried specimens can be used to create potpourri or dried flower arrangements or used in crafts such as wreathmaking. Blooms can be pressed between the pages of a book to dry flat. Small flowers dry particularly well in this manner. They may then be traded as keepsakes or laminated to make bookmarks, a simple but engaging craft for children.
Flower arranging is a craft to some, an art form to others. Whether you arrange informal groupings for home decoration or study one of the many schools of the Japanese art of ikebana, arrangements brings a flash of color into your living space. Practitioners express their creativity through flower selection, color, texture, shape and height. Arrangements make lovely gifts, serve as decorative showpieces and enable gardeners to bring a piece of the outdoors inside to cheer a room or broadcast a pleasant scent.