We found that the new Hobby Lobby in Rice Lake carries silica get for drying these beauties. I bought two of the largest packs to get started. I'll be getting more, because I had only enough for two 9 by 13 containers or one layer of blooms. In my excitement in opening the first package to pour into the container, I poured too quickly and lost a handful of the perfectly round balls of it onto the table. They rolled and rolled off the table, across the floor. Sweeping them with the broom wasn't over successful and I had to vacuum them, ultimately.
I chose the nicest, more brilliant blooms for my first batch. I cut the stem off right below the flowers and laid them in a bed of the drying gels. Then I poured the silica gently around the flowers until they were completely submersed in the sand. After one week we shall see. I hope I will pour the sand off and lift the dried flowers out, completely preserved for our enjoyment for months to come. I will spray them with an acrylic spray to finish them nicely.
The summer before Jenny was married she planted rows of flowers to use for her wedding the following February. She had visions in her head, I suppose, and decided to make them reality. I had no idea when she started what it was she saw, but did my best to help her make those rows of flowers produce blooms. It was not an expensive venture and it had promise if it would work. They did turn out beautifully for her wedding flowers. She had boxes of dried flowers stuffed under the bed and in her closet all those months from fall after the frost until February.
Nobody's getting married around here this winter and I won't have nearly as many as she did, but maybe there'll be a few to put into Thanksgiving and Christmas swags and garlands.