Next Generation Science / Common Core Standards Addressed! CCSS.ELA Literacy. RST.11 ‐ 12.3 Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text. CCSS.ELA Literacy.RST.11 ‐ 12.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain ‐ specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11–12 texts and topics. Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain ‐ specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades11–12 texts and topics.
Bell Work / Student Objectives 1. Describe when and how to harvest everlasting flowers. 2. Explain the methods of preserving plant materials. 3. Describe designing with everlasting plant materials (dried and silk).
Interest Approach! Take a look at the flowers that I have brought in today. How do you think these flowers were made? Can you guess at how these flowers were preserved? What are some ways that these flowers could be used?
When and How Do You Preserve Plant Material to Be Used at a Later Date? Many materials can be collected at various times throughout the year such as grasses, pods and flowers. Ideal time is when these items are at their peak of color and shape. This varies from plant to plant. Be sure to catch the brightest color time because you will lose color during the drying process.
If materials are harvested too late, shattering may occur. Shattering is when the plant materials begin to break apart or the petals, seeds and other parts fall off. Best time is in the afternoon when there is little moisture present on the plant Dew or moisture could cause mold when it’s dried. Harvesting can be accomplished by using various cutting tools: knife, florist shears or pruning shears Cones & pods can be hand picked Collect flowers at different stages: buds, partially opened or fully opened will offer more variety.
Seasons for Collecting Plant Materials to be dried.
What Are Some of the Methods Used in Preserving Everlasting Materials? Trial and error are often the best ways to learn which method works best for each type of flower you harvest. For example, pine cones will require no additional treatment if harvested at the appropriate times. There are many different ways to dry flowers and plant materials.
Various Drying Techniques: Hanging method - (also called the hang dry method) is a method of collecting plant materials having low water content, bunching them together and hanging them upside down to dry. Flowers with high amounts of moisture will wrinkle when dried. Works well with annuals and perennials. Very easy method requiring few materials. Hang items in a dark closet that is airy, warm and dry.
A variation of the hanging method is the use of chicken wire / metal racks to help flower petals dry in a flat position. Use on flowers such as gaillardia, zinnia or coreopsis. Place stems into chicken wire, resting the flower heads on top. Sometimes placing the stems in water can slow the process by increasing the amount of water available. This will let them dry slowly often preserving their bright colors.
Covering method - is a method that uses a drying agent to maintain the shape of the flower as it dries. Drying agents, also called desiccants, are agents that draw the moisture out of flowers & leaves. Silica sand is one of the most common agents; White builder’s sand. Silica gel is a crystalline form of silica sand and changes color when saturated with water. Both can be used over and over. Borax, borax with corn meal or kitty litter can also be used but only once.
Desiccants are usually placed in pans or boxes. Two-dimensional flowers are placed down on the desiccant. Three-dimensional flowers are placed upright, stem first on the desiccant. Flowers can be dried with normal air drying or speeded up by heating in a microwave oven. Flower should be placed in an oven proof dish and heated on high for 2 to 4 minutes; Cool overnight. Heating time depends on the flowers.
Glycerinizing - preserves foliage & filler flowers by using a glycerin and water solution; It is transported naturally by the xylem of the plant. Allows the plant to remain pliable and flexible. Dyes may be added to enhance color. Potpourri - is a scented mixture of dried petals, flowers, buds, leaves, spices, fragrance oils and a fixative. Fixatives, such as powdered orris root or fragrance crystals, are necessary to hold or fix the scent for an extended period of time.
Pressing plant materials is a very old preservation technique Flowers & foliages are carefully placed between absorbent paper to flatten and preserve them in a two- dimensional form. They can be used to decorate stationary, bookmarks or picture frames. You can use a plant press, phone books and newspapers.
Freeze drying - a commercial method of freezing flowers first before drying them. Flowers placed in a large refrigerated vacuum chamber. Moisture is removed from the plant tissue. These flowers look very natural and hold their color well. Only drawback is that it is a very expensive procedure. These flowers were freeze dried.
How Does Designing With Everlasting Materials Differ From Designing With Fresh Flowers? When designing everlasting plant materials, materials that last for a significantly longer time period than fresh materials, designers use the same principles and elements of design. The mechanics and specific techniques are slightly different. Materials are often glued, taped or wired into place.
Stems may be lengthened or manipulated in various shapes Important principles in designing with everlastings: Lengthen a stem by using flower wire and tape or a wooden pick. Heavy wire can be glued to the flower or attached in a daisy hook method then taped. A wooden pick is a narrow pointed piece of wood that can be attached with glue and used as a stem as well.
A pick machine, a machine that attaches a metal pick to a stem, is used to ease stem placement into floral foam. Dried stems from other plants may be attached to short stems using floral tape. To save time, several flower, fillers and leaves can be attached to one stem. Pick machine
When designing with everlastings, it is important to position leaves and petals so they look natural. Leaves should appear growing and not wilted and the stem may be slightly curved to look real in appearance. Unfurl the petals and stage the flowers to look partially and fully opened. Floral foam specifically for silk and dried arranging is available. An everlasting arrangement.
Floral foam should be secured to the container using glue or wire. Spanish moss or sheet moss is used to cover the foam and hide the mechanics. It will give a more natural appearance. Secure the moss with either a little glue or greening pins. Secure the flower stems in the foam by dipping them in melted glue. A melting glue pan is excellent for this.
Be sure the design doesn’t look flat; Can be accomplished by using layering. Layering is the process of placing some flowers deeper than other within the arrangement. Arrangements need to be cleaned from time to time by slight dusting with a lightweight feather duster, commercial spray or a quick blast from a hair dryer on a low setting.
Summary When is the best time to harvest flowers for drying? Describe shattering. What kinds of tools should you use to harvest flowers? Describe the hanging method. What is a desiccant? And what method would you use this with? Which method leaves the flowers in a pliable, flexible state?
Summary Continued What is the oldest method of preserving flowers? What is an everlasting flower? How can the stem of a flower be extended? What do you cover the floral foam with when designing with everlastings?