Hobby Riding

This holds in the moisture and protects the wearer's clothes. Flowers and leaves are grouped according to fancy, and the whole thing is bound together with tape.

Very good little corsage kits may be purchased. They include all necessary materials, instruction booklets, and some­times such extras as little plastic bracelets to hold wrist cor­sages, combs for wearing flowers in the hair, and little lapel vases.

The preservation of fresh flowers to retain both natural color and form has been the object of much experimentation in garden circles. One pioneer in this process has called it "drying plants in three dimensions."

Many materials with moisture-absorption qualities have been tried out. Ordinary laundry borax has proved to be one of the best, and is most frequently used. Some experts prefer a mixture of one part borax to six parts white cornmeal. Others think results are best with equal parts of borax and white cornmeal.

One of the first materials used, it might be noted, was fine white beach sand, sifted, washed and dried in the oven. This is reasonably satisfactory for certain flowers like zinnias and pansies, and a child might experiment with this medium first. A mixture of white sand and borax is also used occasionally. However, borax, or borax and cornmeal, really gives superior results.

Whatever preserving medium is chosen, the process is quite simple. The perfection of the finished flowers depends mainly on the care, deftness and judgment used in handling them. Briefly, the procedure is this:

1. Select flowers just out of the bud stage, free from moisture. Strip leaves off stems.
2.Wiring the stems comes next. This is not always essen tial, but it does make them more maneuverable and amenable to graceful arrangement. With flowers like zinnias and mari golds a fine florist's wire can be pushed up through the center of the flower, brought back with a hairpin turn, and pulled down firmly so it will not show. This double wire is then twisted to make a single pliable stem-substitute. With other flowers wire can be run through the base of the blossom, doubled back, and twisted together. After the flowers are dried the wire stems should be wound with green florist's tape.
3.Cover the bottom of a box with at least an inch of borax, or other drying material. Flowers with stems left on, or those with wired stems, are placed face-down on this, one at a time, and carefully covered. I like to hold the blossom face-up in one hand first and work borax between the petals, then quickly flip it upside down on the other hand and gently lower it to the bed of borax.

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