Want to preserve flowers? It's simple, use glycerine
There are several methods of preserving flowers, foliage and seed-heads in the garden for later use in the house during winter season and such small efforts can reap excellent rewards.The first and, almost, the easiest method of preserving leaves and sprays of leaves is known as the glycerine method.
Make a solution by taking glycerine and warm water (Warm water mixes easily with glycerine than cold water) in 1:2 ratio. A solution of one part glycerine in two parts warm water. (Warm water mixes easily than cold water with glycerine) should be made. Pour the solution in a wide-necked jar or bucket till a height of four inches and place stems, sprays and foliage that need to be preserved in that. Sprays and foliage of hard-stemmed trees like beech, magnolia rhododendron and soap nut should be picked by the end of July (when the leaves are full and hard) as the saps are still rising and thus can absorb more moisture. If left until the sap gets back to the roots, the absorption will not be good and therefore, the preservation will not be successful. It will help if the ends of the stems are split till about an in to allow easy absorption. Leave them in the solution for two weeks. The leaves will either turn transparent or become golden brown. Take out and dry them on a newspaper. Remember, they should not be put into water at any time once they are preserved. Grasses, sprays of black berry, wild roses and ivy and small shrubs can also be preserved in this manner.CHITRA RADHAKRISHNAN