Dealing With An Overload Of Fresh Flowers After A Funeral? What Should You Do With These Arrangements?

If you've recently suffered the loss of a close relative, you may have been awed and humbled at the generosity of those showering expressions of sympathy upon your family, particularly when it comes to fresh flower arrangements from professional florists. You may be reluctant to leave these beautiful arrangements at the grave site, but at a loss as to where you should store them or what you should do after they've wilted. Fortunately, there are some heart-warming ways to pay this generosity forward, as well as some tips that can help you forever save certain flowers in memory of your relative. Read on to learn more about how you can give away (or keep) flower arrangements following a funeral.

Which organizations are in need of flower arrangements?

For those dealing with particularly large or elaborate flower arrangements, you may wish to donate them whole to a local nursing home or hospital that can use a large flower arrangement to brighten up a central gathering space. You could also opt to break these arrangements down into smaller vases and provide them to nursing homes to be given to patients who don't receive frequent visitors. Homeless shelters, food banks, foster care agencies, and even child care centers can benefit from exposure to bright, fragrant flowers, especially during dreary winter months.

What can you do to permanently preserve memorable arrangements?

In some cases, you may want to preserve a flower or set of flowers from a floral arrangement that is particularly close to your heart. With a few simple steps, you should be able to create a flawless dried flower arrangement that can be hung in a shadow box or even placed in a vase on an out-of-the-way shelf to provide peace and beauty year-round.

To successfully dry cut flowers, you'll need to begin when they're still in good shape -- drying a flower that has already begun to wilt will result in a wilted-looking dried bouquet. You'll also want to focus on more durable flowers -- those with tissue-thin leaves may not fare well during the drying process, while sturdy flowers like roses and carnations should hold their shapes well. Remove any excess leaves and arrange the petals, then hang the flower upside down in a cool, dark area (like the inside of a cabinet). You may be able to use a small drying rack or simply use string or tape to attach the ends of your flowers' stems to a shelf. After a few weeks, you'll be able to take these flowers down and handle them gently without worrying about breakage.