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Cryogenics for flowers?

This is going to sound totally crazy, but bear with me.  Bouquet preservation is tres expensive.  I don't think simply drying the flowers and putting them in a picture box is very appealing (especially with the kind of flowers I'm using).  Then it hit me -- I saw these decorative centerpieces a few months ago that were just simple roses frozen in a block of ice.

Could you freeze your bouquet in a big block of ice...forever?  As long as it stayed frozen and it wasn't cracked in any way, it seems like it would work.  I know you're thinking, "Well, even if it does preserve it, who wants to store that in their freezer next to last week's meat loaf?" but I don't think it'd take up too much space (certainly not as much as one's wedding dress in the closet).

In theory, you could keep your bouquet for years and years and it would never wilt.  Your daughter could literally unfreeze it for her wedding day.  Does anyone know if something like this has been done before?  I'm tempted to buy a few flowers from the grocery store and do some experimenting.

Comments

( 22 raised glasses — toast the couple )
slythwolf
Mar. 7th, 2008 10:14 am (UTC)
I don't think you'd be able to unfreeze them and have them hold up.

However, you can have your bouquet freeze-dried and it will look fresh forever.
enchantedautumn
Mar. 7th, 2008 10:35 am (UTC)
Don't freeze-dried flowers feel strange and lose their smell? That's what I've been told, but I've never actually seen them.
lizzie
Mar. 7th, 2008 12:59 pm (UTC)
I got my bouquet freeze dried and put in a frame. I can't smell it, but I've never actually tried- they are enclosed in the frame, so I'd have to break it open to smell them.

When I got it freeze-dried, the woman offered to give me the leftover flowers (the ones that she had freeze-dried from a bridesmaid bouquet). I touched them, though I didn't keep them. They didn't feel strange- they felt different, but didn't crumble when I held them or anything.

You can see pictures of my experience here.
indianashottie
Mar. 7th, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC)
Your flowers look great!!! I am so stealing this idea for mine!
lizzie
Mar. 7th, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It was definitely worth the cost because it'll last forever!
azure_dragon
Mar. 7th, 2008 12:29 pm (UTC)
Warning, science geekery coming up!

The problem with freezing is that ice-crystals damage cells, resulting in tissue disintergrating when you thaw it out. Freeze-drying would solve this problem, but as pointed out above will damage tissue in other ways.

The only was to freeze and preserve a flower would be to submerge it in glycerol prior to freezing. Glycerol buffers cells against piercing ice crystals and means the flower will still be viable when you unfreeze it! This would be expensive and bulky, but technically it would work!
ladyzeugma
Mar. 7th, 2008 02:10 pm (UTC)
Seconded. I learned this the hard way trying to make frozen strawberries once. Just because something is frozen doesn't mean things aren't happening to it--like cell damage. Alton Brown once did a show on freeze drying at home. I think he used like a three pound block of dry ice in a cooler to freeze fruit before putting them in the freezer.
wint3rhart
Mar. 7th, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
This is what I want to try! I want angel food cake and fresh strawberries for our wedding cake in September, and AB says that if you flash-freeze the berries when they're in season, they unfreeze almost like fresh ones months later. He hasn't been wrong yet.. *crosses fingers*
ladyzeugma
Mar. 7th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
Awesome. Please let us know if it works!
jennofavalon
Mar. 7th, 2008 12:40 pm (UTC)
I guess its a good idea. my only thought is arent you perserving it so you can enjoy them visually? You wont see much of them if the are hidden in your freezer.
Just a thought.
good luck!
bravesfan425
Mar. 7th, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC)
It's the same as if you were to freeze a head of broccoli (without flash-freezing) and thaw it out - freezing breaks down some of the cellular structure, and the flowers (like the broccoli) would end up wilted and naaaaaaasty...
wint3rhart
Mar. 7th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
The only issue with that that I can think of, beyond the quality issues with the flowers themselves, is that unless you have a good deep or chest freezer and you bury the block of ice in sawdust or something similar, it won't -stay- frozen. Even ice cubes melt a little at a time in the freezer, simply because you can't keep the door closed all the time.

I admit that the desire for bouquet preservation is something I don't understand at all, though. What if your daughter doesn't want them for her wedding day? The sentiment is beautiful and all, but my mom's flowers did the job they were supposed to on her wedding day, and now I'd much rather have something that represents me. Anyway, I'm biased. Rant over. :)

Edited at 2008-03-07 03:33 pm (UTC)
wordupyo
Mar. 7th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)
I got a bouquet of roses a good 8 or 9 years ago. I sprayed them with hairspray, and they're still in the vase lookin' good. That's what I used to do with my corsages from proms as well.
littlelotte
Mar. 7th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
That's brilliant! Any special techniques, or just spray the flowers/stems? Aerosol hairspray, I assume?
wordupyo
Mar. 7th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
Nope, no special technique - just sprayed them all over with regular ol' hairspray.
I don't think they'd hold up to being used again or anything, but it kept them from wilting. They're dry and crunchy, but they still look pretty :)
silvenwolf
Mar. 7th, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)
Seconded. A bouquet of pink roses - the first bouquet my FH ever gave me, 6 years ago is still holding up, and all I did was spray hairspray on the leaves and the roseheads. Then hung them up to dry.

Mind you, they're a touch fragile, but they're still holding up! Even the color looks pretty decent.
indianashottie
Mar. 7th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
If you did choose to do this my concern would be what if there was a power outage from either a natural cause, construction, or just not paying your bill? Then the flowers would be unfrozen.

I bring this up because just yesterday, our neighbors are remodeling and one of their construction guys hit our power lines (they are buried wires) and no one noticed until FH and I got home 7 hours later. All of our food in the fridge was destoyed. Just food for thought.
geeksluvscience
Mar. 7th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
UGH.... nothing worse than a fridge full of smelly rotten food... it makes me gag...
redheadgirl783
Mar. 7th, 2008 04:39 pm (UTC)
i dpn't think they could be defrosted and used. what about freeze drying?
ampris2007
Mar. 7th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
That block of ice would look really cool, but...
Just as a heads up, freezing them may not be permanent...as a kid who tried to save snowballs and icicles in the freezer, I found that it just doesn't last; they end up slowly melting...
geeksluvscience
Mar. 7th, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
Re: That block of ice would look really cool, but...
Love your icon! CHOBITS!!!!
ssdksy
Mar. 8th, 2008 05:08 am (UTC)
you cant freeze flowers and defrost them later they die from too much cold as well. i dont know how it would be frozen in a block of ice but it def wont be useable after you defrost it
( 22 raised glasses — toast the couple )

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