At Home in Nature

  (Agate, Colorado)
TwoInTents Blog

Posts tagged [pressing]

Wildflower diary

The wildflowers are at their peak display right now as the world begins to prepare for the winter ahead.  You can preserve these colorful bits of summer by pressing them and preserving them in a botanical journal, homemade paper, potpourri, laminate them, or many other means of displaying them.

There are many tools for pressing flowers, and while I am sure they work well, none are so cheap as a big heavy book that you already own.  To press flowers with a book, first make sure it’s a book you won’t be wanting to read or use for several weeks.  Pick some flowers (more on this below).  Then place them between two paper towels.  You can skip the paper towels, but then you risk miscoloring the pages of the book or having the petals permanently stick to the book.  Carefully put the paper towel-flower sandwich in between the pages of the book so that you don’t bend or smash them.  You may need to put another heavy book or other weight on top of the book with the flowers in it to help them be flat.

When choosing flowers to press, you can sometimes press the whole thing and sometimes just the petals.  The thicker the flower, the harder it will be to press.  Whenever you think the flower may be too thick, you can simply remove the petals from the center and press them individually.  For example, snapdragons and violets can be pressed whole, but roses and daisies need to have their petals pressed individually.

Check on your flowers every week or so until they are fully dry.  If you don’t let them dry out all the way, they will likely get moldy in their display.

There are many ways you can display your flowers.  One fun and educational way is to make a botanical journal.  To do this, find a pretty blank journal to use, or make your own (you could even make your own paper).  Carefully glue each pressed flower onto every other page in the journal.  Then, around the glued flower and on the facing page, draw a sketch of the entire original plant it came from, describe the plant and identify what it is called, perhaps even write a poem or some thoughts about the plant or your adventures in finding it, or paste a photo of the plant.  Your journal can be quite a work of art!

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