I remember putting flowers in books as a child to press them. It was always fun to discover them months later, perfectly preserved.
Last year a visit to Kew Gardens and its beautiful galleries (Marianne North Gallery and the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art) reminded me of this childhood hobby. I decided it would be something fun to do with the children and bought a flower pressing kit.
In spring 2015 we chose a dry afternoon to pick some flowers to press. It must have been early May because flowers like the honey suckle are no where to be seen in early April. A few months later we made bookmarks and key rings with the dried flowers. It was fun, apart from the children arguing who should have what flowers.
The results have faded over time, but I decided to try again. There’s not much choice in the garden at present. All we could find were plum blossom, rosemary flowers and a few tiny pink heather flowers. We’ve put them in the press and just need to remember to tightened it every now and then. We can also add more layers as the flowers bloom in the garden.
Flower pressing can be a fun project as long as you remember to collect several of each flower so there are no arguments! The smaller and thinner the petals, the better they will be preserved. Big fleshy blooms don’t press well, and be careful of your colour choice. We chose a vibrant red bell flower which as you can see from the picture of the bookmark above has turned a horrible shade of brown. Stick to paler colours.
Rosemary is my favourite herb. I love the tiny delicate blue flowers and the contrast against its dark green foliage. I can’t resist stroking my hand across the plants whenever I see them and releasing that pungent aroma. The name Rosemary holds memories from childhood as I had a pink toy rabbit I named Rosemary. And its also the title of one of my all time favourite Foo Fighter song from their brilliant album, Wasting Light Dear Rosemary (this is the first time I’ve seen their video and its a little weird, but that’s what I expect from the Foo’s).
I’ve never used my rosemary plants, so I decided it was time to try something new. I researched different methods of drying these woody herbs and chose to air dry rather than in the oven. I’ve yet to find a proper hanging space, but for now above my desk will do perfectly. It’s out of direct sunlight and I can enjoy looking at as I listen to the Foo Fighters.
Once the plant has dried, I’ll have to research how to use it. I can’t let this beauty go to waste.
Tomorrow it’s back to writing and some editing tips.
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