Project #165 – Pressed Flowers

I have weird, mixed feelings about picking flowers that go back to getting scolded for taking flowers from a neighbor’s yard at the age of four. What? They were just sitting there in the open! On the one hand, flowers are pretty, and on the other hand, I might get yelled at for picking them! OMG! Even when picking wild flowers belonging to no one from the side of the road here I tend to wait until right before a big storm because the flowers are going to get destroyed, anyway. Please, don’t yell at me.

Still, I really like having little vases of flowers to look at. And when the flowers get a little tired I like pressing them because then I can keep them for-EVAH, and also because I am a hundred years old.

Not all pressing flowers are created equal. The best ones have dry, almost woody stems like daisies, roses or lavender, or tiny, compact flowers like queen anne’s lace or yarrow. Flowers with fleshy stems or really delicate petals don’t work so well. Tropical flowers are also tough to press and dry; they almost always completely lose their color. My favorites come from mountain meadows. If you live anywhere near the Bear Tooth Mountains in Montana this is the ideal time of year to hit the fields above the tree line and pick some flowers that press beautifully and keep their color.

The only equipment needed to press flowers is a fat, heavy book and several others to place on top.

I like to clip the stems off of my flowers, but it’s not required. I also like to place my flowers between a piece of paper to keep the pollen from staining my book. The book is going to absorb moisture from your cuttings, so it’s better to only place a few on each page at a time and space the flower arrangements apart by a 50-100 pages or so.

Pressing only takes a week. The flowers will be delicate and will lose their color if they get too much sunlight, but with the proper care they will last a lifetime.

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