Garden Therapy Notes

 A Collection of Gardening Information and Inspiration



 December 31, 2012


The Art of Flower Pressing




 Botanical Prints




Pressing flowers is a great activity because it allows you to give your attention to the finer details of the flowers that live around you. These finer details that are attractive to you can be preserved and their beauty shared with others creatively.  



Making A Plant Press:


1. If you can get your hands on a couple of plywood boards, drill holes in each corner that will fit bolts and wing nuts. The length of the bolt should be fairly long so that you can fit a good number of layers of flowers into the press (more on this below).

Flower Presser


2. You will need an even number of blotting paper (or newspaper - something that will absorb moisture from the plants) and the same number of corrugated cardboard cut to a size that will fit nicely inside the area between your drilled holes.  The paper will be layered inside your plant press, so the amount that can fit between your press depends on the length of your bolts.



Using Your Plant Press:


1. Place your bottom piece of plywood on a table with the 4 bolts in place so that they are sticking straight upwards. Place a piece of cardboard on top of this first piece of plywood followed by a sheet of blotting paper. Arrange your chosen fresh flowers on top of this last sheet making sure that none of the plants are touching each other (otherwise they will stick to each other). 


Pressed Flowers In Flower Presser



2. When the blotting paper is filled with flowers, put another piece of blotting paper on top of your flowers followed by a piece of cardboard. You’ve made a pressed flower sandwich! 

3. If you would like to add another layer of pressed flowers, place another sheet of blotting paper on top of your last piece of cardboard and arrange another layer of chosen flowers to press. 


4. Repeat from step 2 until you are satisfied with the amount of flowers you’ve pressed. Remember, the maximum height you can layer your sandwiches is less than the length of your bolts. 


5. Your final layers should be a piece of blotting paper followed by a piece of cardboard. Place the second piece of plywood on top and screw the wing nuts onto your bolts. 


pressed flowers


6. The amount of time it takes for your flowers to press depends on the thickness of your plants. On average, it takes at least a few weeks for flowers to dry. 



Some tips: 


Impatiens flowers are not the greatest to press as they tend to get mushy after being pressed.


Whole roses and carnations are sometimes too thick and bulky but the individual petals can be pressed. 


I’ve had great success pressing flowers from bouquets including baby's breath, leather leaf fern, carnation petals and rose petals. From the garden I was able to press cedar, hydrangea, scilla, snapdragons and pansies. 


When your flowers are dry, you can store them in a shoebox with silica gel packages to wick away any moisture they might re-absorb.  



Written By: Lea Tran

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