Pretty Pressed Flowers

My daughter has been learning all about plants, seeds and wild flowers during her remote science lessons with school. It has been lovely to see how much this has opened her eyes to spotting new things and noticing more of the beauty all around us.

During this lockdown period, we have been going on family walks around where we live. We are lucky to to be surrounded by lovely natural habits and plenty of greenery. A few weeks ago now we picked some different flowers on a walk . I also picked some bluebells from our garden as these are one of my favourite flowers and they are coming to the end of their season. I’ve since discovered that picking or digging up the bulbs of wild bluebells for financial gain isn’t allowed as they are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). This is why they are not sold in garden centres. Sometimes things are best left where they are to be enjoyed.

There are many creative ways to use pressed flowers. Once dried they should last for a reasonable length of time, especially if kept behind some glass to protect them from fading. I’ve seen them made into jewellery or drinks coasters and trays, although usually these are acrylic based Perspex. I like the idea of making bookmarks but the flower petals are quite delicate without putting them under sticky plastic.

Flowers we picked from the garden on a walk!

It’s so easy to press flowers, just carefully place them between some sheets of blotting paper sandwiched between corrugated card and heavy books or plywood planks screwed together like my flower press (below). Dry them out for 7-10 days somewhere warm like an airing cupboard. I have lovely childhood memories of putting flowers in-between books with a Yellow Pages (anyone else remember those??) on top and trying to put them out of reach. I used to love pressing flowers like this and eagerly waiting a week or so for the results.

I framed our flowers from the walk by recycling an old picture frame that was no longer needed. It’s feels good to be able to use something that would have otherwise been thrown out or left unused. I also added in pencil the date ‘May 2020’ as a reminder of when they were pressed. It will be interesting in a year’s time to look back at this post and be reminded of the this time in lockdown!

Sometimes in the quest for finding that perfect ‘eco’ gift we can overlook the simple things

I think they make a pretty little gift that doesn’t really cost anything to put together. My motivation for starting this blog wasn’t a drive to save money but to tackle the environmental impacts of buying single use plastics. This is an example of being thoughtful without having to spend. It’s an appreciation for the simple things sometimes without having to look too far.

I’ll have to be on the look out for more flowers in different colours and shades to put in my flower press, as the seasons change to create a display and record of nature’s simple beauty. The children will certainly enjoy this too!

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