Sunday, June 08, 2008


Many of the beautiful florals are in bloom in the garden. They create a colorful landscape which I always enjoy when I look out the windows.

We have several varieties so there are blooms from early spring until the final frost. I love clipping them and pressing them for use in my art.

Tracie Lyn gave me a wonderful botanist press last year and I keep it full of the finds from my garden and my adventures in the country.

Whenever I see wildflowers along the country roads I stop to gather a few to include in my botanical treasures.

If you want to start collecting your own florals for pressing here are a few tips that I have learned along the way:

Gather your treasures in the early afternoon. If you gather in the morning there may be too much moisture that makes drying them difficult and may create mold. If gathering the florals in the evening the blossoms may be partially closed as many florals close their petals at night.

Don't gather florals immediately following rain. Too much moisture will create mold.

Gather the florals when the plants are in full bloom. Waiting too long may result in the blossoms losing petals and not being at their maximum beauty.

Keep a sack and pair of scissors in the car. I'm always ready to gather florals as I take a drive in the country. Driving down the country roads I frequently see wild flowers growing along the creeks and roadways.

Try pressing any florals. I have learned that sometimes when I think a certain flower may not press well, I may be mistaken. I have pressed some of these beauties and found that frequently they are the best. Never discard the prospect of pressing blooming weeds. I did several last year and they pressed beautifully.

Purchase a newsprint tablet when on sale and keep it handy. Frequently I find the newsprint tablet on sale for 30-40% off at Hobby Lobby. I buy a couple so I always have plenty when I want to press florals or leaves.

Purchase a good botanist's press. I started out using books and stacking several so there was plenty of weight to press the florals tightly. Went to a small 8 inch x 8 inch press and graduated to the wonderful press Tracie gave me! I suggest that you jump straight to a botanist press. It is well worth the money!

Experiment with ways to use the pressed treasures. I am always looking for ways to include these treasures in my artwork. These give you a natural medium to include in your work so you can get a true piece of nature look.

Press leaves also. Be sure not to overlook the variety of leaves you have in the garden. Press some in the spring, summer and the fall. All the various shapes, sizes and colors make a lovely addition to you collage creations. Shrubs have unusual and beautiful follage.

Have fun! If you have a child or grandchild they love helping gathering the treasures. This is a great outdoor activity that also is learning time. It s a super opportunity to teach the names of the florals and trees.

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