Pressing garden flowers 2020

Many garden flowers are suitable for pressing

In my previous post I mentioned that my pressed flower suppliers for daisyshop.co.uk were retiring. So I have spent the summer experimenting with pressing flowers from around the garden.

I found that going out into the garden every day was a brilliant way to stay in touch with nature, which I think is good for mental health. As the seasons changed, the flowers available changed too, and I looked more closely at the flowers and leaves.

fennel flowers yellow umbels
Fennel flowers in my garden – the yellow umbels (foreground) can be split into florets for pressing

There are other posts in this blog about DIY flower pressing and how to press flowers, but here is a list of some successes and failures if you’re looking for some blooms to try, or some to avoid.

monarda florets can be pressed
Monarda florets can be pressed separately although the whole head is too big

Flowers and leaves for pressing

didiscus florets for pressing
Didiscus florets for pressing

This year I’ve had successes pressing the following flowers:

  • Ammi florets – pretty white umbels
  • Viola – I love the faces of these cottage garden flowers
  • Salvia – the velvety blooms press well when separated from the calyx
  • Fennel florets – little yellow umbels
  • Didiscus florets – this is a blue umbel with individual tiny blue flowers that each look a little like a forget-me-not
  • Feverfew – little yellow and white daisies
  • Monarda florets
  • Mirabilis – these are brightly coloured trumpets
  • Hardy geraniums – simple flowers in shades of pink and purple
geraniums ready for pressing
Geraniums ready for pressing
pink geranium in flower press
Pink geraniums in the flower press
feverfew ready to press
Feverfew ready to press
mirabilis flowers
Mirabilis flowers come up in my veg patch every year

Successes from previous years at home and from my suppliers include:

  • Small fuchsias
  • Single roses
  • Delphinium florets
  • Daisies – marguerite and lawn
  • Gypsophila
  • Sea lavender
  • Lavender
  • Hydrangea florets
  • Lobelia
  • Verbena
  • Potentilla
  • Small tagetes
pressed ammi salvia didiscus viola fennel
A few pressed flowers from my garden: white ammi, purple salvia, tiny didiscus, viola and fennel

I’ve also been pressing leaves – these are broadly ferny in appearance:

  • Corydalis
  • Fern
  • Maidenhair vine
  • Achillea
  • Tagetes

From past experience these leaves are also good:

  • Clematis
  • Acer
  • Silverweed
  • Rose
  • Herbs such as rosemary, sage, wormwood and bay
pressed herbs daisyshop
Packs of pressed herbs from my old suppliers

Plant material to avoid

Generally speaking anything that doesn’t look great when you pick it will only look worse once pressed! But here are some more tips:

  • Light green or yellow foliage discoloured when I pressed it – examples are Lysimachia (creeping jenny) and gold shrubby honeysuckle (a Lonicera variety)
  • Jasmine leaves discoloured
  • Herb robert and pelargonium leaves discoloured
  • Fat flowers are likely to go moldy rather than dry flat. This year I tried pressing monarda – the whole head was too fat, but pulling each little floret away to dry separately worked well – they look like little birds.
  • Sometimes white and pale flowers will discolour – roses vary according to variety, and I haven’t had much luck with white or pale pink jasmine flowers.
pressed herb robert leaves corydalis
Pressed herb robert leaves (left) discoloured during the process; corydalis leaves (right) were more successful

Buy pressed flowers online

My own pressed flowers will become available in the next few months as the old stock sells through, so look out for Sussex pressed flowers at daisyshop.co.uk

pressed potentilla flowers daisyshop
Pressed potentilla flowers from my old suppliers

I have also been experimenting with pressing flowers that have previously been dried. Stems of dried flowers can be dampened before pressing. These will be available too.

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