Dried flower stems can be pressed flat
When I heard that our pressed flower supplier was retiring, I looked into ways to extend our range. In a recent post I talked about pressing garden flowers, but it also occurred to me that some dried flower stems from my shop might also be useful.
Small flowers and dried grasses
The best dried material to press has to be smallish so it can press flat. By trial and error I found that it’s best to sandwich the plant matter between damp pages. This allows brittle items to soften slightly before drying again in place. If you wet the item directly it can cause problems with fibres clumping together, especially with grasses.
Dried flowers to press
I found that dried gypsophila and sea lavender both coped well with being pressed. Lavender was OK but almost too resistant to pressing – it always ends up slightly 3D! Looking at my shop’s list of dried flower bunches, I suspect most will be too big – I think anything that’s approaching a centimetre front to back is unlikely to dry flat enough. Statice dumosa was borderline in this regard, and glixia didn’t really work. I think Solidago (goldenrod) might be OK but haven’t tried it yet.
Dry flowers to try
- Gypsophila flowers
- Sea lavender and caspia
- Solidago (golden rod)
- Lavender stems
Dried grasses to press
Amongst the grasses, I think anything with a narrow stem should be OK, so I’m ruling out setaria, wheat, lagurus and phalaris. I think barley and oats would be borderline for the same reason as lavender above. I have had success with individual stems of agrostis, stipa and panicum – you could even try it with dyed stems I guess.
Dry grass varieties to try
- Agrostis (flowering grass)
- Stipa (feather grass)
- Panicum (panic grass)
I haven’t tried pampas or miscanthus but I guess they’d work too if you used small enough pieces.
Other dry botanicals to press
Other things to try – most seed pods are too woody to press. I think dried foliage should be successful – I did attempt using bleached ruscus, but it was already quite flat so the result didn’t seem enough of an improvement!
Find out more about how to press flowers.
Hopefully some of the successful pressed dried grasses and flowers will be available at daisyshop.co.uk to purchase later in 2021.