Wildflower Hunting (and pressing)

One of my nature goals this year is to learn more about our local wildflowers. I want to be able to ID them easily, learn more about their history and uses, and get accustom to their timing in the seasons.

With that in mind I have been on a wildflower hunt this spring, seeking out the spots where I know specific flowers grow to check on their timing, and watch their development from leaf, to bud, to flower, and beyond.

forget me not-1forget me not

goldthread-1goldthread

IMG_5384-1wild strawberry

bluet -1bluet

Flower purple-1creeping veronica (not wild but so adorable)

IMG_5358-1blueberry blossoms

I have also started gathering them to press!

spring wildflowers 2-1

flowers to press 2-1

While I dream of someday having one of those large wooden flower presses with a beautiful botanical design etched into the top, I am realizing that it would be largely decorative because I am much more effective simply using large books I picked up for a dollar at the nature center sale. (That fact that they are old bird books give me bonus points, right?)

Flower press books-1

It is easy to add more flowers to a book without disturbing what I have already added, and what could be more simple than opening a page mid-book and arranging a few flowers between pieces of paper? It might not be the most effective way to “properly” press a flower, but if I find a bulky flower press with four screws to undo, and nuts and bolts to keep track of, disruptive to the process then I might never press any flowers. And, I find that when the kids want to press something, it is very simple to grab one of the big bird books we have designated as press books and let them press away.

This book method also allows for easy access to check on the drying process without the task of unscrewing the whole press.

As I type this I feel like maybe I am just being lazy, but nature study is about learning and having fun with nature, and if I find something is even somewhat irritating (and I have another way to go about accomplishing it) why not choose an easier alternative, keeping it fun, and progress toward a goal?

This is nothing new; I know people have been pressing plants in books for many moons, but sometimes we need reminders to keep it simple and not feel like we need special tools and gadgets to accomplish a goal.

Have you been pressing any flowers this spring?

Do you love your flower press to pieces or are you a book person like me?

Happy Exploring!

~ Dawn

10 thoughts on “Wildflower Hunting (and pressing)

  1. tamara says:

    I think it would be neat to make a press with the boys – maybe wood burn a pattern on the top! But yes, unscrewing it all seems like such a hassle! We use a phone book because, really, what else would you possibly use a phone book for? 😉

    I also often bring along my Wildflowers of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island book. It’s categorized into seasons and has colour images. Lovely. :)

    • Dawn says:

      Right! The phone book!
      I would love to see that book. Have I shown you the NS wildflowers book I bought myself for my birthday? I will bring it Friday.

      • tamara says:

        Ah, I saw the book in your hands on Friday and totally forgot to ask. K, next time we meet we shall bring the books to show each other. 😉

  2. Natalie says:

    Beautiful! I used to love making greeting cards for friends and family with pressed flowers but we seem to have lost our presses over the years. Definitely inspired by your post to have a go again :)

    • Dawn says:

      Great, Natalie!
      I have some thoughts on making some things with the ones I don’t put in my journal.
      Be sure to post a link back here if you post about your pressing adventures! I would love to see!

  3. Andrea says:

    Beautiful pictures! I don’t think you’re lazy…just practical. Another thing that works well is old (or not so old) phone books. They already have absorbent paper, so you could be even more practical and skip that step (sticky notes would be ideal…but I usually don’t bother and then lose my pressings within the pages…talk about lazy).

    • Dawn says:

      Ha! Do you find that the ink from the phonebook comes off on the lighter flowers?
      Fionna has a love affair with post it notes so I am sure I could persuade her to help with that part!

  4. Fiona Morris says:

    Lovely post! I have a small press, but rarely use it. Instead, I tuck flowers and foliage into my notebooks, diary, journal, whatever I happen to be carrying with me. If I have a few to press, I tend to layer between newspaper and larger heavier books, fictionaries, atlases etc. More spontaneous and get surprises when I open pages I haven’t for a while and a pressed plant pops out to greet me. Feel inspired to do more pressing now, thank you :)

    • Dawn says:

      Yes, Fiona! The best press is the one you have with you!
      Thanks!
      If you share your pressed flowers please share the link to your post here. I would love to see!

  5. Sarah Shotts says:

    Many belated thanks for linking up! The internet gremlins ate my link up last month, but we’re back on schedule for this Friday! I’ll be featuring your post this month.

    I have a flower press, but often find myself just sticking flowers in books as well. The flowers in the press are from the first bouquet my husband ever gave me. I’ve been saving them to make into some kind of necklace, but haven’t done it yet.

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