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What other craft, readily available to everybody, is such a joy to pursue? Anyone can take up the art of pressed flowers, and be successful at it too, because stunning effects are so easy to create. The rich variety of nature's shapes, colours and textures are just waiting to be used.

The Art of Pressed flowers

Sample Pages


Golden Pheasant

This spectacular picture of a pheasant shows off to best advantage every one of the beautiful pressed flowers and leaves of which it is comprised, especially the sweet William petals that make up the breast plumage.

         1 Sweet william petals
         2 Foxglove leaf
         3 Alstroemeria petals
4 Hypericum petal
         5 Hypericum stamens
         6 Dianthus petals
         7 Ox-eye daisy petals
         8 Buttercups
         9 Yorkshire fog grass heads
         10 Mugwort young leaves
         11 Perennial cornflower petals
         12 Elder flower and part of foxglove petal

Sweet williams often have beautiful dark crimson, white-edged petals, but they are too chunky to be pressed entire. Pressed separately, the petals make perfect fluffy feathers.

     First draw the outline of the pheasant on a separate piece of paper and use it as a guide to try out petals for size and fit. Black cardboard or mountboard gives dramatic contrast, but you may find that the buttercups have become too translucent to show up against the background. If so, cut the shape of the bird's mantle out of thin white paper and stick this in place first, as a base for the flowers.

     Position the sweet william petals, beginning at the tail end so that they overlap naturally. Above them place the ox-eye daisy and dianthus petals, and the grass tail, overlapped by the alstroemeria petals. Now paste the foxglove leaf in place, and add the head and trimmings.

     Select suitable unfolded young mugwort leaves for the feet and legs. You may need to trim them to shape with scissors.



Almost any slender stem can, of course, be kept in case of need, even if not wanted for its leaves or flowers. Grass stems too can serve as flower stems in stiffly formal bunches if that is what you need. But when making floral arrangements and hanging sprays which twine, in fact, there is often no need to provide a supporting or linking stem at all. While a free-standing flower arrangement naturally cannot stand without supporting stems, you are not bound by any such restriction, and each flower or leaf can follow another quite naturally without actually having to link up. Even if you leave a gap between them, it will not look odd, provided their positioning is logical. The viewer's aesthetic eye effectively fills in the gaps.

Mixing and Matching

Many flowers that look delicately beautiful when growing and entire, like the yellow snapdragon-heads of toadflax, squash sadly into a shapeless mess if pressed indiscriminately. For the larger flowers that behave like this, it may be better to dissect them and press the parts separately. By mingling petals and parts from different flowers, and leaves and flowers from different plants, you will be making up new flowers and new plants in a way that a botanist, or a dedicated botanical artist, would probably find shocking. But this is your own freestyle impressionism, and it is particularly satisfying to have produced a beautiful picture with exquisite flowers, none of which actually exists in nature, and which owe their beauty both to nature's art and to your own skill.

Good "mixing" flowers are always valuable lawn daisies, for instance. Larger flowers of the daisy type, such as the ox-eye, are  seldom  heavily petalled enough to overlap any other material without the latter showing through.


If you go to the trouble of having the best of your pictures framed, they will look absolutely right hung on the wall, whether in cosy suburbia, a country cottage, or a magnificent stately home. They will take their place among the elite, and compare favourably even with the most admired antique flower paintings by old masters.

How can they fail to please, for they will possess all the grace and beauty of nature herself.

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