Things to do with fall flowers
Fall is a very flowery time. The gardens in our area are bright with marigolds, zinnias, dahlias, cone flowers, salvia, and chrysanthemums. My favorite fall wildflowers are tiny delicate asters (white, lavender, or deep purple) and goldenrod, which sometimes grows taller than I am and fills entire fields with gold-yellow feathers.
Knowing that winter promises a long frozen desert without any flowers at all, I always look for ways to save the flowers I love. Here are some ideas:
I love to press flowers and leaves. Lay your flowers – flat and facedown – between layers of newspaper or another type of unglazed paper. Place the layers in a flower press or under a heavy object (or a pile of heavy books) to keep them flat. Let the flowers dry for two weeks. You can preserve flowers for years with this method. After you remove the flowers for display, keep them out of direct sunlight so they don't fade. Spraying the flowers with hairspray or clear floral spray will strengthen them.
Use pressed flowers to decorate bookmarks, cards, or note paper, or make a collage to frame. Just apply a little white glue to the back of a pressed flower to place it permanently.
It’s great fun to pound flowers. Place a piece of fabric or rough watercolor paper on a board. Put flower heads, leaves, and grasses face down in an arrangement that you like. Cover the flowers with several layers of paper towels. Then use a hammer to pound the flowers flat. When you remove the paper towels, you’ll see surprising colors (not always the color of your flowers) and a wonderful design.
Note: Your designed fabric can’t be washed without ruining the design.
Push flowers into clay
It’s fun to add a natural design to any clay project simply by pushing flowers, leaves, and grasses into the soft clay and then removing them. This is a great way to enhance a clay bowl or cup or even just a slab of clay. You can paint the clay too after pressing a design into your project.
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Toni Albert, M.Ed., is an award-winning author of more than 40 books. Her lifelong love for nature, children, and books inspired her to commit her publishing business, Trickle Creek Books, to “teaching kids to care for the Earth.”