Do you remember pressing flowers as a child, the dried petals turning up years later between the pages of favourite books?
Pressing flowers is a great way to help children identify plants and to encourage creative play. In a world with so many plastic children’s toys, it’s a relief to get out the wooden flower press or tissue paper and books and fill them with natural garden materials.
A couple of weeks ago we searched our garden for spring flowers of as many shapes and colours as we could find, identifying each as we went along. A handful of pink aubretia and delicate violets were found growing wild in the lawn along with the queen of spring, the primrose. Now, as I look out of the window, these early flowers are joined by creamy Purissima tulips, snowy plum blossom and the first sign of my new auriculas unfurling their tiny flowers.
The kids like pressing flowers because it is such an easy activity – children of any age can get involved. My son told me he likes to see the changes that take place between pressing the petals in a book and uncovering them several weeks later. My daughter is currently making presents for her birthday party guests, and decided to use the pressed flowers to decorate bookmark keepsakes. The activity only took a few minutes as she glued the petals onto some card and added some extra flourishes with colouring pens, but I’m hoping the knowledge and love of flowers will stay with my kids throughout their lives.