Saturday, 13 September 2014

A Pickled Jardin

Hydrangea: July / September
This morning was deemed the last chance to get flowers for vases from the garden. I spent the spring and summer telling Sadie and Holly to stop picking them and promising that I'd let them do some flower-arranging when the autumn came and the flowers were dying off anyway. We brought the vases outside and got the scissors going. I was basically in charge of getting rid of earwigs while the two experts worked on making sure they each got exactly the same amount of flowers. Great results with the help of Fluttershy and friends and lovely to have the colour in the hall.

Persicaria: July / September
We pressed some leftovers then and I remembered the flowers I had
pressed back in July. My initial idea was to press them and frame some and maybe use one or two in personalised paintings. However, when I saw them I thought I had to do something more with at least some of them. They looked lovely framed and I am definitely going to do this again, I think they'd make lovely presents with the name of the pressed flower and the year written on them. My sister, Averil, gave me two giant pickle jars a while back and I had been thinking about what I could use them for, there are so many options. I have painted jars and bottles with glass paints before and used them as candle holders and I also considered attempting sealed bottle gardens for Sadie and Holly or planting beans in them to watch them sprout. When I saw the pressed flowers I had an idea that I hadn't considered before and it is one that, if I didn't like the end result I'd still have the jars to use for something else.

 I sprayed the flowers with the satin varnish I use for sealing my paintings. This needs a bit of time if you want to do both sides. It's a good idea to move the flowers after spraying just so they dry on a dry surface and don't stick to the surface you just sprayed them on. The hydrangea flowers are tricky because they're so flat, one of mine got stuck solid and I tore another one when I moved it. The persicaria (how much do I love persicaria, it's brilliant for everything!) and the other weed thing are much easier because they're raised in the middle.

I washed and dried my two large pickle jars. I keep every jar and had a few nice ones to choose from. I wanted something with a small base but with a bit of height. I put sand and a teench of gravel in these.

When the flowers were dry I pushed the stems into the sand and then sat the small jar in the big-jar lid and screwed the big jar on upside-down. I had planned to glasspaint a couple of butterflies on each jar and also to glue one or two of the hydrangea up high on the back inside wall of each one.

When I saw how they looked with just the jar of flowers in sand though, I stopped there, I think they look great. A very productive day for cut flowers and dried flowers here although the garden does look a little sad right now. The flowers we pressed today will yield another flower craft day in a couple of months so we'll have that to look forward to and, hopefully, people will keep eating pickled gherkins and we'll get a few more of these massive jars.


  1. Some really nice ideas here, and it's lovely reading about pressing flowers, a real throw back to my childhood, I guess I never realised that people still did it. Silly me!

    1. Thanks! I'd love to tell you I'm in a league of my own but I know a few people who press flowers!!