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Once I was engaged on my e book, Develop Curious, I made a decision that I would come with a pressed leaf or flower from my backyard in random copies of the e book. Should you bought a print copy, flip to web page 87 to see if in case you have one.

Pressed hosta leaf from my backyard.

I’ve pressed many leaves and flowers over my years as a gardener, however excessive quantity urgent inspired me, or somewhat gave me an excuse, to experiment greater than earlier than with urgent every kind of vegetation and plant components. . I’ve saved it ever since and am rising a group to maintain in order that I can ultimately make a herbarium. [a collection of preserved plant material that catalogues the flora of an area] of this backyard and my time right here.

I’ve discovered that whereas a correct flower press is helpful for journey, a extremely massive e book works simply as nicely for many vegetation and is my go-to press to make use of. It is sooner as a result of you’ll be able to tuck within the blades as you go, as an alternative of unscrewing every bolt and changing it. I’ve a particular e book that I exploit essentially the most. It is an outsized cookbook with thick paper that I did not significantly like and had meant to purge till I noticed it might make an amazing plant press! I’ve additionally used an outdated telephone e book, however they’re exhausting to seek out today!

white bleeding coronary heart flowersDicentra spectabilis). These are particular to me as my buddy Sakura gave me this plant a few years in the past as a seedling, just some days earlier than we misplaced it in a automotive accident.

Pressed leaf from my Bodhi tree (spiritual ficus).

I place a number of items of paper across the leaves to soak up the moisture that’s expressed by the drying course of and stop them from sticking collectively. Plain copy paper is okay for many sheets, however absorbent paper reminiscent of newsprint (low-cost) or blotting paper (costlier) can be utilized when there may be extra moisture contained in the sheets. For thicker leaves (or flowers), I do not press too exhausting at first, regularly including extra weight on high within the type of a number of giant books stacked one after the other. An excessive amount of weight at one time can break up the liquid and trigger plant components to stay completely to the paper.

I’ve had some success with this sluggish methodology when urgent thicker flowers like tulips or daffodils, however a press is mostly preferable because it’s simpler to distribute weight and strain evenly. I’ve 2 small presses just like this one, however have had plans in my head for about 15 years to make an even bigger one. I’ll lastly quit and purchase one thing like this. I discover that the straps are higher than the bigger measurement nook bolts resulting from weight/strain distribution. Nook bolts imply there isn’t any weight urgent within the center, which could be a drawback with thicker plant supplies. I haven’t got a microwave and have by no means used a microwave press so I am unable to communicate to its effectiveness.

Different suggestions:

  • Accumulate plant supplies on dry days after the morning dew has evaporated.
  • Books work greatest for many thinner leaves and flowers reminiscent of pansies, yarrow, and bleeding hearts that aren’t too tender.
  • The “drier” leaves of vegetation like Japanese maple, ginkgo, or sage are a lot simpler to press than the thicker, moister leaves of tropical houseplants.
  • Do a bunch of vegetation without delay when you can. It is higher to make a bunch after which go away them alone. Once I make a brand new batch, I often begin over with one other e book or press and look forward to the primary batch to dry earlier than eradicating them and reusing the e book.
  • I reuse the blotting paper many occasions; even regular copy paper can have many makes use of.
  • I maintain my pressed supplies in a flat file drawer with sheets of paper between them for simple elimination as they’re so delicate. See picture above
  • I bought herbarium strips for the mount from this etsy vendor.

* The press on the high of the web page is a small Monstera deliciosa.


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