Preserving Your Childhood: An Amazing End-of-Summer Activity

When I was a girl, one of my favorite activities was flower pressing. That’s right: Flower Pressing. I collected the most beautiful wildflowers from all over Alexandria, Virginia. I picked flowers from the neighbors’ spacious gardens (with their permission), and I wandered the woods and parks for anything I might put in my wooden flower press.

I was thirteen years old. Thirteen! And guess what I did with all these pressed flowers? I made bookmarks that I gave away to the 7th grade class when I had to give a demonstration speech. Years later, a woman told me she still had that bookmark I made for her that year. My teacher presents for Christmas were framed bouquets of pressed flowers set on black velvet.

I loved pressing flowers so much. I loved that I could preserve them like that and make all sorts of beautiful things.

So I pass it on to my own rising 7th grader. At first, we place our flowers on paper towels and press them in-between the pages of old books. In two weeks, we have our final products to make bookmarks, jewelry, landscape scenes to frame, or bouquets.

My husband just happens to have some extra wood this week at the wood shop, and by the end of the afternoon, he presents us with homemade flower presses.

As I’m pressing flowers this morning, I remember all the fleeting things from Spring–the Weeping Cherry blossoms, the daffodils, and the lilac. They aren’t so fleeting after all. I can preserve them like a sweet memory stored from childhood of my younger self delighting in the beauty of creation.

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